Everyone has a circle of friends. Some have circles of 20 people and some of 2. This circle consists of all the people that are close to our hearts and minds. We value them. We are grateful for them. But do we show them that? Do we prove to be as good of a friend as they do? Or do we keep our feelings to ourselves? Do we express these feelings only on their birthdays via a Facebook status? If you’re afraid that this might be you, then here are some ways you can get better at being a good friend:
- Be honest
Every relationship demands honesty. Honest compliments, honest advice, honest criticism, honest feelings.
Don’t shy away from telling your friend what looks amazing on them and what doesn’t. Don’t hesitate on telling them when they’re being unreasonable and dramatic. (This doesn’t mean you hurt them with your “honesty”. Be wise and know when and how to deliver your honest responses and opinions without being hurtful.)
- Keep your promises
If you promise to show up, show up. If you promise to keep a secret, keep the secret. Don’t break promises as this will in return ruin the trust in your relationship. Also, don’t break a promise and think they’ll never find out. They will, eventually and surely. So avoid creating a situation you don’t want to face later
- Listen & Communicate
When they want to talk to you, know that you were either the first person they wanted to share their thoughts with or the last person they could trust. Respect either of the facts and value it. Opening up to someone takes quite some courage and if they think you’re worth opening up to, be grateful about it and listen to them. Drop whatever you are doing and listen to what they have to say. It might not be interesting to you at all but it may mean the whole world to them. Communication works both ways. If you listen but don’t say anything, the bond will never be mutually made. It will always feel one sided. Don’t let that happen. Share your news and thoughts with them. This will make them feel that the connection is mutual and the trust will be genuine.
If you demand to be understood when you are moody or sick or simply unable to cooperate with them, understand that your friends feel the same sometimes. If they are unresponsive or their behavior has changed, try to understand their situation and mindset instead of taking anything personally. Also, understand that no matter how close they might be to you, they may have certain boundaries and topics that they feel uncomfortable talking about. Understanding develops when efforts are made from both sides of the relationship.
Never hesitate to help your friends or to go the extra mile for them. Feel good to go even a tad bit out of your comfort zone for them and make them realize their value in your life. If you help them solve the tiniest of a problem, the relationship you have them will flourish many folds.
- Pay attention
Pay close attention to your loved ones. Listen to their words, observe their actions and if you sense the tiniest change in them, ask them if they’re okay. It means the world to someone to know that someone pays attention to their tiniest details.
- Say goodbye to your ego
One thing is for sure. If you enter any relationship that is based on friendship, you have to let your ego go. It may not be easy at first but if you really make an effort, it’s worth it. You will realize that your friends and close relationships are far bigger than your ego. Say sorry, say thank you, ask them out, make up for your mistakes, text them first, call them first, end a fight, start a conversation. Keep your ego to the side and know that the person is far more important to you.
- Have their back
Don’t be a back stabber. It’s as simple as that. Don’t lie to their faces, don’t lie behind their backs. Don’t spill their secrets. Don’t judge them. Don’t use their weaknesses and vulnerabilities to disarm them. If you’re in a fight, it does not free you from the trust they put in you with their secrets and belongings. And certainly does not give you the right to make things up.
- Be patient: From being a good listener to skipping over my ego for relationships, some people, like myself, have truly a lot to learn. It all comes with time and experiences. But while they’re learning, show some patience and be a good human throughout their struggles.
Keep your promises and value their existence. Be happy for them, cry in their sorrow and wish them the best in everything. Good friendships are truly a blessing and they can last a lifetime. One should try not to mess them up. So, text your best friend right now and let them know how grateful you are for having them in your life.