Do you sometimes wonder, “Why do I struggle to maintain friendships?”
Well, friendship is all about mutual understanding, caring and commitment. But sometimes maintaining long term friendship becomes difficult. Here are some reasons why it might happen:
- Social anxiety or low self-esteem
You may feel insecure around others or worry about being judged, which causes you to withdraw socially, Dr. Kalpna Kohli says. You may isolate or cancel plans frequently, which will ultimately end the relationship.
- Difficulty with vulnerability
You may have trouble opening up to others emotionally or resisting the vulnerability required for intimacy. Past betrayals or disappointments can breed the fear of opening up.
- Intense emotional reactions
You may have intense emotional responses that strain bonds or cause dramatic shifts in mood that perplex friends. Moodiness, outbursts, hyper-sensibility can keep friends away from you.
- Lack of reciprocity
You may be too self-absorbed or demanding in relationships and fail to reciprocate interest in your friends’ lives.
- Competition or jealousy
Comparisons and jealousy towards friends’ successes can breed resentment and distance.
- Poor communication skills
Defensiveness during conflicts, failure to express feelings constructively, and lack of listening impede resolution. You may lack the skills for managing conflict, listening empathetically or expressing feelings, which hampers resolving issues.
- Low commitment
You might have a reluctance to invest time and effort into maintaining friendships consistently. You could be operating from an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mindset, says the expert.
- Lifestyle differences
Diverging paths and developing mismatched interests, priorities or values over time can cause friendships to fade.
Tips to maintain friendship: If you wish to maintain strong friendships in adulthood, do the following.
- Make time for each other
Schedule regular catch-up sessions whether virtually or in-person to devote quality time to actively nurture the friendship. Don’t always wait for the most convenient time, says Dr. Kalpna Kohli.
- Communicate openly
Discuss both the joys and disappointments openly in the relationship. Do not let little annoyances build up, and be a good listener.
- Show appreciation
Express how much friendship means on a regular basis. send thoughtful gifts or messages It does not have to be just birthdays or any other special occasion.
- Follow through on promises
Do not commit to plans or favors you cannot fulfill. Honor your word with deep trust, suggests the expert.
- Allow friendships to evolve
Accept that interests or priorities may shift as you and your friends change. Adapt to the new phases of life together.
- Give each other space
Respect each other’s boundaries and the need for alone time or space from the friendship occasionally. Time apart can strengthen bonds surprisingly.
- Put away distractions
Avoid using the phone or multitasking when together. Be completely present and engaged in whatever you are doing with your friends.
- Celebrate milestones
Make occasions like birthdays, accomplishments, or holidays special. Share & support major life events.
Maintaining long-lasting friendships needs a little effort, but there is so much you can gain from it, especially in stressful times.