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5 Stages Every Pair Of Best Friends Endures

5 Stages Every Pair Of Best Friends Endures

Where would we be without friendship? Being socially and emotionally connected to other people is part of what gives us purpose in life. The development of a very close friendship, one where we become best friends, is a process. One in which both parties experience a journey of discovery. While the events that unfold over this period will be different for each friendship the steps we go through are the same.

Finding a new bestie is an exciting experience, one where we learn as much about ourselves as we do our new friend. To preserve ourselves, we remember previous friendships and shape our behavior to avoid mistakes we’ve made before.

Some of us are conservative because we’ve been let down in the past but for a true friendship to thrive we must let go at some point and just be ourselves. These are the steps we take in building a beautiful best friendship

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1. “Getting To Know You” Stage

When potential best friends first meet there is no rule book to say that they will immediately hit it off. In fact, I know best friends who were bitter rivals before they ever became comrades. Initially we need to take the time to get to know each other. Then, there is a chance those misguided first impressions will be replaced with a more realistic opinion.

At this point in the friendship we aren’t so comfortable with each other that we just turn up at each other’s homes without warning – we text or call in advance – and we quite possibly bring a little gift with us . But we are learning more about each other and discovering that we actually have quite a lot in common. We initiate outings or friendship dates and talk for hours about things like our families, work, your neighbor arguing at three in the morning – everyday stuff.

2. “Building Trust” Stage

This stage is crucial if this person is to ever become your best friend. This is the time during which we open up about the things in our lives which are most personal to us. The high school secrets we prefer to forget, the affair we had last year, the reason why we got kicked out of college. Everyone’s got their secrets and to make it to the best friend category you will find yourself wanting share, share, share. (On the other hand, you also should be listening).

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Of course, as we pour our hearts out, we open up old wounds leaving ourselves at the mercy of our new best friend to console us. If we do a good job of consoling each other during this outpouring, we are on the way to sealing the deal on our friendship. Now, we have qualified as best buddy ever.

3. “The Adventure” Stage

Now that we are super close, it’s okay to turn up unannounced. Hell, we practically live together at this stage.

This is a time for fun and adventure. Best friends going through the adventure stage like to go out together all the time – often to the detriment of their romantic relationships. They go to dinner, the park, each other’s families, holidaying in Europe, lets not forget shopping – you name it, they’ve been there and they have the photos to prove it.

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There is a great bond between the best friends now as they know each other very well and they’re making memories together everyday. They have learned to trust each other. They feel a sense of loyalty for each other and they know they have a shoulder to cry on when they need one. These are the qualities of a close friendship – one that can last the distance… or does it?

4. “The Breakdown” Stage

It has to happen eventually- someone slips up and lets the cat out of the bag on a secret – or maybe someone leaves the other in a club to find their own way home. Either way, every friendship is tested eventually when someone messes up and does something to hurt the feelings of another.

We are all human after all and sometimes we make mistakes, but when you have been let down by someone you thought you could trust, it can take some time to forgive.

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This is where the friendship is truly tested – where both parties, given the time to reflect must decide whether or not they value the other person enough to try again. No doubt the offender will feel terrible and will be trying desperately to get through to the injured party. Copious amounts of texting and calling will take place until eventually the victim will soften and open discussions.

5. “The Make-Up” Stage

Before making up there must first be a re-hashing of events. This could get messy for the less mature amongst us, in some cases you may need to expect tears and tantrums. But for the more mature duo ,this will involve some over and back of “I felt hurt when you laughed at my chubby ankles, I told you I didn’t like my ankles” followed by “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings, you can laugh at my big toes if you want”.

Good communication is key here, talking and listening to each other – that way we reach a conclusion fast and can get back to being best friends again just like before. On making up, the friendship is even closer than before. We come away with a more realistic perspective on the relationship. Things may cool down a little before balance is restored finally.

Steps 4 and 5 may be repeated again throughout the lifetime of any friendship. Friendships are tested over and over because without intending to we are all capable of hurting each other. Only true best friends manage to go the distance despite this.

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

1. Be Authentic

To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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2. Listen

Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Become an Expert

Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

4. Lead with Story

From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

5. Lead by Example

It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

6. Catch People Doing Good

A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

7. Be Effusive with Praise

It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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10. Understand Your Lane

If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

Final Thoughts

Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

More Tips About Making Influence

Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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