Despite the fact that the current pandemic has limited the ways we used to get together with friends, we can still strengthen our friendships.
Before going to sleep each night, spend some time as you settle into your bed, reflecting on the conversations that you had with your friends during that day.
Look at all the conversations you had with friends, whether they were in person, online or on the phone. How did you feel after the interactions?
Did you feel good or did something bother you about the way the interaction went? If you were left feeling some tension after an interaction, focus on the conversation again. Identify the moment when you began to feel dissatisfied. What bothered you? Did you feel misunderstood? Not listened to? Was their tension after a sharp difference of opinion?
Then take an honest look at how you responded to the other person. What was your attitude when you spoke with them at that time? Did you give them your full attention?
What tone did you use in your voice? Review any statements they said to you during that conversation. Did they tell you something bothered them during the conversation? Were they upset about what you said or how you said it?
Pay close attention to the information they are giving you about yourself. This will help you identify what needs to change in your approach with friends.
Try this exercise this week. Review your interactions with friends each evening before bed. Make note of what worked in your conversations and what did not work. You will eventually see a pattern of how you interact with friends. This will give you valuable information about the areas you need to work on to strengthen your friendships.