Adnan Ali Syed
Operational Head at 1851 Laundries
“Happiest are the couples that are good friends first then spouses.” “No hiccoughs in life, given the couples treat each other as best friends and etc.” For the same reason, researchers suggest that the happier couples are more likely to live 10% longer, and become richer than those unhappy.
Keeping in view such significance, International Day of Friendship is celebrated on July 30 every year which was first proposed in the year 1958 and is being observed since then. The day promotes the role of friendship to spread love, peace and harmony, reconciliation, solidarity, mutual understanding and togetherness all over the world.
While some are friends, some are just casual friends and some are very close friends. In order to comprehend the varying levels of friendship, one needs to understand “The Social Penetration Syndrome” of human psychological behavior. It proposes that, as relationships develop, interpersonal communication moves from relatively shallow, non-intimate phases to deeper, more intimate ones. And, finally surges to a phase where two complete strangers have grown best buddies.
Since it is significant to understand the very cores of friendship on one hand, nevertheless, the fast changing world has subsequently brought multiple challenges in the face of this relationship; costing not just its growth, but also its survival on the other hand. Some of those challenges are: People are too busy to talk. They live in different parts of the worlds so it’s rather unlikely to remain connected. Maturity made them affiliate to social and political norms in complete contradictions to one another, varying social statuses, religious bindings, and so on.
There are countless factors affecting the bond of friendship. However, the steps discussed below may help strengthen bonding.
Strengthening the bond and the latest trends to follow
With the advent of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Whats App, Snapchat and etc., in the lives of almost every person who uses internet on PC, Smart Phones, IPad and other Gadgets; it is now much easier to stay connected to friends like never before.
I remember getting hocked by a post on Facebook, relating to the context of this write-up, which said: To remind your friend of your thoughts for him or her, go over the timeline and start liking, commenting and sharing posts. This could be used as a tool to bring round the upset friends as well.
And anyways, it does not take much to leave a reaction or a small comment on your friends’ posts which might be viewed as a big deal on his/her part. Always Remember: what goes around, comes around! And you may start receiving the same from your friends soon.
Identically, other social platforms, aside from Facebook, can be of great advantage in this regard too. You can like, comment, share, react on pictures, posts, statues, of your friends on purpose by taking separate time for these activities.
Another way of engaging your friends is to start a discussion on Facebook or a trend on Twitter, tagging your friends, so that they could express readiness to participate, which will eventually lead to make bonding stronger and more durable.
Many a times; things, places, and scenes around you, strike as a reminder of your certain friends. In such situations, it is advisable to take a picture or record a video and share on social media tagging those certain friends unless it is offensive.
We all have fond memories from our past, especially from school, college or university times and from past workplaces. Many of us log those memories and keep a careful record of them. You may, from time-to-time, share some snaps from those memories on social media and commence a chain of conversation from it. Better be mindful of the old times inappropriate memories which you know your friends will not appreciate anymore.
Points to Ponder:
Seeking attention from friends is a challenging task these days, for which, following steps may be of great help:
1. Twitting @ your friends’ Twitter account or retweeting tweets of them.
2. Congratulating your friends on their work anniversary on LinkedIn.
3. Instead of writing Birthday Wish on friends’ timeline, sending a private greeting message may work out very well.
4. Occasionally, texting in private message to check on their wellbeing.
5. Sending in greeting messages on special festivals like Eid, Diwali, Christmas and etc.
6. Writing such topics or things on the timeline of friends which they are interested in like movies, sports, celebrities, fashion and etc.
7. Trying your best to inquire after your friends in person when they or their family members are sick or injured.
8. Always seeking advices from your friends on certain issues pertaining to career, decision making, job seeking, changing jobs, and etc. and discuss their life experiences regarding those issues. This will make your friends feel special about themselves. Remember, two heads are better than alone. You may end up getting an advice which may prove fruitful in future.
9. Ever since WhatsApp gained fame, it has brought friends from far-flung areas to very close. So, better create a WhatsApp group of your school friends, college or university fellows, or office colleagues and share some attractive stuff with them.
Things to Avoid
1. Skip tagging your friends in posts which they are not in. This is perhaps the most hated offense on Facebook of all times.
2. Avoid marking your friends in tweets that are not interested in.
3. Always remember to apologize friends (informally) if they have been offended having been tagged in a post which they had not approved of.
4. Avoid taking up reckless habits from your friends’ childhood time especially in group chats or discussions.
5. Beware of sending messages or friend requests to the family members of your friends as some people do not approve of it.
6. It is advisable to always stay conscious of the religious, political, social affiliations and values deeply adhered to by your friends. For you may leave a comment, tweet or reaction to their tweets/posts that may prompt them either to unfollow you or unfriend you without your knowledge. And you might lose an old time good friend.
7. Avoid making fun of or cutting jokes on the statues of your friends which are marked as feeling annoyed, angry, sick or upset as this could lead them to respond aggressively, needlessly escalating the issue furthermore.
Apart from social media world, many a times, one-on-one meeting will help (strengthen) toughen the bonding of friends many folds. Invite them over for a cup of tea or a dinner. Cherish the old memories and enjoy that moment to your fullest.
Mostly, friends remember one another on special occasions like marriage, birthday celebrations or God-forbidden, the demise of a family member. However hard you may try to attend marriage or any happy occasion, it is advisable to leave no stone unturned to attend the death or funeral of the loved ones of your friends, since it is the time when a friend needs a friend more than ever. Remember, a friend in need is a friend indeed.