What About Your Friends?
Being a good friend is a skill we must learn and improve upon.
1. You must like yourself
Before we can have a good relationship with our friends we must have a good relationshp with ourselves. When we genuinely like ourselves, we become more attractive to other people. We can be more authentic, which allows us to have more to offer others because we are not constantly focused on our own image and reputation.
2. Choose carefully
Being a true friend takes time and energy. We must choose carefully those of who we wish to create a closer bond with. I am very selective about who I consider a friend, and that is because if I am your friend I am your friend for life. I have friends I have known for many years, some I met in my teen years and others in my adult life, and although we may not see each other regularly when we do get together we just pick up where we left off. That is true friendship. Not all of your acquaintances will make the title of friend, which is okay. Because having a true connection should be far more important than having a large guest list.
3. Make the time
I consider myself to be a very good friend, but when it comes to making time for folks I can truly use some improvement in this area. I can get so wrapped up into whatever I may have going on in my life that sometimes I put off spending time with my friends. Our friends are important in many ways–so much so that these relationships often take on a life of their own. You owe it to yourself (and to your friends) to make these relationships a priority. let this be the year we start carving out some quality time for one another.
4. Do unto others
We must treat our friends as we wish to be treated. Another way to put it: “If you want to have a friend, then be a friend.” You must be more focused on being interested rather than being interesting. You must be excited for them rather than envious of them and you must never gossip or be critical toward your friends.
5. It’s the little things that counts
Don’t make everything all about you. Make your friends feel significant and remember when they were there for you. Notice any changes they may have made to their appearance. Ask them how they’re doing. Ask how their family’s doing. Send a card, or an email when you know they may need it most.
6. Be a good listener
Take time to really listen. I had a friend who would always over talk me. She would talk and talk and talk and never let you get a word in. It was so annoying! She would ask me a question, yet never allow me to respond. When we do not listen miscommunication can take place. We can both walk away thinking the other understood when in reality they didn’t. To be a good listener and to be sure you are understanding the other person I suggest repeating what was said to be sure you fully understood and ask questions to understand their point of view. Also before giving advice ask permission because it could backfire when all your friend wanted was to vent.
We all need someone in our corner. If your friend isn’t there to defend her/himself against gossip or criticism, speak up, and be confident in knowing she/he would do the same for you.