It’s no secret that friendship is one of the most important relationships in our lives. It’s a priceless commodity.
Friends can make us laugh, offer support during difficult times, and provide a listening ear.
Friendship is a two-way street. It’s not just about having someone to rely on in tough times, but also being there for them when they need you.
Unfortunately, friendships don’t always come easy. Sometimes we find it difficult to make friends because we don’t know how to go about it.
If you’re looking for ways to build an intentional friendship, look no further! Here are 10 tips that will help you form meaningful connections with others.
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What is an intentional friendship?
An intentional friendship is one that is based on mutual respect and a shared commitment to each other’s growth and wellbeing.
It is not a friendship of convenience, or one that is simply built on similar interests. Instead, an intentional friendship requires both parties to be purposeful in their interactions, and to put in the effort required to nurture and maintain the relationship.
This can be challenging at times, but the rewards of being intentional in friendships are well worth the effort. When we have close friends who truly care about us and who we can rely on for support, our lives are enriched in immeasurable ways.
Intentionality in friendships means no matter how far away you live, or how different your schedules are, you make time for each other.
10 ways to build an intentional friendship
1. Speak their love language
Everyone knows that communication is key in any relationship – whether it’s with your husband or wife, your family or your friends – but did you know that there are different love languages?
According to Dr. Gary Chapman, there are five love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.
By learning your friend’s love language, you can make sure that your gestures of friendship are truly meaningful to them.
For example, if your friend’s love language is quality time, then plan outings or coffee dates instead of just sending a quick text. Or if it’s words of affirmation, make sure to tell them how much you appreciate them often.
By taking the time to learn and speak your friend’s love language, you can build a friendship that is both intentional and fulfilling.
2. Spend time together
Just like any relationship, friendships require time and effort to maintain. If you want to build an intentional friendship, spending time together is essential.
This doesn’t mean that you need to be inseparable every day- sometimes, quality is more important than quantity. But it does mean that you should make an effort to see each other on a regular basis, whether you’re grabbing drink, going for a walk, or just hanging out at home.
And while it’s not always possible to be together in person, there are plenty of ways to stay connected even when you’re apart. If you can’t meet up in person, try scheduling a regular video call, talk on the phone, write an email or send each other thoughtful texts.
No matter how you choose to stay in touch, making the effort to connect with your friend on a regular basis will help you maintain a strong bond.
3. Be present
It can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and let important things fall by the wayside. But if you want to build strong, lasting, intentional friendships, it’s important to be present.
That means being present mentally as well as physically.
When you’re with your friends, put away your phone, get off social media, and give them your full attention. Listen to what they’re saying and engage in the conversation. When you’re truly present with your friend, they’ll feel heard and appreciated, and your friendship will be all the stronger for it.
4. Be vulnerable
Vulnerability sounds like a scary word, but it’s actually an important ingredient in any close friendship.
Being vulnerable means being open and honest with your friend about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, even if they might be painful. It also means being willing to listen to your friend’s vulnerable moments without judgment.
When you’re vulnerable with someone, you’re giving them the opportunity to really know and understand you. In turn, they are more likely to feel comfortable sharing their own vulnerability with you.
Read also: An Effective Guide To Setting Intentions
5. Be honest
True friendship is built on honesty. But what does that mean, exactly?
Being honest with your friends doesn’t mean sharing every last detail of your life with them, or being 100% transparent all the time. It does mean being truthful when it matters, and being there for your friends when they need you. It’s about being genuine in your interactions, and listening with an open mind.
When you’re honest with your friend, they know they can rely on you for support and advice. They also know that you’re not afraid to tell them the truth, even if it’s something they don’t want to hear.
Of course, being honest doesn’t mean being brutally honest all the time. There’s a difference between being honest and being hurtful, and it’s important to be mindful of your friend’s feelings. But as long as you’re coming from a place of caring and respect, honesty is always the best policy.
6. Know their story
As anyone who has ever made an amazing friend knows, it pays to be a good listener. After all, everyone has a story to tell, and getting to know someone’s history is a great way to connect on a deeper level.
Whether it’s hearing about their childhood, their dreams for the future, or the challenges they’ve faced along the way, taking an interest in someone’s story shows that you care about them as a person.
It also gives you a better understanding of who they are and where they come from, which in turn can help you build a stronger, more meaningful relationships.
7. Respect boundaries
Respect is the cornerstone of any friendship, and that includes respecting each other’s boundaries. Just because you’re friends doesn’t mean you have carte blanche to invade each other’s personal space or pry into each other’s private business.
If your friend isn’t comfortable sharing something, respect their wishes and don’t push them. Likewise, if you need some time to yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for space.
A good friend will understand and give you the room you need.
And remember, just because someone is your friend doesn’t mean they owe you anything; respect their right to say no just as you would want them to respect your right to say no.
8. Seek forgiveness
True friendship isn’t built on a solid foundation of agreeableness. In fact, some of the strongest bonds are formed between people who are able to disagree with each other without causing permanent damage to the relationship.
However, even the most well-meaning, closest friends can unintentionally hurt each other’s feelings. That’s why it’s important to be quick to apologise when you’ve made a mistake.
By admitting your wrongdoing and seeking forgiveness, you can show your friend that you value them more than your ego. And in the same way, when your friend comes to you for forgiveness, try to offer it generously.
After all, friendship is built on trust and mutual respect – two things that can only be strengthened by the ability to forgive and be forgiven.
9. Show gratitude
Something as simple as a thank you can go a long way in maintaining a friendship. Be sure to let your friends know how much you appreciate them and what they do for you.
You don’t need to wait for a special occasion to say thank you – a simple “thank you for being my friend” will do.
And if you really want to make your friend feel loved, try doing something nice for them without being asked. Gift giving or a thoughtful act of kindness will let them know that they are on your mind.
10. Laugh together
Great friends make each other smile. Better friends share laughs together. The best friends can do both!
One of the best things about having friends is that you can always count on them to make you laugh. Whether you’re sharing a funny story or just enjoying each other’s company, laughter is a great way to bond with your friends.
Humour is one of the most powerful tools in any friendship, and it can be used to overcome difficult situations, diffuse tension, and simply enjoy each other’s company.
So if you want to make your friendship even stronger, make sure you keep the laughter flowing. It’s the best medicine, after all.
Building a friendship based on intention requires effort and care, but it is worth it for the strong, supportive relationship that you will form.
Friendship is one of the most important relationships we have. It provides support, love, and laughter.
By making an effort to get to know your friend, respecting their boundaries, and showing gratitude, you can build a friendship that will last a lifetime. So put in the work and enjoy the rewards of a truly special bond.
What have you found to be the best way to make new friends? Comment below and let me know!