How to Have Consistency in a Friendship

Consistent friends keep in touch with each other on a regular basis.
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You and your best friend have been buddies since kindergarten. Now that you have started high school, however, keeping the friendship going seems to be more work. Keeping a friendship consistent requires an effort from both of you. Having a common past will help -- but it isn't enough when your paths start to diverge.

1 Common Bonds

Friendships that are the most consistent tend to be formed between people with common interests and values as well as shared experiences, wrote Dr. Alex Lickerman, assistant vice president for Student Health and Counseling Services at the University of Chicago, in the "Psychology Today" article, "What Makes a True Friend." If you already share a bond with a friend, such as growing up in the same neighborhood or coming from similar family backgrounds -- that helps. If, however, you find yourself at a loss to identify what unites you, consider taking up a hobby or sport together, or sharing an experience, such as volunteering at a soup kitchen.

2 Thoughtfulness

Friendships require work to be consistent. Somebody has to keep in touch, or else the two of you will gradually grow apart. Be the friend you would like to have, and send regular emails, text messages or pick up the telephone, writes psychotherapist Marie Hartwell-Walker, in the "Psych Central" article "The Care and Maintenance of Friendships." Do thoughtful things for your friend such as clipping out an article she might like or sending her a card for her birthday. Keep things consistent by being a regular presence in her life -- and hopefully she will reciprocate.

3 Regular Routines

Keeping to a regular routine can make it easier to have consistency in a friendship, according to the American Psychological Association article, "Friends Wanted." For example, if you and your best friend meet for coffee every Wednesday after class, or plan a monthly movie night at the local theater, it can be easier to keep in touch. Sticking to the same old spots can also mean that the two of your become familiar faces to others as well, and potentially open up your friendship to new acquaintances.

4 Minor Problems

Consistent friends know that it is important to take care of minor arguments before they become major battles, writes Hartwell-Walker. If your best friend borrowed a silk scarf and hasn't returned it despite numerous requests, sit down and have a chat about being reliable and responsive in the friendship. If the two of you disagree about what to do on the weekend, decide to compromise and alternate between who chooses activities. Open lines of communication help to keep things humming and avoid minor upsets turning into major issues.

Arlin Cuncic has been writing about mental health since 2007, specializing in social anxiety disorder and depression topics. She served as the managing editor of the "Journal of Attention Disorders" and has worked in a variety of research settings. Cuncic holds an M.A. in clinical psychology.