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5 Ways to Strengthen Friendships

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My father always has the best advice. One of my favorite quotes was, "How do you get a friend? By being a friend." This was usually directed at me and my brother after an argument, but I find myself using this quote even today. Being a good friend and true friend is important to me.

I never want to let my friends down just as much as I never want to be let down.

Kate Eschbach Photography-12-XL

 5 Ways to Strengthen Friendships

Do you find being a friend and staying a friend hard sometimes? Here are six tips that help me strengthen friendships:

  • Rejoice in Each Other's Success—Don't be jealous. Don't compare. Think about the other person and be excited for them! Write them a note or send them a text. A simple 'Way to go' can mean so much!
  • Lean In and Support—When friends are going through a tough time, lean in. It may be easier to pull away when people are going through hard times, but as a friend you should be the one that they can count on. Send them a gift card to their favorite store or leave a plant on their doorstep. Remind them that they are not alone.
  • Write a Letter—Send a real, handwritten letter in the mail. You can write one in three minutes: in the pickup line at school, while you are waiting for the pasta to boil, or while you are waiting at the soccer practice. Just imagine how excited they will be to open the mailbox and see something from you!

Kate Eschbach Photography-32-L

  • Include Them—Do you know a neighbor that just moved to town? Do you know a friend that could use a night out? Include them! Next time you can get away for one hour to the bookstore, invite them to come! If you are craving a little alone time and you are worried about giving up your free night, It's okay to say, "I'm going to just browse for about 20 minutes, then we can chat over tea."
  • Give Grace—Everyone has a full plate and can seem forgetful or scattered sometimes. Think of the times that you may be overwhelmed and have forgotten something. Forgive and let go. If they were a few minutes late to your monthly breakfast date, relax. Remind yourself that it could have just as easily been you that was late. The gentleness you show them will come back to you ten fold.
  • Call—Yes, it's that easy. Find 15 minutes where you can give them all your attention. For me, I have to walk outside after the kids head to bed. I give them my full attention and I walk away smiling.

“We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.
Even longer,' Pooh answered.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

What do you do to strengthen your friendships?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Kate 20121116 107149 copy 125 x 125 Kate is a photographer, enjoys the art of handwritten correspondence and may break out into musical numbers at any time. She loves Jesus, her family and her chai tea latte. She looks for beauty everywhere. Kate blogs at Songs Kate Sang and would love for you to stop by!
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Kate writes a lifestyle legacy blog named Songs Kate Sang and is a professional photographer. She enjoys handwritten correspondence, and may break out into musical numbers at any time. She and her husband Brian have been married since 1999. They have three children - Julia, 14, Nate, 11, and Riley, 3 + one on the way. She is a Texas girl and has lived in Arizona for 5 wonderful (and hot!) years. Kate writes from the heart about adoption and miscarriage. She is passionate about encouraging and serving others!

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