How to Effectively Maintain a Healthy Friendship


Mikaia Jones

How to Maintain Healthy Friends Graphic

High school is a great place for you to meet new people and form long lasting friendships, but healthy friendships don’t just happen. There are many important factors and key qualities friends need to possess.  

Communication and honesty are needed for any strong and long-term friendship. It helps people understand each other and their feelings. With open communication, you are able to explore your differences and confront your issues without unnecessary conflict. 

Negative emotions will build up causing people to drift apart if they don’t express their thoughts and needs. Talking about things in a non-judgmental manner helps people grow closer from their shared vulnerability and honesty. 

Friends need to trust each other. True friendships last when people are able to be vulnerable and provide each other with a sense of safety. Trust means you can expect them to be there for you.  

Authenticity comes from trust which is essential for you to have healthy relationships. To be authentic in your relationship means to be genuine with your communication and interactions. Feelings of trust and dependability are formed from people being themselves. You should feel safe to be who you are with your friends. 

Listening to your friends when they talk about their problems, their life, or something they are passionate about is as important as talking to them. You need to offer your friends the same amount of patience and support you would want when talking about something you care about. 

A conversation requires two people listening to each other. Someone will feel neglected if their friend doesn’t care or invest time in you and your interests. Neglect and feelings of underappreciation can cause feelings of resentment. 

Any relationship requires freedom and independence. Codependency, excessive emotional or psychological reliance on someone, is unhealthy and causes an imbalance in your friendship. It can result in putting aside all your needs and problems behind your friend’s, and it can have serious detriments to your physical and mental health. Symptoms of codependency include finding no happiness in your life outside of this person, putting aside their own wellbeing, and difficulty viewing yourself as an individual person. 

Don’t put pressure on the friendship by feeling like you have to hang out all the time. You and your friend should be able to be happy and have fun without feeling the stress of not being with their friend. A strong friendship will last through time apart. 

Having strong friendships helps make life more meaningful. Close friends come from trust, support, and communication. It requires effort, but in return, you get a friend to help you through life’s adventures.