Happy National Friend Day! In honor of that, I bring you this post. 🙂
Friends are an important part of our everyday lives and often times something we cannot live without, but with differences in personalities, every friendship (girl or guy) can have some rocky points in it. Taking the time to learn how to be a better friend is not only important for yourself, but also for your friend as well.
Here’s 7 Tips on How to Be a Better Friend
Learning to be a good listener
This sounds like it’s pretty simple, but there is a little more to it than just listening to words come out of your friend’s mouth. Take the time to understand what they are saying and think about why they are saying it. Are they asking for advice or are they just trying to talk themselves through a situation? Being a good friend means you need to listen to them and genuinely care about what they are talking about even if it’s not something that really interests YOU.
One of the ways I trained myself to do this, was to start writing down the things they seemed so passionate about that I just didn’t care too much about. I put a date on myself of when to follow up with them on that subject to see how they solved the problem or whatever became of it. Over time, it’s just an automatic thing for me now. I care about the PERSON, so if something is important to them, it is important to me.
Be supportive during the good times and the bad
When something good happens to them, be excited with them. Let them know that you are honestly happy about what is going on in their life! Jealousy has no room in a friendship and if you feel the jealousy bug jumping up to bite, remember that this is your friend you are talking about and be happy for THEM. Likewise, every once in a while your friend will go through a difficult time. Even though going through a difficult time is not as fun as the good times, this is when your friend actually needs you the most! Be there for them, give them a shoulder to cry on when needed and hand them a tissue. The bad time will eventually pass and your friend will remember who stuck with them through it all!!
Be honest with your friends
A friendship is a bond that will last a lifetime and there is no place for lies in a lifelong friendship. If you and your friend disagree on something, it is okay. You are different people after all, with different feelings, upbringings, and life experiences. As long as you are open and honest with each other, you can work it out.
One of the rules I tell my friends upfront is to always tell me if there’s a problem. Some people don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I’d rather be hurt momentarily, than have a misunderstanding or not know I did something wrong and lose a friend. That HAS happened a few times, and it’s always very sad. Had they have been honest with me, I could have made it right. I am by no means perfect, but I will walk through fire for a friend.
Always take the time to stay in touch with your friends
Life can become hectic with work, your marriage, your children, and all of life’s responsibilities. Take a little minute out of your day to stay in touch over text or online social media with your friends, just make sure that you make a conscious effort to stay in touch on a more personal level. Social media is great, but who wouldn’t love watching a great movie with a friend or enjoying a nice phone conversation. You could really shock your friend and send a card using snail mail to let them know you are thinking of them!!
Take the time to make them feel special
This does not have to have a huge price tag attached to it; as a matter of fact it doesn’t have to cost a dime. If they have been your friend for a while, you will know their favorite color, song, TV show, or food. As your travel through life, take the time to look around you. Maybe you will see a rock that is their favorite color…..or a flower that you know they like so well. Take it home and wrap it up and give it to them and let them know you were thinking about them when you found it and just wanted them to know that you love and care about them a lot.
Another thing that I really feel is important, but so many people get weirded out by it, is to tell them you love them. Say the words. I know it’s hard the first time, so what I do is perhaps end an email with “Love you in Christ” or something of that nature. Get them used to hearing the words first. Then, you can say something like Love you and your family. Then, you can say Love ya or something. Just don’t make it too formal. A lot of people, I’ve found, don’t know how to react to being showed love like that. Our society is so selfish really, but if I feel it, I’m gonna say it. I love you. I love all you readers. You’re all my friends. There, now you won’t be weirded out when your friends say it to you! A complete stranger just did. LOL.
Understand that nobody is perfect
and be able to deal with that. Knowing you’re not perfect and neither is your friend is a must in any relationship. We all make mistakes in life and being able to forgive a friend for making a mistake will make for a bond that will last forever. Again, in a friendship, if I’ve done something wrong, I wanna know! It is how we learn and grow. Take the time to work out any misunderstandings and just keep in mind that nobody is perfect.
Put them first
You can’t really be a good friend if you are always self-involved and self-focused. I have a friend that drives me nuts. She is always talking about herself and it’s never about me. She never asks how I’m doing. Anytime I try to even talk about me, she somehow flips it to her, which I’m convinced is a skill. No one likes to be around people like that. Sometimes we can get so focused on everything that is going on in our lives, that we forget about the other person. Even if it’s an after-thought, ask how their day is. Ask them how THEY are doing. Really invest into learning more about them.
What ideas do you have to be a better friend? How do you show your friends you care? Have you read any books on the topic? Please take the time to share them with us so we can all learn from it!