How to maintain your friendships for life.

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By forgiving your friends of their shortcomings, your friendships really could last forever.

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Forgiveness is the key to the future of every relationship in your life.

If you continually find yourself disappointed in the people in your life, you may have prescribed expectations that are unrealistic in the real world.

Do you find yourself questioning your friendship with someone when they consistently let you down? These five points inspired by Canadian lifestyle design coach Christine Obee will have you thinking about why you should try to accept people for who they are, instead of being disappointed in who they are not.

Everyone is fighting his or her own battles.
Most of the time, people aren’t cruel just to be cruel. Sometimes people take out their pre-existing emotions on other people, often unintentionally. Understand that it is likely not a personal attack, and have compassion for the things that they may be dealing with.

Consider the positive aspects of your relationship with the person.
There must be reasons why you still have this person in your life. Maybe they are the one friend who will always commit to going to live concerts with you – yet are consistently flaky on coffee date plans. Are you willing to give up your concert buddy just because they aren’t the complete package? If however, you can’t find a single positive in the friendship or it is completely one-sided, maybe you should consider talking to your friend about this. If this amounts to nothing, maybe you’ve simply outgrown each other, and it might be time to cut ties.

Value the differences between you and your friend.
Life would be pretty boring if everyone was the same. Relationship expert and author Kate Figes says “a good relationship is about navigating the numerous differences between you”. Sure you may be punctual and your friend’s tardiness might disappoint you, but when the same friend asks you to meet them for wine on a Monday night and you decline because “it’s a school night”, consider how that may be disappointing to them. A friendship isn’t built on having all of the same attributes, but respecting each other’s unique qualities and interests.

“It’s not what you know, but who you know.”
Don’t burn bridges. This friend or acquaintance may be the daughter of the manager of the company you dream about working for. If a friendship is off the cards, don’t be too quick to shut them out. It pays to be kind and civil to the people around you.

Do it for the people you love.
What if all the above points are void; the person is unkind to you, offers no positive attributes, but you still can’t cut ties with them. Why? There could be many reasons, like maybe it’s your best friend’s boyfriend.

It is much more difficult to cut ties with someone who you don’t necessarily have a direct relationship with. So consider this – does he make your best friend happy? Is he good to her? If so, those are the positive aspects you are getting out of your relationship with him. He might irritate you, but if he brings happiness to your best friend’s life, he is by default bringing happiness to yours.

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Georgia Brown

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Georgia loves spending her weekends trekking Sydney's iconic coastlines - inevitably with a soy latte in one hand, and iPhone in the other. Aspiring linguist, teacher, and social soccer player in need of a few extra training sessions.

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