Great relationships can take years to develop, but take just seconds to destroy. As someone who has had both 20 year friendships and seen some friendships destroyed — here are the tips I’ve learned to build long lasting, meaningful friendships.
- Time is of the Essence – A simple way to earn someone’s trust is by showing them how much you value them. An easy way to value someone is to be on time. Sounds simple, right? Yet in practice, it can be hard to wake up to leave the house on time or wrap up tasks to make it to happy hour when you said you would. When adulting, if you say you are going to be somewhere, be sure to show up on time. Seriously… no friend likes sitting alone waiting for 10, 15, sometimes 30 minutes. Show your friends, colleagues, spouse, and clients you value them by making them a priority when it comes to your time.
- Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Keep Your Commitments. We all have had plans on our calendar when something more fun comes along. You might be tempted to bail on your original commitment. Before you do, consider this: what is the cost of cancelling? Is this a one-time occurrence? Or, are you “that friend” who regularly cancels at last minute? Even worse, do you cancel with a lame excuse then get caught on social media at a concert or party? It often takes sacrifice to keep your commitments, welcome to adulting. Over time, the sacrifice will earn you a reputation of reliable. Reliability establishes a firm foundation for trust. So, before you change plans, think about what type of friend you would want? Consider the age-old adage, treat others how you would like to be treated.
- Loose lips sink ships – Nothing is worse than having a friend who can’t keep confidential information to themselves. Nothing is more destructive to trust than, well, breaking it. This one is simple folks, if it isn’t yours to share, don’t share it. If you aren’t sure if you should share it, ask.
- BE YOURSELF. This is by far the most important. No really, be yourself. People can’t always tell when someone isn’t genuine — but they sure can feel it. You can’t establish trust based on a fake reality so just be yourself. This is not permission to act weird for the sake of being weird but if you are quirky, embrace it. People are drawn to authenticity and being honest about who you are is the best platform for establishing an environment of trust.
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