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4 Steps to building better friendships

It’s surprisingly easy to get so busy that your BFFs take a back seat. You both go back and forth via texting and Facebook chatting but after months, you realize it’s been awhile since you’ve actually hung out with each other. If this sounds like you and your group of girls, it’s time to get reconnected. Going out and having fun with friends is one of the best ways to blow off steam, but close relationships also need to be nurtured – here’s how.

Schedule time together

If you feel like it’s been too long since you and your besties regularly hung out, be proactive and schedule more time with the girls you love. It’s so easy to suggest things like, “we should totally get together,” and then not do anything about it. So the next time you think to yourself that it has been awhile since you’ve seen your BFF, call her and set a date.

If your friends mention a great idea for a future plan – jump on it! Ask everyone to get out their phones, plan and set a date, then schedule it into your calendars so it’s not missed.

Listen more

Having lunch or drinks with friends are great opportunities to share your latest gossip – the guy you liked called back, your boyfriend wants to move in together, you got the promotion. But spending time with your best gal pals shouldn’t be all about you. One of the best ways to reconnect and strengthen the bond between you and your closest friends is by making an effort to listen and ask questions about their lives. The more you listen, the more in tune you’ll be to how they’re really doing and what’s going on in their lives. You’ll also be able to pick up on any hints that things aren’t OK and that a friend needs some extra TLC for whatever has her stressed.

Judge less

As we get older and get settled into the routine of our lives, it can be easy to start (silently) judging anyone who does things differently. So if you’re married with a house and a kid, but your BFF is still more of a free spirit or just on a different path, avoid assuming that she’s not on the right path. Maybe it’s just not the path you would have taken. There’s no point in letting a friendship fade just because you both want different things in life. In fact, it’s important to surround yourself with people from all walks of life, who do all sorts of different things. This means you’ll always have people around you who can offer a fresh perspective.

Be there when it counts

Sure, it’s way more fun to hang out with friends when they want to meet for drinks, check out the latest brunch spot, go shopping or dance the night away, but it’s also important to make yourself available when it really matters – or when someone is having a rough time. If your bestie just went through a hard time with family or a relationship, make sure you make it a point to be there for her and offer her a shoulder to cry on or advice. Even if it’s not something negative that just changed in your friend’s life – maybe she just had a baby or just got married  – it’s still important to treat her with the same respect and include her in the same activities as you would have before any changes.

TELL US: How often do you and your girlfriends go out and what do you do? Let us know in the comments below!

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