My step-dad, Mahlon, stared at the bright pink flower on the table as he told me a story about his 45-year friendship, with Swed.
Mahlon met Swed and his wife Lilly when he was working at Standard Oil (now Chevron), in his early twenties. Together, they worked on cars, washed windows, and learned all about managing a gas station.
Swed ended up leaving the company because he wanted to pursue his dream of opening a plumbing and sheeting business. For a while Swed had a business partner, but his partner cooked the books and ran off with a lot of the company's money.
To keep the small the company from going under, Swed asked Mahlon for a small business loan. The small loan saved Swed's business and enabled him to pursue his dream. Mahlon told told me, "I loaned Swed money because he's my friend and I knew that he would pay me back. More importantly, I can call him if I need anything. I can count on him. 45 years later, we're still friends."
When it comes to cultivating strong friendships, Mahlon taught me five simple lessons. I think of these lessons as my relationship mantras. They include:
1. Talk less, listen more.
2. Be honest.
3. Be generous.
4. Always practice kindness.
5. When friends need help, take action.
Now it's your turn. How do you sustain long-lasting friendships and what are your relationship mantras?