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This article was first published 12 years ago

Friendship Day: Learn how to BE one!

Last updated on: August 5, 2011 19:03 IST

Harnoor Channi-Tiwary

With Friendship Day coming up on August 7, here are ten golden tips on preserving relations with your precious pals.

Friends are like the balm of life. They may not be required all the time, but when you are hurting the most, they hold you together and get you on your feet again. When we are children, we make friends easily, we're more social. As we grow and societal pressures shape our personalities, we find ourselves evaluating people too much to allow a friendship to grow. The best friendships are not those that work when it's convenient, but those that stand by you as a rock when it is not. In today's buzzing selfish life, it is very difficult to make friends. But it is far more difficult to keep them.

A friendship once formed, needs to be nurtured and loved. I don't believe that one needs to call the person up everyday or buy gifts to keep it strong. But being there emotionally for one another, come hell or high water will help you stand the test of time. And of course, the gifts are always welcome!

If you ever wondered how to keep that friendship going, here are some tips:

Don't judge

Friends are not for judging each other. You may not always agree with your friends or their actions, but you shouldn't form opinions against them on the basis of these things. Be there for them instead.

Keep a secret

Trust is the key to any relationship. Secrets between friends should remain between friends. This is an unspoken pact. If you relate them to even one other person, you will lose the trust that takes years to build. If it's a secret, hold it close to your heart.

Take time out for your friends

Friendships need nurturing. This doesn't mean that you need to clock 'x' number of hours with your friend. But whenever you can, take time out to spend together. Find time in your busy schedules for each other -- a coffee date, pyjama parties or even just a phone call to update each other on what's happening in your life.

Remember the little things

Birthdays, anniversaries...these are for friends to remember. It is an unspoken sacrosanct rule that friends can't forget these little things which are important to either of them. If you like to eat a particular flavour of chips and dislike all others, it would be your best friend who will remember which flavour that is.

Little gestures go a long way

Make the effort when it is not required to be made. If your best friend lives in the opposite part of town and doesn't have a ride, offer to drive him/her there even if it means you have to drive back alone. Your friend has a party to go to and doesn't have a dress to wear, but you have the perfect one? Send it to her even if it means that you need to courier it to another city. It is the little things that make a friendship stronger, not the big sacrifices.

Through thick and thin

Life has its ups and downs. You both will too. If you can ride on the rocky boat together, you will invariably emerge closer. Most people you know will be fair weather friends -- friends who enjoy your company when you're at the top and happy but the moment you hit a rough patch, can't find time in their day or space in their hearts for you. Best friends are those who will hold your hand tighter when the tide gets tough. And you know they will never let go.

Be honest

Diplomacy can't breed strong foundations. Call a spade a spade. If you think white is her colour and not the blue she's wearing, tell her -- she'll thank you for it! It's easy to agree with someone all the time in order not to upset them. But if you don't, say so kindly and your friend will know that your opinion is not put on and is real.

Advise, but let the final decision be theirs

Many times people wander onto paths that may be self-destructive. Yet, it takes the view of a third person to see that. Most of the world will not interfere. Don't interfere but give your analysis. Advise should be given keeping in mind what is best for your friend, whether it's regarding a one-sided relationship or them becoming workaholics. But once your advice has been given, don't impose it. Let the final decision be theirs and support that decision.

Forgive and forget

People make mistakes. You do and so will your friends. But face the mistake, tell them how much it hurt you and move on. It is very important to forgive to be able to heal. Even more important is to be able to forget and never mention it again or throw it in your friend's face during an argument.

Just listen

The power of listening can never be undermined. The test of a true friendship is how well you listen to each other, regardless of how interested you are in the subject. They say that true friends are those who can sit on a swing for hours without saying a word and walk away feeling like it was the best conversation they ever had. When its real, you don't need to fill in the silences.