As life gets ever busier, it's easy to neglect our best friends, and then feel bad about it, while we allow other friends to dominate our time and sap our energy.
But we can learn to balance our friendships, says life coach Michael Heppell, author of How To Have A Brilliant Life (Pearson Life, £9.99).
1. Identify the 'sappers'. They're the friends who take more than they give, and leave you feeling worse, not better, about yourself. Make an effort to spend 50 per cent less time with them.
2. Upgrade the 'growers'. Go out of your way to engage with the friends who make you feel great. Remember, you become like the people you spend most of your time with.
3. Act, don't talk. Every time you say 'we must catch up' put a date in the diary there and then - even if it's a month or two away - otherwise don't say it.
4. Go back to basics. If you can't spare an entire evening at the theatre, for example, find 45 minutes for a coffee or a drink, rather than reschedule.
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