This article is for the people who keep struggling to maintain long term friendships. The girl with no girlfriends to conquer the club. The guy who randomly realized you only have a best man and no groomsmen for your pending wedding ceremony. Most likely, you weren't a good friend. You may have missed the lessons as a child and of the universe to guide you on how to be a good friend. Well no worries, there is always time to adjust and grow because that is what life is all about. Here are 10 tips to being a good friend.
Tip No.1: Listen....
Honestly, no wants a one sided friendship and that's exactly what not listening feels like. If I have to trying get a word in between your long stories that are only triggered by the first sentence of my own story its pretty safe to say you aren't a good friend. Friends are generally an outlet to express how your feeling on a situation and help keep you grounded as you work through something. Listening is a major key. It's acceptable to take notes until the end before commenting or asking questions but remember don't make this always about you having the last word.
Tip No.2: Advise but don't judge.
Nothing worse than a friend who judges everything you do. When a friend comes to you with their problems it's because they trust and value your opinion. They mostly want you to respect their sensitive matter and advise them on ways they could overcome their issues. They don't want you to judge them for getting into their problem, or tell them how wrong they are. If they are seeking help, they already know what they did wrong and just need help on a solution. Don't make them feel any worse, or maybe next time they won't come to you at all.
Tip No.3: Show up and Support
Personally, the always busy friend is the worst. The one who never can make it to anything you do or want to do but magically has time for everything else. Too busy to come to your birthday dinner but free enough to go to happy hour with other people, or be on Facebook. It's important to your friends that you show up. So maybe you can't make every single thing they do but at least make a conscious effort. Give them a text or a call with well wishes for the event and/or encouragement. Maybe find out the next few things they plan to do and make time. We always find time for the things we care about, make sure your friends are one of them.
Tip No.4: Keep it real.
Do not lie. It has no place in relationships and definitely not your friendships. Lying only leads to more lies and more problems. Just keep it real with your friends. They will appreciate that honesty more than you know and learn to trust you.
Tip No.5: Have Fun Together.
Duh. If you can't go out or Netflix and chill with a friend, then are you even friends? Maybe just calm associates, but that's not what we are looking for here. Friends should do fun things together! They should explore, travel, and create together. It's an amazing way to create memories for a lifetime.
Tip No.6: Good Communication is Key.
My biggest pet peeve is a poor communicator. I'm willing to bet that most people will agree. You don't need to talk every minute of every day but don't leave me on read. If a friend is taking the time out to reach out, the common courtesy is to respond even if it's just to say "hey, I'm a little busy, can we talk later?"
There is nothing worse then writing or calling a friend and being ghosted.
Tip No.7: Be Thoughtful.
Friendship does not have to be some grand gesture. It's the miniature moments of thoughtfulness that matter too. A random call or text, a card for their birthday, a friendship appreciation post or even an invite out. The small things matter to your friends.
Tip No.8: Loyalty, Loyalty, Loyalty.
This does not mean be blindly loyal to people. I don't expect someone to follow my every move and wim. However, friendship does come with a sense of loyalty to each other, that says to the world "I have your back!". Loyalty measures different for every person and their relationships but this can be clearly met with some clear conversation and expectations. If you feel like a friend isn't being loyal to you, don't be afraid to speak on it and check in with them. It's possible they didn't even know they did something to upset you or maybe they don't see their actions the way you do. But, DO be ready to compromise.
Tip No.9: Check in on them.
Since we aren't talking about best friends, its safe to say your hangouts, calls, and texts will be a little more spread out. But DO check in on them every once in a blue to make sure they are doing okay! Remind them, they still have you as a friend to speak with.
Tip No.10: Motivate
Good Friendships, always have a level of motivation. Whether it be to encourage you to apply to a new job or to take that trip you've been planning for a while, motivation is a beautiful aspect to any friendship. It helps keep you both pushing forward and toward some goal. The best company is always a positive one, and there is nothing more positive then motivated and ambitious friends. Level Up.