If you are like most people, you probably have taken some life long relationships for granted by neglecting them. Here are four tips on how to maintain valuable friendships.

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1. SCHEDULE TIME TOGETHER

If you feel like it’s been too long since you and your friend hung out, be proactive and schedule more time with the girls you love. Do for a girls night out,  karaoke or a day at the spa would be perfect.

2. LISTEN

Having lunch or drinks with friends are great opportunities to share your latest gossip – the guy you liked called back, who you are dating now, or how you got the promotion. But spending time with your best friends shouldn’t be all about you. When listening, its important not to standby, waiting for the next opportunity to pitch in to say something about your life that is similar to theirs, just listen.

3. DO NOT JUDGE

Its important to have friendships where we  feel comfortable and unconditionally accepted.  As we get older and get settled into the routine of our lives, it can be easy to start (silently) judging anyone who does things differently. So if you’re married with a house and a kid, but your friend is still more of a free spirit or just on a different path, avoid assuming that she’s not on the right path. There’s no point in letting a friendship fade just because you both want different things in life. In fact, it’s important to surround yourself with people from all walks of life, who do all sorts of different things. This means you’ll always have people around you who can offer a fresh perspective.

4. BE THERE WHEN IT COUNTS

Sure, it’s way more fun to hang out with friends when they want to meet for drinks, check out the latest spots, go shopping or dance the night away, but it’s also important to make yourself available when it really matters – or when someone is having a rough time. What’s even better is being there celebrating with them when things are good. Jealousy can easily come in when our friends have everything going on for them, and we don’t. Always rejoice with them.

 

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