Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How to Be a Good Friend

               Photo Credit


Friendship matters. When we have a meaningful connection with someone we feel seen, understood, appreciated, and supported. This experience gives us hope and inspires us toward harmonious exchanges with other people. 

Friendships uplift our spirits, motivate our actions, stimulates our thinking, and champions within us a sense of togetherness: 

"We're in this together!"

Not all friendships are all-encompassing. Some people come together to explore concepts with others who share a passion for a specific subject. Some people come together simply because they live next door to one another or because they have other associations in common that bring them together. 

However the initial link of commonality is established, the first step in being a good friend is: 
  1. Respect your new friend's interests. 
    • If you come across an article or object that relates to one of their interests, tell them about it. As the friendship progresses, you might naturally feel compelled to buy them something that you think represents their interests. The point here is to express your appreciation for your friendship by letting your new friend know that their interests matter to you (whether or not you understand or share them). 
  2. Respecting others includes respecting ourselves. Establish the nature of your relationship. 
    • Let the other person know where you stand, how much time you have to dedicate to the friendship, what's important to you, and how you like to be treated. Make sure you know their thoughts on each of these items, too. 
  3. Have fun! 
    • This is the exciting part of the friendship: the adventure! 
  4. Review steps 1 & 2 from time to time as new (shared or independent) experiences shape both the friendship and the persons in it.

As much as we want to be a good friend to others, we also want a good friend in return. If the person you're trying to be friends with does not respect the basic "friendship niceties" above, you might want to reconsider whether or not you really want to be friends with that person. 

Before befriending someone, basic understandings should be established. If that does not occur, it's not a friendship that you have, it's an association. 

Associating with other people to learn and or accomplish common goals is another way to establish the foundation that could lead to a friendship, but in this post, we're focusing on how to be a good friend.

If you are one of the lucky ones who have a person in your life with whom you can easily communicate and/or feel comfortable interacting with ... then these simple suggestions will serve as a welcomed reminder on how to be a good friend - something we all value. 

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