Friday, November 1, 2013

80. How to Achieve Everlasting Friendship

If only I knew.

I know how to make friends and keep them, but it takes experience - not a guide - to tell you how to pick out the bad seeds from the good seeds. But, in this day and age with our amazing technology, it wouldn't be too difficult to search up some pointers at least. So, these are some of my pointers on how to make, keep, and sort friends based on my own experiences.

Once upon a time, when I was still Little Milly, I was very naive and trusted all those I met and befriended, smiling at them everyday and worrying about their problems. However, after a few incidents, that all changed. I became more cautious when making friends and smiled only for those that deserved it. I also stopped wasting my energy on other people's problems, but concentrated more on those most important to me and helped them in their time of need. But, how did I do it?

Well, remember during kindergarten when the teacher would say "keep your hands and feet to yourself"? Similar to that, the more "adult" version of it, as I see it, is "treat others how you want to be treated". This is also known as the "Golden Rule", or "ethic of reciprocity" (according to our dear friend Wikipedia anyways).

I am sure you have heard of this many, many times, but it is not just that Golden Rule you need to follow. There are also other things you must keep in mind in order to have that friend who was like a twin sister/brother that never was.

1. Value their opinions. Don't force your own opinions or beliefs onto them. You might think it's right, but everyone has different points of view. Instead, you should try to understand it from their perspective, or "be in their shoes" (in other words, listen). This may take some time and practice, but in the end, will not only make you a better friend, but a better and understanding individual as well.

2. Always make an effort to maintain the relationship. Even if they may seem as close as family to you, you still need to make an effort to ask how their day was. Like in any relationship, if someone gets too comfortable and stops putting in an equal amount of effort, then that relationship will slowly start to crumble as the affection wears off because of this comfort. This leads to the next point:

3. Never take your friendship for granted. Once you start taking your friend(s) for granted, I will guarantee you, it will fall apart for obvious reasons, some of which have already been mentioned. Once you start taking someone for granted, then that means you have set expectations on them, and when they fail this expectation you have arbitrarily put on them, you will be the one to complain, to criticize, and overall, start to develop a negative attitude towards them because of this expectation you built yourself.

There are lots more pointers, but then the list would go on and on, leading to similarities with others, so I will end it here. These are the "rules" I go by when maintaining my friendship, which also helps me develop them into a tighter and stronger bond. This pointers also helped me before in choosing whether or not a friend was worth keeping. Like how you should follow these pointers to treat your friends, it should also apply to your friends as well. If it is all just one-sided, I would not consider that a well-balanced friendship (and you may just be taken advantage of). Ultimately, the choice is up to you and how you want to live your life surrounded by either happiness, content-ness, or bad seeds. It is all up to you (no pressure).

P.S. After using these pointers (and some more) and you find that perfect soul mate, putting a ring on it would be wise. Or, in this case, a soul-friend and a bracelet. Here is mine and my best friend/roommate's that we bought today:

(Gold infinity sign bracelet from Aldo Accessories)

It is optionally to use materialistic objects to show friendship, but it is quite fun. Nevertheless, if you don't want to do that, you can still do other things together. For example, cooking a meal together, going on an outing together, or maybe even bungee jump together. The keyword is doing things together. Only are you together, will you discover more things about each other and learn to either accept them or reject them.