How to be a good friend
Friends are very important in our lives as they help relieve stress, boost our confidence, and help us get through tough times. They also make our lives easier. Friendship like any other relationship is a two-way street. You have to be a good friend and expect the same from your friend for it to work. How to be a good friend is not obvious for everyone.
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Here are a few tips on how to be a good friend:
When we were younger it was much easier to have a lot of friends because of how much free time we had. However, as you grow older time becomes evasive. You have more responsibilities and much less time. If you want to be a good friend however you have to create time. A good friendship is one where you create time for each other. It can just be a long phone call or brunch every other week depending on your schedule. Good friendships don’t develop overnight. You have to put in the effort.
Honesty is one of the most important traits of a good friend. No one wants to be friends with a liar. Being a good friend means telling the truth even when it hurts and when it’s hard. If you want a great friendship you have to be honest, this makes you more reliable. Make a point of being honest with each other, if you see your friend getting themselves in a messy situation, point it out.
Don’t be a people pleaser, most people can see right through that. It’s a turnoff when someone pretends to be someone they’re not. Be yourself, that’s as real as you can get. Your friend should accept you, flaws and all. If you’re not real around your friend then who can you be real with? You need to be yourself around your friends and if they don’t let you be your true self, maybe get a new set of friends.
Challenge Each Other
If you want to be a good friend, you will want to challenge each other. In your life goals, health and so much more. Good friends will want to grow together and this means challenging each other. They also help you become a better person. If they know you have anger issues, they can help you cope and deal with it.
Trust is very important in any relationship. It makes us feel safe enough to be vulnerable around our friends. If you want to be a good friend you have to be trustworthy. No one wants a friend who tattles on their secrets. Build trust by keeping your word and your promises.
If you want to be a good friend, there are certain boundaries you have to respect. Any healthy relationship needs boundaries. As you grow older your friends need to understand you can’t hang all the time. They need to respect your time and vice versa. There are multiple ways you can set healthy boundaries without offending your friend.
To be a good friend, you have to be non-judgemental. A nonjudgemental friend allows their friend to be as open as possible without instilling doubt. Only this will make your friend feel free and trust you to tell you anything. Be a non-judgemental friend by listening and seeing things from their point of view. Be as open-minded as possible. This shows you’re supportive and understanding.
Be Encouraging & Supportive
Good friends are supportive and encouraging of one another. They lift each other up and make each other feel good about themselves. You should be willing to pick up your friend when they’re feeling depressed and down. Always show up for your friend, this shows how supportive you are. Being supportive also means you need to be able to accept your friends’ decisions even if you disagree with their opinion. At times being supportive means just sitting there and listening to your friend.
Every relationship has a conflict at some point. Even friendships go through some rough patches. Be willing to work through conflict and tough times. Make an effort of working things out through tough times. When it comes to conflict resolution, you will want to get to the root of the problem to make sure it does not happen again. Your friendship might emerge even stronger after resolving the conflict.
If you have a friend, chances are you know them better than most people. Pay enough attention to read in between the lines of what your friend is saying. Show interest in your friends’ life by listening and being genuinely interested. This way you’ll be able to tell when your friend is lying to you i.e. when they say they’re fine you know they are not. Most of the time people just want someone who can listen to them.
You need to accept each other as you are. You are different people and that’s okay. Accept your friend for who they are. It’s okay to have different interests and hobbies. Good friends understand that sometimes you just need to do your own thing. The differences will make you stronger and help you challenge each other.
Being a good friend requires you to be loyal. It requires you to be there for your friend when they’re stressed, depressed, happy, and celebrating. It means being there with them, through the highs and the lows. Being loyal also means standing up for your friends when people are saying bad things behind their backs.
Good friendships are mutual, it’s not one-sided. You both have to put in the work. You both have to be good friends t each other otherwise it’s an unhealthy relationship. In a great friendship, you both make each other feel good without it looking like one party is putting in more effort than the other.
If you want to have a good friendship, make sure it’s low maintenance. You don’t want to be the needy one in the friendship. Always wanting attention and getting jealous when they spend time with other people. Accept that you are not the centre of their life. Life gets busy and that’s okay. Normalize low-maintenance friendships. You dn’t have to talk everyday to stay good friends.
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