We already know the kind of friend we love to have, but we should also focus on being that friend.
So what makes a good friend? Honesty, trust, loyalty, kindness. Those are just a few. Are we cultivating these in ourselves?
Ok, so you don’t have to tell your friend/s everything, obviously. But are you being honest? Do you find yourself skating around the truth?
This is one of the worst killers of friendships, if you’re not going to be honest with your friend, it’s not going to last long.
Even when the truth makes you look bad, hey, you’re human! So is your friend! We all seem to tell so many little white lies, we justify it by telling ourselves ‘it’s not hurting anything, it’s just to keep life comfortable’ but we really should be trying to be as honest as possible.
I personally would rather hear the truth, even if I don’t like it, than to find out I was lied to just to spare my feelings. And if it’s because they feel like they’ll be judged for the truth, I touch on that later in the article.
No, you don’t have to brutal about it, just take the sincere approach, they’ll know you’re truly looking out for the best for them. This is one of the hardest things to do, but it will definitely make you a better friend.
You trust your friend with your life, are you doing your part to make sure they feel the same? Do you feel you’re a trustworthy person? To be a better friend, take every chance to build that ironclad trust that is rare.
When you make a promise, make sure you fulfill it, or if not, then make sure there is a very legimately good reason why you can’t.
Stick to your word. Even when it’s hard.
Loyalty is one of the hardest things to come by it seems. Many people start catering to the whole ‘only watch out for myself’ attitude. If you want to be a better friend, this is the exact opposite way to go about it.
So, if they screw up, forgive them! They are imperfect, just as you are. So what it they make a different kind of mistake than you, they deserve forgiveness, just as you would want them to do for you.
Don’t throw the judgment card. ‘But what if their mistake is worse than anything I’ve done?’ So what. Is that mistake worth the loss of a friendship? Yes, some are much worse than others. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work it out. There are mistakes that seem pretty unforgivable, I’ll talk about that in a different post.
And, if they’re in trouble with someone else, stick by their side. That’s one of the best feelings you can give someone, is knowing that no matter what, they have at least one person to count on.
This is one of the most underrated traits in a person. Kindness is so huge and should be one of the most common things in the world, yet how many times do you see an act of kindness getting major applause because ‘Oh my goodness! This person was being kind! Awesome!
If you want to be a better friend, do as many acts of kindness for them as you can. Believe me, you’d be surprised how many opportunities there are, and the appreciation will be huge.
And, not that this should be an influencing factor, but the more kindness you give, the more you’re likely to receive.
An ecouraging smile, buying them a favorite treat just for the heck of it, cooking a meal. If you have the type of close friendship that I’m priveleged to have with my best friend, pick a random time to go clean the main areas of their house/apartment/whatever. This is a bit of a bigger kindness, but the reward of their gratitude will make you feel amazing and more importantly, bring them a big chunk of relief.
So, all in all, if you truly want to be a better friend, I really feel, through my own experience, the best ways to go about it is to focus on honesty, trust, loyalty and kindness. They will take your friendship deep and far. If you’re so lucky, these will cultivate life-long friendships, one the greatest blessings we can ever have in this journey we all call life.