How To Be The Ultimate Friend
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How To Be The Ultimate Friend

Friendships can be rocky; make sure you are the great friend.

How To Be The Ultimate Friend
Robin Welle

As I've grown up, I have kept mainly one very close friend. I say two now because I've known them the longest and they have been with me through my toughest moments. The usual story goes: you have a lot of friends in middle school and they dwindle through drama and differing classes through high school. College is when it hits you that you either have two-three close friends or you have none-one. If you have more, that's cool too.

To be a great friend (in my opinion) is to just relax.

I say that and understand it but typing it out doesn't really make sense. The reason I've kept a literal handful of really good friends in my life is because they're chill, they're very relaxed, you know. Like they don't stir up drama when they're upset about something and they don't make a big deal out of every problem they have.

We understand we are our own people, we have our own life to worry about and yes we care about what goes on in the other person's life, but we know that square one starts with us first. We are all friends together, but separately we have other friends, other lives. I know that I don't have to talk to Sydney every single day for each of us to know we're still best friends.

Don't be the drama queen.

No one wants a friend who talks mainly about their boy problems and just bitches about other bitches. We get it, you don't like them. It's one thing to complain about a class or a situation that happened at your job, it's another to just complain about people in general.

You can change the class or job situation, you can't change the way someone dresses or how they fix their hair because you don't like it. Don't be the boyfriend stealer or the home wrecker. You should uplift your friends, making sure they're happy in a relationship and maybe recognizing when its turned into a bad relationship.

Ask the important questions.

Some examples would be: "How was your day?" and genuinely asking, not just a lazy way to start a conversation. "Have you eaten?" A great way to have someone to go eat with you if you both haven't. "Put your seatbelt on" when riding together and taking their phone out of their hands when they're driving... actually don't do that. Some people are real sticklers about their phone (a.k.a. me).

"How are your classes going?" If they're in school, showing interest in other friends goals improves your own. Some more in depth might be: "Has anything brought you down, or made you feel lesser than yourself?" Because friendships should only be about lifting each other up, conquering goals and having people there to watch you accomplish these things.

Say things with incredible meaning or not at all.

When I have one of my friends tell me, "I'm so proud of you!" it means the world to me because I know they're watching my journey and struggling with me. You do the same thing! "Look what you have accomplished!" Sometimes people can't see everything they've done in progress to their goals. When someone says it out loud, especially listing them, it makes that person feel so good about themselves and that's the overall accomplishment honestly. When I say, 'with meaning' I am also referring to apologies. If you say I'm sorry without fully meaning it, what's the point?

Be there when they need you.

If ANY of my friends texts or calls me frantically, I will drop whatever I am doing and will be there for them as best I can. As I was in that situation and know exactly how they feel. Sometimes, it just takes the presence of another person to make someone feel better. When you make your best friend laugh when she's in tears, you'll see how deep a trusting friendship can go. Having someone to count on and for them to be steady and attentive to you is the best part of a friendship.

Always be the shoulder for them to cry on, even if they're crying over the ex you told them not to go back to — be there for them through it all (don't say I told you so). Genuinely caring for your close friends will create a strong trust and that grows an internal meaning that only you two will treasure and share.

Don't judge your friends choices.

You may think you know what's best for them, and expressing your opinion is good, but also seeing things from their point of view may change your mind. You don't know everything that's happening in their life. Even if you hang out daily, talk, call, whatever all the time, you can't read their mind or thoughts.

They could be going through something mentally, but physically they're fine and dandy, you just don't know so you have to be kind and nice all the time and ask the important questions. Don't assume something and then your assumption be so off the wall if you just would've asked everything would've been fine.

Don't go tellin' everybody and their momma about your life story.

First off, no one cares. Like when I meet someone for the first time and they say "tell me your life story!" I'd say, no. That may be just me, because I don't like having everybody know everything about me, it makes me uncomfortable, but when people know a lot about someone, they start to make assumptions. That goes back to drama and telling secrets that maybe someone didn't know was a secret; and now its out and you're the bad friend.

For example, sororities have problems because every girl supposedly knows everything about their sister, well that means when Sally's boyfriend sleeps with another sister, the entire chapter knows. I don't know about you, but I would go insane if I knew people were talking about my personal life so much that they knew something about me before I even knew it.

Overall, just be nice.

Kindness goes farther than you'll ever know and to be a great friend you really have to trust your gut and learn ways to tell a good genuine friend from someone who would eventually stab you in the back. It's taken me roughly 15 years to weed them out and I know I have a lot more to go through as I grow and get older, but for now, the friendships I have at this moment are so strong we cant be shaken.

I make sure to let them know I care about them, their goals and hope they realize I am here for them for whenever they need me.

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