Expectations In Friendships!

Expectations in Friendships!

Have you struggled with creating new friendships or enhancing the ones you already have?

Creating new friends, and improving current friendships takes commitment!

The positive effect of regular social contact to a persons’ health is about as strong as the effect of blood pressure, smoking, alcohol habits, obesity, and eating a healthy diet. Having friendships may increase longevity. A network of good friends is more likely than close family relationships to increase longevity in older people” according to the Huffington Post.

It takes time to create genuine connections, yet the process of finding new connections, as well as nurturing connections we’ve already made, goes on the back burner, when friendship isn’t a priority.

How can we truly get to know each other if everything else takes precedence?

Even if there aren’t other priorities, we tend to stay in our comfort zone prisons, and have excuses for why we’re not making an effort, such as:

🤷🏻 Too busy at work or with family
🤷‍♀️ Fear of commitment
🤷🏻 Trust issues
🤷‍♀️ Fear of rejection
🤷🏻 Too shy
🤷‍♀️ More comfy on the couch

Friendship expert, Shasta Nelson says “To create, foster, and protect our intimacy, we must practice three things: positivity, consistency, and vulnerability”.

  • Maintaining a positive outlook fosters an environment for meaningful connections.
  • Consistency in a friendship builds trust and reinforces the foundation for a lasting relationship.
  • Being open and vulnerable allows for authentic connections, and fostering genuine bonds.

If we want genuine connections, we must put ourselves out there even if it creates discomfort.


Friendships Take Time!

Friendships Take Time!An article in Today.com describes how long it actually takes to create friendships:

⏰ It takes about 40-60 hours of time spent together in the first few weeks after meeting for people to form a casual friendship.

🕰️ To transition from a casual friend to friend takes about 80-100 hours of together time.

⏰ For friends to become good or best friends, it takes about 200 or more hours spent together.

Building friendships is a gradual process.

Time spent together serves as an investment required for the depth and quality of connections, and this is what we all want, right?

The most effective approach after meeting someone, is to follow up, engage in get-togethers, and dedicate time to mutually explore and deepen your understanding of each other.

Follow-up conversations allow for a deeper exploration of each other’s experiences, and shows genuine interest in getting to know someone.

When there’s no follow-up, connections risk remaining at surface level, preventing the opportunity for a more meaningful relationship.

It’s crucial to have conversations about preferred modes of communication, and how often to be in touch.

This ensures a more sustained and meaningful connection.

Nurturing friendships requires effort, honesty, and ongoing engagement to transform conversations and experiences into lasting friendships.

For engagement ideas, download the “Better Conversations Guide” for tips and topics!

Again, cultivating meaningful friendships requires spending quality time together.

The true strength of a friendship lies in regular check-ins and follow-ups.

Whether it’s a quick message, a call, or another coffee date, these gestures express a commitment to the relationship.



Expectations in Friendships!

Expectations in Friendships!So, let’s say you’ve met someone you’d like to build a friendship with.

After finding no evident red flags, and confirming a positive connection, expectations often naturally come into play.

Expectations are common, often stemming from our desire for connection and support.

Even though expectations are a natural part of forming bonds, they also can create disappointment.

When we have expectations on how friends should behave or what they should contribute, it creates suffering.

Expecting people to meet certain standards can create resentment, and put a strain on the friendship, especially when those expectations are unmet.

To avoid this, try approaching each interaction without specific expectations, appreciating each moment and letting relationships develop naturally.

After spending time with them, give it a couple of days to reflect on consistent patterns, specifically focusing on responsiveness and initiative in communication.


Adjusting Expectations!

Do You Have Fulfilling Connections?If your friend follows up and is good about reaching out, observe the quality and frequency of their engagement and whether it fosters a fulfilling connection.

If there’s no follow up or initiation, or if they’re consistently unresponsive, cancels plans frequently, or constantly emphasizes how busy they are, it might be healthy to acknowledge those differences and adjust expectations!

Instead of expecting them to change, consider the reality of the situation without passing judgement.

Contemplate shifting your focus toward “available” friends, who actively make an effort to engage, and align more with your own needs and values.

Accepting that friends may have different priorities and communication styles, may be key to maintaining peace of mind.

Shifting away from one-sided interactions and emphasizing reciprocity, may contribute to a more fulfilling social life.


One Sided Relationships Video Below!


Expressing Needs!

Expressing Needs in Friendships!It’s crucial to communicate needs, and equally important to approach friendships with a level of acceptance.

There are times when we establish what we “believe” to be a strong connection, and questions arise.

Do we want to lean towards cultivating deeper one-on-one friendships, or do we prefer group settings where connections are more surface-level?

This is something that might be important to communicate up front.

Communicating our wants and needs keeps us from feeling resentful, and may even prevent a ghosting situation!

Yes, this all sounds well and good, but there seems to be one common barrier in friendships.

We’re “afraid” to express our own needs, because it feels awkward and not uncommon to fear rejection or abandonment!

This fear often has us saying “yes” to activities we’d rather avoid and expressing thoughts we’d rather keep to ourselves, in order to “fit in”.

We stop ourselves from expressing our true preferences, because we don’t want to appear childish or needy.


Be Curious!

Are you Genuinely Curious about Others?Typically, once we establish a strong connection, we engage in extensive conversations on various topics, often neglecting to communicate our individual needs.

So, how do we establish connections that resonate with our individual needs and values, while also uncovering the needs of others?

It requires having the courage to authentically show up, allowing for exchanges that foster understanding.

It’s important to be genuinely curious about the other person, asking questions, and listening attentively, with a commitment to understanding and engaging on a deeper level.

For someone not accustomed to being genuinely curious and engaging in deep conversations, it might be uncomfortable so it’s best to start slowly.

Developing these skills is a gradual process, and the key is to be sincere in your efforts to connect and understand others.

Now, if someone doesn’t want to answer certain questions, by all means respect their boundaries and move on.


Make Friendship a Priority!

Make Friendship a Priority!Understanding that people are navigating their own challenges, fosters a more enriching environment, and allows for authentic connections to develop.

If friendships are important to you, it’s time to prioritize them!

Find things you have in common and meet in person frequently.

If you feel unsafe meeting in person, be honest and request another method like talking on the phone or zooming.

On the regular, determine which communication method works best and “stay in touch”!

Being thoughtful, generous, and doing good deeds is nice, but that’s not enough!

Investing in friendships takes time, effort, vulnerability and showing genuine interest in others.

Realize that to have friends one must first be a friend. Make friendship a priority in your life.” — Goswami Kriyananda


Pals Personal Preferences ProfileIf you’re curious about expressing your preferences in friendships, or want to perhaps learn more about yourself, click to access the ‘Pals Personal Preference Profile‘ and enhance your connections.

Once you gain access to the form, resist the urge to hurry!

Take your time to conscientiously fill it out, ensuring that your responses are comprehensive and thorough.

Responses will be compiled to explore common themes, preferences, and expectations.

Once you complete the profile, click the submit button.

You’ll receive an email printout of your answers, which you can share with friends, who can also take the survey!

Once you receive the email, there will be an option to edit your response, if you’d like to update your profile!

Sharing and exchanging ‘Pals Personal Preference Profiles‘ enables us to better understand one another, and may strengthen bonds.

Let’s build stronger friendships together!

TOPIC: Expectations In Friendships!

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2 Comments

  1. Mark

    I find this article enlightening and well thought out and is full of great information.
    Keep up the great blogs :)

    • Kim

      Thanks Mark!

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