Personal Growth

Become A Better Friend

Written by: Susan Hang

Life is for sure a precious thing, full of surprises both good and bad. And for that reason, good friends are an absolute necessity to facilitate us through the bad. While we essentially feel like clairvoyants when things are cool and calm, we can quickly transform into a disastrous mess when in dismay. Since we know this so well and will experience it at one point or another, we should strive the be the best friend we can be to those we hold dear to our hearts and are in dire need of a good friend. Do you need to be a better friend today? If so, here are your top priorities:

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Be Loyal.

Regardless of how often you talk to or see a person, if your friendship is real, you’ll be able to pick back up where you left off. They should always be able to rely on you and you should be readily available. It’s better to be nonexistent than a pretense so if you really don’t plan on being there for someone, don’t say you will. And if you’re really there, don’t share their secrets or problems with anyone else and most importantly, don’t lie. Always, always follow through especially in difficult times; otherwise, you’ll just leave them feeling even more alone.

Don’t Judge.

It’s easy to look at someone and assume their decisions or actions are irrational, but we’ve all been there. We tend to make bad choices when we’re emotionally shot down and hopeless. If you truly want to be a good friend, this isn’t the time to force your own values and opinions on the person who needs you most. Attempt to see things from their perspective without judging them.

Listen.

Sometimes, a person who is hurt or confused simply needs to express their feelings – they’re really just venting and want an ear to hear them out. No talking, no opinions, no negativity. Just show genuine interest and be wholly there.

Be sympathetic, but honest.

The truth can hurt, but if you really care about someone, they need to hear it. At the same time, you should genuinely put yourself in their shoes – validate their emotions, try connecting with what they are saying and going through, and then share what you know from your own experiences. During times like this, nothing means more than someone who can relate and share an authentic opinion.

Be an outlet.

A true friend wants to make you feel special and tries his/her best to cheer you up when you’re at your worst. So if you really find value in someone, you easily recognize when they’re hurt, torn apart, and broken down – that’s your time to be an outlet for them. Buy some wine, make a home-cooked meal, or take them out. The important thing is that

You’re a positive person who reinforces the good and partakes in activities that can help ease the pain. You might be the only person who can drive them forward.

XO,

– Susan

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Image Source Credits – Elle, John Schell