I was out last week to a popular hang out spot with good friends, enjoying ourselves and just talking about everything in general. When we were about to leave, my friend ordered a particular type of delicacy for me to take home. I looked up at him and smiled. You know why? Because my good friend ordered that for me — he knows that I always enjoy an extra take home of that particular delicacy whenever we hang out. I happen to think that makes him an awesome friend and definitely a keeper. That small action is what inspires this post; I realized that there are certain habits that feed your friendships.
1. Go out of your way to make your friends feel special.
I know this is difficult when you’re juggling so many responsibilities in your life. You probably often feel like you can’t fit any more on your plate, emotionally or logistically! However, as crazy as it seems, that one moment when he ordered the take home for me made me feel special.
2. Mean it when you say that you forgive and forget.
There are people that verbalize that they forgive but don’t let truly go in their heart. They hold on to things in their close relationships and it eventually negatively impacts the relationship. It simmers beneath the surface and when the friendship hits rocky waters, the incident from many years ago comes spewing out of their mouth. Are you guilty of this? Please try to remember that forgiving someone truly means forgiving and moving on. Acknowledge your hurt or anger, work through the emotions and move on.
3. Listen to your friend and validate their feelings.
When your friend is sharing a problem with you, you most likely want them to feel better. This could lead to you trying to “fix” the problem for them. However, usually what they want and need is for you to listen and validate that you understand what they are going through. With our busy lives, it’s sometimes hard to truly listen to someone. To be an active listener requires you to focus all of your attention and energy on that one task; however, it is well worth it. A point to remember during this process is to leave judgment out of the equation. True friends don’t judge; they let their friends know that they support them. Your friend might just need to share the problem in order to come to hi/her own conclusions.
4. Be there for your friend in the good times and the bad.
Let’s be honest here. Sometimes, it’s easier for us to be there for our friends when they’re down than it is when everything is going stellar for them. You know why? It’s a little thing called jealousy. It grabs ahold of you and it’s hard to shake. At times it’s downright embarrassing to us, but at some point, it happens to everyone. Here’s a tip: acknowledge your feelings and work through them. It is normal to feel envy when your life is having a downturn and your friend’s life is soaring. Accept your feelings and move on. Eventually, the tables will be turned and you will appreciate the support.
I believe we all can agree that our friendships are very, very important to us. I encourage you to take an honest look at you and your friendships and make the changes needed to be an exceptional friend.
Have a good evening.