We always talk about the kinds of friends that we want. We want friends who will listen and go on adventures with us. We want someone who will have sleepovers with us every weekend and let us become part of their family. And that's important, don't get me wrong. It's nice to know what kind of friend you want and what you want them to do with you.
But while you're thinking of what you want out of a friendship with someone, you should also think about what you can give to the friendship.
When you want someone who listens, make sure you are listening to those around you. And don't just make sure you're listening, but make sure you go a step further and make them feel appreciated in the conversation.
When you want someone who will let their walls down and open up to you, be open to them. Let your walls down and show them you trust them by letting them into your past. Trust goes both ways. You sometimes have to take that first step to break down the walls.
If you want someone who is going to go the extra mile and be there whenever possible, make yourself available to them, even at times when it might not be convenient for you. Go the extra mile for them. Get them a glass of water when you get one for yourself. Pick up their favorite snack from the store if you are going to be hanging out later.
Friendship is not just about what you can get from the relationship, but also what you can give. It's about how you can make someone else's life just a little bit better, a little bit easier, through the kind of friend you're being.
When you think of the kind of friend you want in your life, also think about the kind of friend you're being. How are you greatly affecting someone's life? How can you make them smile? Be the friend that you want. More than that, be the friend they need — even if that's not the kind of friend you want to be at the moment.