Friends, The Family You Choose: the DC Life Coach’s Tips for Building Great Friendships)

Last month, a group of my gal pals and I took a trip to cheer on one of our swim team friends who participated in an Ironman competition. In these troubled times of civil unrest and world problems, I find my friendships sustain me. I am so grateful for my dear old friends and for the joy of making strong new ones. After our trip, we started an email thread of what friendship means to us. Below is what we came up with:

  • generosity is contagious,
  • healthy fit women are beautiful,
  • real friends are everything,
  • focus brings results,
  • a friend is someone who takes your hand crossing the street,
  • a friend is someone who asks about YOU,
  • having fun is a great comfort,
  • supporting someone else is a gift for you,
  • helping others always feels good,
  • age is just a number,
  • gummy bears are delicious after a long day,
  • getting up at 4:00 a.m. to swim or walk with friends is worth it,
  • being with a friend is better than being alone,
  • a smile from a friend makes a lasting impact,
  • car stories give glimpses of incredible wonderful women,
  • the last 15 minutes before saying goodbye can make a difference.
The people you associate with have a major impact and influence on your personal success, your outlook on life and your personal satisfaction. The company we keep is so important! I’ve put together these Life Coaching tips to help you evaluate, build on and improve your existing friendships … and make wonderful new ones.

These 7 Life Coaching Concepts Help Me Build Great Friendships

1. Shared Values. While you can respect others’ opinions and differences, building on common values creates a very positive, uplifting friendship. When friends have similar values, they just flow along with you. You’re moving in the same direction together and can help keep each other accountable.

2. Shared Goals. Let’s say you’re an entrepreneur, working to improve your physical health, thinking about retirement, wanting to improve your marriage, writing a book etc. It can be fun to work on goals together, create more of what you’re good at, bounce ideas off each other and celebrate successes together. Let’s face it: it’s tough to toil away in solitude. We could all use another cheerleader!

3. Strive for Balance. We all have our strengths and weaknesses — you know what yours are. Seek out the people who help and encourage you to tap into your own talents, skills and abilities. Ask your friends for advice or help in areas you struggle. For example, maybe you aren’t the best cook, but you have a friend who’s always whipping up something delicious — enlist her help! You might be a great writer and can offer assistance to a friend that is updating her resume. When you utilize each other’s strengths, everyone wins.

4. Motivate & Support Each Other. It’s the people who are uplifting and positive yet vulnerable and non-judgmental that we naturally want to be around. Think back to the last conversation you had with a particular friend. What did it sound like? What types of words did you use? The best types of friends will be there to offer a listening ear and help you find gratitude in any situation. Read my previous post about how Mindful Listening Can Transform Any Conversation.

5. Common Interests. Friends with similar interests make life more fun. I find that the friends with whom I share a concrete interest with, like swimming, music or the performing arts, tend to be my more long-lasting friendships. There’s always something to do or to talk about! We enjoy outings and activities centered around our shared interest. I always have someone to visit new places and enjoy new experiences with … and I know she appreciates them just as much as I do!

6. Lifelong Learners. I believe that no matter our age or station in life, it’s always about learning, growing and advancing. And I always learn from my friends who love to learn! I love a good book recommendation or an insight a friend has gleaned from her life journey. My friends who are avid readers are great conversationalists and fun to talk to as well.

7. BE a Great Friend. If you expect to have great friends, you first have to be one yourself. If you live by the Golden Rule of treating others as you would want to be treated, then you won’t be disappointed — you will find your friendships fulfilling and rewarding. Developing trust with someone — and being trustworthy — leads to sincere, reliable, caring friendships. And even when friends fail you (and they will!), by being a great friend you’ll develop some excellent character traits in yourself that will serve you in all areas of life.

Fall is a time of shedding, letting go and preparing for the winter to come. As we get closer to the New Year, we’ll be evaluating how far we’ve come and where we are going. To anticipate this, let’s  consider the company we keep and its impact on our personal success and satisfaction.

Life Coaching for Great Friendships

at-desk-brightNeed an ally in this work? Changing our habits to choose or build on what’s best for us can be challenging. But I believe we can change our lives one day at a time. We’re not broken, and we don’t need fixing. We have everything within ourselves to create the life we’ve always dreamed of. With the right tools, a few powerful questions and the intention to create something great, we can get to where we want to be. We don’t even have to know what “our best life” looks like, just that we want to live it.

Contact me today for a complimentary, no-obligations life coaching consultation to explore the possibilities. Or use the Appointment Scheduler and pick a time that works for you. I coach 90% of my clients over the phone, and my DC-based Life Coaching clients have the option of meeting with me in person. I look forward to hearing from you.