Friday, 13 February 2015

No Man Is A Failure That Has Friends

Relationships can be a tricky business. In our busy world, we can often neglect those that are nearest and dearest to us.

As Valentines day approaches I feel it is a time to reflect on our other relationships in life as well as those with our other halves. 

Time to reflect on our love and relationships with family and friends, as well as those people whom we come into contact with more on a less regular basis but who have a huge impact on our lives. Time perhaps to make new friendships too.


Here are some tips on building and strengthening current relationships and making new bonds.

Focus On Building A Connection




Credit lightwavemedia Shutterstock

Making an emotional connection and sharing experiences in common helps to make and build bonds. This can also be a way of making new friends too.

If you haven't seen your parents for a while why don't you make plans to meet them for dinner, or make time to catch up with your friends for that coffee in your local cafe? The teenage years can be tricky, but it's worth finding interests in common with your teenage kids. What about making the time to go bowling or to the cinema with them, or have a movie night at home where they choose the films and snacks?

If you are looking to take up a new hobby or interest, consider adult education classes, or online groups with the same interest to make new friendships. As James Stewart says in the film "It's A Wonderful Life", remember no man is a failure that has friends.

Be Yourself

It's fine not to like everyone all the time but if you are yourself then your friends and loved ones will love you for who you are and they should love you unconditionally if they are a true friend. Don't put on a front and try to be someone else, that's not being true to yourself. 

Remember we are all the same but very different too. Celebrate those differences by showing an interest in what they do that is different to you. If they go to dance classes, ask them about it or even join them. If they take up a new sport go and watch them play. 

Don't Judge Others
This can be a difficult one but don't be the person who criticises everything as this can be so destructive. Remember we are all human and we all have flaws. 

Judging others can bring negativity into this world. It is so much nicer to be accepting of people. Nobody is perfect. As my husband's grandmother used to say, " Think nice thoughts !".

Be Nice

Research has shown that being nice can make you more successful at work.  I would also argue that being nice makes you more successful at home too in your personal relationships. 

Doing something nice for someone, whether that is making them a cup of tea, buying them an unexpected gift or giving them a compliment makes them feel good and in turn you feel good too. Everyone is happier all round. 

Pay It Forward



Credit Lucky Business Shutterstock

When you are in a coffee shop, pay an extra couple of pounds for the next person in the queue to have a free drink on you. Buy a Big Issue and tell the vendor to keep the change. 

Treat your partner when it's unexpected, such as bringing them breakfast in bed or buying your child a little treat now and again. They will love you for it. Be nice to people and they will be nice to you.

Tell me, do you have any tips to strengthen friendships and build family bonds? Have you ever "paid it forward"?


* post in collaboration with The Circle, all words are my own. 
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38 comments

  1. Friends are so important - they improve life so much. But I love your tips here that go beyond the friends that you actually already have, and help you build other bonds too (like the coffee shop one).

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    1. They do improve our lives, and I think us humans are social creatures too who enjoy interacting and spending time with others.

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  2. Friends are so important and that is my all time favourite film! It's important to value your friendships and take the time to work on them :)

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  3. Friends are the family that you chose to have in your life, they are so important

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    1. So very true and completely agree.

      Some friendships are worth putting extra work into as with family

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    2. You can't choose your family but you can choose your friends.

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  4. What Boo and Tiger said , it has taken me a long time to find my true friends

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  5. Wise words, I try to think happy thoughts and I hope I'm nice :) Never really thought of it as paying it forward but I definitely do that.. :)

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  6. My Hubby is always reminding me about thinking happy thoughts. It's important to let friends and families know that you really appreciate them. We often have get togethers at our place to rebuild these conections. I like the idea of paying it forward. Will try it next time.

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  7. I am glad you expounded the virtues of being nice, as that's what I always try to do and I sometimes wonder if I should be a bit tougher, but I think I'll just carry on being me!

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    1. Carry on being yourself Lucy! I think it is important to be nice. That doesn't mean that you should let people walk over you though :)

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  8. I love this post, it's just the little things can can put. A smile on your face isn't it.

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  9. Friends and family is so important. In hardship they are your support, the one to get you through those times and it is so true that it is at those times you will find out who really matters.

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    1. They can be a fantastic source of comfort and support in tough times.

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  10. We work hard in our house to be a good family. My hubby is my BF and I hope it stays that way

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  11. It is important to focus on your relationships with family and friends, I totally agree. I do find it trickier with long distance friends though. I love buying little treats for my children. Always brightens up our days, especially if it is something we can do together.

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  12. Love doing "pay it forwards" things. Remember the lego advent calendar thing? ;)

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  13. I think it is so important just to be nice to people.

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  14. when we moved away we simply lost all our close friends and so family is our only friendship x

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  15. You have some lovely advice here. I like the coffee shop one - on a trip to Naples I found that they have an old tradition there of leaving money at a bar to pay for a coffee for next time someone comes in with no money.

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    1. That is a lovely tradition. I guess this relies on trust as well.

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  16. some really fantastic ideas here, i am going to try making more of an effort everyday :-)

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  17. O totally love this post. I try and do something nice in a pay it forward way a few times a week and like my girls to be part of at least one of them. They remember the nice things we did and bring them up in conversation.

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    1. I love the fact that you involve your children as well Anthea.

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  18. love this post, we moved eleven years ago and it was hard making new friends as an adult at first, but now the ones i have mean the world

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  19. Lovely post. I agree with the be nice bit. It can have such a positive effect x

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  20. Lovely post with some very very wise words x

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  21. Lovely tips, especially the one about nice thoughts x

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  22. Friends a re so important. You can't choose your family and that! xx

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  23. This is such a thought provoking post. My Mum's in Ireland and we haven't seen each other since May 2013. Coming up 2 years. If Aaron wasn't sitting on my knee this post would have me heading for the airport RIGHT NOW *sniffs* x

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    1. Ireland isn't far away, make time and go see her x

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  24. I love the ideas here Friends are so important - I couldn't be without mine!

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  25. I pay it forward all the time - if I have the money to spare I will spend it and treat others anf if we are having difficultis they often do the same

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    1. You sound like a lovely person to be around Kara.

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  26. friends are SO important, I don't know how I'd cope without mine! x

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