What does it take to be a good friend? Let's look at a few friendship do's and don'ts that can help make any friendship better.
There will be drama in every friendship at some point. Arguments will arise and they will need to solved by discussion and mutual understanding.
Sometimes, you just want your friendship to be free of all that external drama (it can be quite energy-draining!), but the truth of the matter is that drama will arise, providing opportunities to prove that you're a caring friend. Patience will come into play if it's a very emotional moment for your friend, and you'll need to be there to give hugs and reassurance.
How supportive do you think your friends are of you?
A simple tip is to show real interest in your friend and in the effort they make.
You probably know exactly what it feels like to be reaching out for a goal, and perhaps losing motivation along the way or dealing with self-doubt. Life is a lot easier to get through when you have a friend that is supportive as you struggle to reach your goals.
Another friendship 'do' is to make a point of being dependable. This means being there for your friend, even when you aren't physically together.
Can your friend depend on you not to start gossiping about them in their absence? Loyalty is a valuable thing, and dependability literally glues friendships and makes them long-lasting.
Also, how often do you promise your friend something, but let them down?
We're not talking emergency cancellations, we're talking the situation where a person repeatedly leaves their friend disappointed because they don't thinking keeping promises is important. Those things count, especially if you're in the earlier stages of a friendship.
It's like - do you cancel plans with a friend just because you got a better invitation somewhere else? If you take the friendship seriously then dependability shouldn't be much of an issue.
It's important to appreciate your friend as their own person, and to appreciate all the qualities that make them unique. To be friends of course you need the same basic values in life, but there's always the danger of subconsciously trying to turn them into a copy of you.
You might end up criticising personality traits that aren't even negative, but are just different from you. At the end of the day, you want that person to be your friend - not your clone, and for true friendship to occur, you need to value and respect differences. Give them space to grow and develop as a person instead of trying to box them into certain personal expectations.
This is related to the whole idea of dependability. Being a good friend requires being self-less sometimes and willing to go the extra mile when your friend is need. You can either be the kind of friend that's just by the side when there's a crisis, or a friend that needs to be begged and dragged to show a little bit of support.
Sometimes you've just got to remember that being friends requires being there during the good times and the bad. Sure, you may know how to enjoy the good times, but don't disappear when crisis occurs. It's all too easy to expect only fun from a friendship - and give up when the friendship calls for deeper discussions and sensitivity.
But don't avoid difficult friendship conversations - see them as important and worthwhile. Make that effort to show cooperation, especially if your friend needs to disclose something that's hard to say.
Another friendship 'don't' is don't be a greedy friend. Be willing to expand your circle of friends and allow your friend to do the same. No one likes to be friends with someone who is controlling and demands exclusive attention.
Allowing yourselves to make new friends can help to make your friendship stronger, and it's definitely a sign of maturity. Besides, if you've got a real friendship, getting to know new people is not a threat. Be open to future friendship opportunities, and know that it doesn't take anything away from your current friendship.
The most beautiful friendships consist of people who can be away from each other for long periods of time, even years, and when they get reunited, nothing has changed. The friendship remains intact. And that takes reasonableness on the part of both people. Of course they've made new friendships along the way, but it's natural and they're OK to share their friends.
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