How to build strong friendships.Everyone knows friendship is really important. But, wanting to keep and create a long, good friendships is not an easy mission. How can we built friendships without...

How to build strong friendships.

Everyone knows friendship is really important. But, wanting to keep and create a long, good friendships is not an easy mission. How can we built friendships without jealousy, etc.?

Expert Answers
carol-davis eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Human beings are gregarious. We need that interaction with someone else.  The question is how do make those relationships? Karol Ladd, author of The Power of a Positive Woman, believes forming strong friendships goes back to what ourgrandmother taught us: 'If you want to have friends, you must show yourself friendly.'"

Becoming friends and staying friends requires several ingredients.  First, a person must be able to appreciate the differences in others.  Everyone is different with her own set of talents and faults.  Acceptance without jealousy and criticism opens the door for a variety of friendships.

Secondly, loyalty and trust are traits necessary to be a friend.  George Washington wisely stated:

Be courteous to all, but intimate with few; and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth...

Trustworthiness involves sharing deep intimacies and knowing that they will go no further; it is a rare quality. 

Taking an interest in others represents a selfless person. Listening to others opens many doors.  Everyone wants to feel important and valuable.  By paying attention to the other person's likes and dislikes, her interests, and problems, an important connection will be established.  

Finally, learn to be a giver not a taker. Smile at people.  Share hugs with others. Giving of time and interest indicate "I like you,  and I want to know you better." Be positive.  This will be the beginning of that special bond: friendship.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The great Transcendental thinker, Henry David Thoreau, once declared, "One cannot have friends without first being one."  Truly, a person must treat those that she wishes to have as friends as she would like to be treated by listening to and caring for the person who would be a friend.

The words of St. Paul to Corinthians (12:31-13:8)--whether one be Christian or not--are certainly worthy of consideration. Here is a modern English translation:

Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous;
love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful.
Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins, but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.
Love does not come to an end.

Friendship is love; it is the consideration of the other person before that of oneself. If you can do this and, in the effort, make the other laugh sometimes, you will experience real friendship.  Of course, the other person must be unselfish, too.


clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you think about the way children develop friendships at the youngest age (social interaction probably starts somewhere around 2 years old, but real "friendships" don't start to develop until 4 or 5) the first thing adults can be reminded of in friendship is honesty.  Children are honest to the point of being blunt.  As a result, they learn understand each other quickly.  Also, they haven't been jaded to the point of holding grudges yet.

I think when adults can be as honest as children, and recipients of honesty can be as understanding and forgiving as children, true friendships have the best environment for developing and are more sustainable.

trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A strong friendship is based on trust. The other person has your back and visa versa no matter what. They don't judge you--they accept the real you for who you are. A true friend is better than family sometimes, because you picked that person and didn't just inherit them through family ties. They are there when you need them without question. Of course, this works both ways. A strong friendship is based on the fact that if you share something personal it stays confidential if that is how you want it to stay. People have many acquaintences throughout their lives, but true friendships are rare and should be appreciated.

Michael Ugulini eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with the above post concerning honesty in friendship. In addition, as archaic as it may seem in today's jaded contemporary society, the Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you still applies. That can be difficult at times, as our selfish desires often get in the way. Sometimes we knowingly, and even unknowingly, take advantage of others in our march to get what we want or think we deserve. Stopping to consider how or actions and words affect others, especially family and friends, will help us to maintain quality relationships.

shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

People need to be listened to. When you lend people an ear you can easily become their friend. For a friendship to grow you need to develop trust. You also need to be accepting of the other person in spite of their faults. Nobody makes friends by trying to change others into their image of the "right kind of person."

So to sum up: Listen, earn trust, accept.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It's important for any long lasting relationship for the people involved to see one another as separate people, in my opinion. Recognizing the fact that the other person has desires and problems that we do not share can be all that it takes to lay the groundwork for a longlasting friendship. 

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The best way to build a strong friendship is to listen.  You have to be there for your friends.  You also need to have common interests, and explore one another's interests.  You will have more friends, and more meaningful friends, if you spend more time with them.