12 Ways To Deepen a Friendship For a Lifetime

Greek philosopher Epicurus believed that there are three components to happiness: examined life, freedom and friends. Friendship is the most desired of all human relationships. Not only we seek it in our companions but also in parental and romantic relationships. Friends fulfill social needs and aid in bettering up our mental well-being. Healthy friendships promote growth and can increase a person's sense of belonging and self-worth.
However, there are different kinds of friendships. Another Greek philosopher, Aristotle,  classified friendships into three kinds: utility based friendship, pleasure-based friendship and virtue-based friendship. The first kind of friendship is shallowest of all and is easily broken. Both the parties in it are in some kind of self-interest. The second type of friendship is the one which is motivated by the feeling of pleasure. We are drawn towards certain people because of their sense of humor, common interests or other qualities and end up enjoying their company. However, this kind of friendship has a brief life and ends when the pleasure ceases. Aristotle the third kind of friendship highest of all.  Friends are elected on the basis of their virtues and growth is promoted. This kind of friendship is immune to changes and therefore is long lasting.
We live in times of mass-confusion. There runs a tendency to mistake virtual friends on social media for real friends. People simply don't pay close attention to the friends they associate with. Nor do they invest time in nurturing a friendship. It becomes imperative to know the requirements of a healthy friendship so that one doesn't invest their time and energy in toxic relationships.
Here are some of the requirements:-
• Trust - Trust is the most needed for a strong friendship. A friend is someone we can bare our souls to and share our secrets with. It is important that we disclose our innermost desires to someone who is non-judgemental and respectful.
• Honesty -  It's better to have friends who are frank and can break bitter truths with utmost love and respect than those who tend to appease with sweet lies. Honesty adds value to friendship.
• Mutual Respect - Mutual respect is the foundation on which a long-lasting friendship is built. A friend should be a person who inspires and whose goodness helps you grow as an individual.
We can't win the admiration and trust just like that. A real friendship is hard-earned one, efforts are put in it's making. The chances of fizzling out and outgrowing are higher if there's no communication and trust. Therefore friends should keep coming with new ways to strengthen their bond.
Here are some ways that can deepen a friendship for a lifetime:-

1.) Be a good listener

Be a good listener
Listening is different from hearing and is highly underrated. A lot of times a person just wants to rant away their problems to someone they trust. A good listener is the one who is non-judgemental and genuinely curious. A know-it-all attitude where we are constantly comparing problems of others with our own and give unsolicited advice is repulsive and a friendship killer!

2.) Stay true to yourself

Stay true to yourself
One shouldn't wear a mask in order to win someone's admiration. Long term friendship can only be achieved when one is their authentic self and is honest to their core self. Such self-awareness not only benefits one but also the friendship. It inspires others to be the truest version of themselves!

3.) Sharing stories

Sharing stories
One way to get closer to someone is by sharing intimate stories, anecdotes, and events of significance in your life. One shouldn't be hesitant to take the first step in vulnerability. Sharing something personal encourages others to share something about themselves. This further leads to the development of trust.

4.) Hang out with them more often

Hang out with them more often
One should invest more in the sharpest experiences with their friends. Going to a music concert, restaurant, museums, shopping malls is likely to increase affection and one gets to know about the nature of other people. One should keep planning on trips with their friends as these add to the memories that are cherished.

5.) One on one time

One on one time
Big group of friends can be really fun and pleasant but it's extremely important for friends to spend some one on one time for well being of the group and for the equation between the two people. One needs to dedicate a considerable amount of time to one friend at a time in order to know them better and create a healthy bond with them.

6.) Express admiration through gifts

Express admiration through gifts
Gift giving is a way of expressing devotion and gratitude towards someone. When we gift someone something, we are specifically thinking and giving without expecting anything in return. Gifts provide joy to the ones who receive it.

7.) Being there during the tough times

Being there during the tough times
Whether we are there to comfort our loved ones through their tough times determines how good of a friend we are. It is important to accept your friends in all their vulnerability when they are struggling in life. It becomes a duty on our part to help them with their self-worth and the crisis itself.

8.) Look for shared interests

Look for shared interests
It is important to discover and develop common interests with your friends. It bridges the gap between people, reduces the chances of conflict and makes hanging out with them more fun. Find more about their favorite books, movies, music or hobbies and get acquainted with their interests in order to know them better.

9.) Respect their choices

Respect their choices
Close friendships run the risk of being overprotective and close friends often end up dictating choices of their friends and get angry if it isn't in accordance with their wishes. It is a toxic trait and therefore needs to be terminated. Good friends don't judge their friends for the choices they make and know that it is completely okay to disagree.

10.) Give enough space

Give enough space
It is important to not be rigid and demand excessively on the time and space of your friends. One should be open to the idea that your friend and your equation to the will be subject to many changes. One should embrace the changes in their friend as long as it isn't hurting them.

11.) Be a good secret keeper

Be a good secret keeper
One should be extremely sensitive to the confidential information that is entrusted by someone to you. If you leak the secret that your friend has told you, it would be counted as betrayal and would keep the trust and the bond.

12.) Be empathetic and encourage

Be empathetic and encourage
Don't be too quick to judge your friends and practice seeing things from their point of view. This would mature friendship. Also, you should keep encouraging them and make them feel appreciated and good about themselves!