So often I hear people talk about how they want to have good friends but don't seem to consider how they could become a good friend. This article outlines ten things that you can do to become a better friend to others:
- LISTEN - Everyone needs an audience - some more than others. When you listen to another person, you are paying a compliment to them because it shows that you are interested in what they have to say and respect to the right they have to say it.
- MAINTAIN CONFIDENTIALITY - Friends do not share information that was told in confidence. Instead they hide the words in their heart.
- INVEST YOUR TIME - The greatest gift you can give to others is your time as it is limited. When you invest in others by helping them with their projects, talking about their concerns or enjoying activities together - you both win!
- ENCOURAGE - Most people hear more negatives in a day than positives. When you support someone with your words, you help to build their confidence, self-esteem and hope.
- LEARN ABOUT THEIR PREFERENCES - Do you know your friend's favourite colour, song or movie? If you were to plan a birthday party for that person would you know the best food to serve and who to include on the guest list?
- FORGIVE - Every relationship has times when things are not going the way you would like them to go. Are you able to talk with your friends in an honest and healthy manner to resolve problems and then forgive yourself and the friend for the situation?
- HELP - Sometimes friends need support in their family life, career or personal situation. Do you share ideas or know where that person can get the specific help that they need?
- ACCEPT - People need to have many interests and relationships. Are you able to accept your friend for the choices they make? Do you allow the other person to make choices that you might not have made or develop friendships with other people?
- APPRECIATE - Giving thanks and feeling gratitude helps both you and your friend to enjoy each other more. And when you show your appreciation of your friend in front of others, the whole room benefits.
- LEARN TO LAUGH - Good friends share humour with each other. I am always amazed to watch people talk about "crazy" thing that they did together and how they enjoyed it. In fact, telling the story usually brings even more laughter.
Friendship is about people who know, like and trust each other. If your friends were asked to grade you using the above list, what would they say? Perhaps there are things that you could do this week that would give you a higher grade and a stronger relationship with someone.