Friendship is something we all long for. We all want a person or two with what we can share our lives. Even so, few people ever acquire the capacity for gaining true intimacy with others. This article outlines six tips for developing closer relationships.
1. Be yourself – Do not attempt to be someone you are not. Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses and live accordingly. This does not mean you should not set goals and stretch yourself to be the best you can be, only that you should not try to be more or less than you are designed to be.
2. Dictate your own lifestyle – Others will admire you for being yourself. When you try to have a carbon copy of some popular image, those who want real friends will see you as phony. God made you to be special. When you live by your own unique standard, others will see that you are genuine.
3. Develop strong listening skills – There are two parts to a conversation, speaking and listening. Unfortunately most people are strong in the former and weak in the latter. To be a good listener:
o Consider the fact that most people like to talk about themselves.
o Keep good eye contact with your friend or mate.
o Try not to think about what you will say when it is your turn to talk.
o Validate the other person's thoughts and feelings by repeating back or summarizing what they said.
4. Learn to forgive – Holding grudges causes bitterness to grow in your heart. When you choose to forgive, you will be free of the burden that comes with hatred and bitterness and be able to give your whole heart to develop stronger ties and friendships.
5. Give freely to others – People love those who give of themselves without strings attached. They will see that you value human life over material things and are willing to sacrifice to support causes outside of your own life.
6. Develop a good sense of humor especially in regards to yourself – Many people are tied up in their own image or reputation. They become embarrassed over the small mistakes and even curse themselves in public. This makes people think that you are insecure and overly critical. When you can laugh at yourself, others will see your good sense of humor and want to be close with you.
Friendship is something we all long for. We all want a person or two with what we can share our lives. Even so, few of us ever acquire the capacity for gaining true intimacy with others. This article has outlined six tips for developing closer relationships.