Human beings need social interaction and friendships. These types of relationships can power us through the good and the bad times, and can even impact your health in a positive way. To really build solid friendships we need to have stronger connections with others. We need to build a solid foundation for a friendship to grow and flourish - that starts with trust, vulnerability and authenticity.
So how do we make stronger connections with others to build the foundation of an amazing, long lasting friendship?
We need to first recognize that friendships are something that you must work at in order to sustain them for the long term. There are ups and downs, challenges and plenty of celebrations. Working on friendships requires commitment! Something we strongly believe in here at The B Hive Apiary. We know how easy it is in today's age to just skip out on things, to loose touch, to prioritize the chaos that is every day life. But committing to a friend is a great way to build a strong friendship and grow stronger connections.
Listening is a really important behavior that can improve relationships and strengthen connections. It's more than just hearing what someone says but taking note and really understanding what a person is saying or even implying. So much is said in what isn't spoken out loud. When we listen closely and attentively, we're able to relate and empathize with the other person on a much deeper level. Listening also lets our friends know that we care about them as well and that its not always about "me, me, me"!
Establish trust with your friends - be reliable, be trustworthy, keep their confidence and be truthful! When we know we can rely on our friends to follow through with what they say it creates a strong circle of trust. When we trust our friends and they trust us, the bond we create is stronger.
Recognize who the other person is and don't judge them for it. We think this is an important part of making stronger connections with others because it allows for you to really understand who a person is and why they tick. The B Hive has hosted an Enneagram class taught by our friend and B Hive Apiary Member Karen Blanchette. It's an eye opening experience to understand why certain Enneagram types do what they do. Personality tests like the Meyers Briggs and others help us understand certain aspects of each other's personalities. It allows you to make adjustments to your relationships to accommodate innate personality traits. For example, Erica knows that Angela is very type A and things need to be done in certain ways and she works really hard to accommodate that. Angela knows that Erica can be disorganized and scattered - so she makes sure to remind her of things regularly and give her easy ways to remember things. Knowing what makes your friends operate within the world will help you build a strong relationship with them!
Be vulnerable. If you're hurting say something, if you're celebrating something say something! Share with your friends your truth. When you both do the same, your connection will last longer and remain strong. We're so adamant about being vulnerable in The B Hive - because all the superficial stuff doesn't get you any where nor does it help you build long lasting relationships with others. It can be scary but its worth it - even when it hurts.
Be mindful and kind. We live in a very harsh world - with so much negativity and despair around us it can be easy to get caught up in it all. We should actively be working towards being mindful of others, their feelings and being kind when things aren't how we want them to be. Being mindful and kind in your relationships comes full circle, it incorporates being vulnerable and that circle of trust. And something we should always doing in our lives.
Relationships, even friendships, require two people to actively work on them. You must seek to improve your relationships and make the effort to do so.
How are you working to make stronger connections with your friends?