Friendship goals That improve the quality of your connections!

-   James Stevenson, EMCC Accredited Coach, Applied Positive Psychologist and Coaching Psychologist -

Do you believe nothing is more important than friendships? 

Ready to set some Friendship Goals?! 

Nothing enriches life quite like good friends. Those people in your life you feel really close to and can say anything to. Those people you share a special connection to...

As a person who is keen on setting your own personal goals and always challenging yourself you are probably quite fond of this idea of setting intentions or goals to improve your relationships.

Below you can be inspired to improve even further the quality of your friendships from today.

Emerson quote with beautiful artwork

The golden opportunity of tough times 

There is certainly nothing wrong with fair-weather friends. You may have many friendships that are defined by the fun things you do together... the good times you share, the laughs, the adventures...

But if you have a friend who is truly struggling or you are struggling yourself you have a rare and special opportunity when it comes to friendship and the bond that can be developed.

Aesop quote about kindness

If you're able to create friendships where you have been there for each other even in the middle of great personal tragedies of some kind, and you come through the other side never having giving up on each other, the trust that is created and the strength of the respect for each other is truly remarkable. 

It's hard to see this if you're in the thick of things yourself and it takes the investment of time, effort, and character. There is a cost, but the reward far exceeds this. 

So what can you do to construct this wonderful gift? Many people avoid those who are going through a tough time. If you make a special effort to maintain empathetic connections with friends battling through winter you'll be creating truly valuable bonds that'll last a lifetime. 

If you're going through a tough time yourself, it may feel easier to avoid friends. Those who are lacking the insight and the foresight may distance themselves from you making this even more appealing.

However, you have here a great opportunity to develop deeper and more lasting friendships! Those who are interested in spending time with you when you're experiencing failure, setback, difficulty, suffering, criticism etc... who have the character to support you, valuing you just as you are, can potentially be great friends.

Potential friendship goal: In the next month reach out to and start building on a connection with one person who is struggling right now.

Having more friends means more learning and opportunities for self-development!

If you feel the best way to live is to have lots of positive inspiring connections... the direct way to influence this is to expand your circle of friends. In particular, if you're open to, or try and reach out to someone who you usually wouldn't, you'll have a new opportunity for expansion and personal growth.

We all have preferences. Maybe our friends are similar in character to us. Fun and outgoing, caring and thoughtful... or maybe they have similar interests. Similarity can feel good. We are acknowledged, heard, understood. There can be a level of comfort. So similarity has it's benefits, and is popular and common. But so does difference... 

When has your life been enriched by difference? Maybe you travelled to a different country? Learnt a new subject? Maybe you were surprised by someone you thought you usually wouldn't get along with? Someone older, or younger? 

With a bit more difference, you'll learn things you usually wouldn't becoming more open minded and tolerant in the process. You'll also be making a concrete addition to a big sounding ideal... world peace.

There is far too much division in this world. Making your circle of friends larger, even if only a little, is a big contribution you can make.

Potential friendship goal: Make or develop one new friend this month that I usually wouldn't spend time with. Learn and listen with an open mind to all that friend has to say and maintain the connection.

Ask for help and offer help 

We are all connected. None of us an island. Having lots of different connections that are alive and well where you both support each other is treasure that comes with investment.

One excellent way you can develop high quality friendships is to ask for help. Give people an opportunity to use their strength of kindness. It feels good for them, you feel gratitude, and bonds are strengthened. When you feel gratitude, the creativity and desire to give back in some way can be stirred. 

You may worry about bothering people, or that you're asking too much. Or that it'll seem weird because you've never asked before. I've had all these worries and more. Of course some may say they can't at this time and that's their right. Don't let that stop you trying to build. 

Also, thinking up ways you can offer help can be a great way to build on the treasure of friendship. To build the bank balance of trust. Simply asking, would you like some help with "xyz" can get the ball rolling. 

How about asking one friend to help another friend with you? You can work on it together. When you can get the back and forth of support going you'll be creating amazing memories as well... one hallmark of quality friendships.

Potential friendship goal: Ask 2 friends for help with something in the next month.

What are your friendship goals?

What matters most to you when it comes to friendship? If you have a great friendship, what contributed to it? If you want to share your friendship goals in the comments below please feel free. I'm sure it'll make all who read it smile.

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James Stevenson is the owner of and a qualified and accredited wellbeing and philosophy coach.

He works with clients in an patient, understanding and creative way to help them apply great philosophical ideas and psychological scientific findings so they can flourish in a way that leads to them also contributing to a better world.

The development of a strong sense of mattering and agency, alongside deep understanding of inner and outer obstacles give clients a powerful coaching experience. More about James here

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