Do you ever find yourself wishing you were a better friend? Sometimes, it feels like it would require an additional 24 hours to do so and let’s face it, being a good friend takes a lot of effort. So, in a effort to help you (and me) be a better friend, I’ve gathered five simple (and totally achievable) rules to live by when attempting to be a good friend. Literally anyone can handle these.
Let 2016 be the year that you start being the friend you would like to have.
5 Ways to be a Better Friend:
1. If they’re on your mind, let them know.
An important part of being a good friend is being in touch. If someone runs across your mind, get out your phone and text or call that person. Even if it is random or you haven’t spoken to the person in a decade, make it a point to send them a quick text just to say hello and see how things are going.
This doesn’t have to be any sort of extravagant novel, just a simple, “how are things in your neck of the woods?” You can also send a funny picture, article, or recipe you stumbled upon. Just a little something to let your people know you are thinking about them.
Also, if you are in the car, try calling a friend instead of listening to the radio. Think of how many people you could call just to say hello.
2. Apologize when necessary.
This one is tough but so good to live by.
Nobody is perfect. If you sense that you’ve hurt someone’s feelings, overreacted, or simply not been supportive, let the person know that you recognize what you did was a lousy friend move and that you’re sorry. It’s easy to try to brush things like this under the rug and make up for it in other ways, but confronting the issue and taking responsibility is the best way to keep friendships healthy.
3. Be honest.
Just like apologizing, being honest is difficult. This isn’t so much about telling your friend when her dress is unflattering, but rather about letting her know when she’s hurt your feelings.
I know, cringe city. But a good personal challenge is to talk to the friend who hurt you before you talk to your other friends about it. Gossiping about your friends behind their backs really doesn’t accomplish anything. Be kind, be mature, and be honest.
4. Be available.
It’s not always realistic to drop everything and be at your friend’s beck and call. However, it is important to let your friends know that you are there to be supportive.
If a friend calls needing to talk and you’re busy, make it a point to call her back when you can listen to every word. If you already have plans when you’re invited out, make it a point to reschedule a time to get together. Even if your friends like doing things that are not up your alley, do your best to meet them right where they are and be the friend you would like to have.
Maybe you aren’t good at keeping up with people. Pull out a calendar and write down one person on each day of the month that you want to either reach out to or spend time with. You aren’t being formulaic, you’re just prioritizing so that you actually will get coffee with that acquaintance you see every week at church. A certain level of structure and strategy goes a long way.
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