Tuesday, June 29, 2010
HOW TO BE A GOOD FRIEND
Be real. Are you trying to be friends with someone to be accepted into a certain clique, or because you'd like to get to know someone else that he or she knows? That's not friendship, it's opportunism. Every new person you meet has the right to be accepted (or not) on his or her own merits, it's better to just be yourself than let anyone else influence you into being someone you are not. And you should fill their brain with good things. Remember, it's better to be hated for who you are, than to be liked for who you aren't
Be loyal. If your friend tells you something in confidence, don't talk about it to anyone else. Don't discuss your friend behind his/her back except when it involves the other person, and you won't just make it worse. Nobody likes a gossip or backstabber. Never say anything about your friend that you would not really want to repeat face to face. Don't let others say bad things about your friend until you've had a chance to hear your friend's side of the story. If someone says something that shocks you and doesn't seem like a thing your friend would do or say, then
Be respectful. Things you and your friend discuss should be treated with care - your friend is not sharing this information with just anyone, and may not want to. She shared it with you - and only you, as far as you know. Example: If your friend doesn't want to name her crush, don't push her into it. If she has named her crush, don't tell anyone else. This is just common courtesy anyone and everyone deserves the expectation that you will keep confidences.
If your friend is going through a crisis -- don't say: "Everything is going to be all right." -- if it's not going to be. This goes right along with keeping it real. It's hard not to say that sometimes, but false reassurance can often be worse than none, and it may undermine your friend's ability to get through the crisis as well as one might. Instead, tell your friend that "Whatever you decide or need, I am there for you." If the need is to talk: talk; if it's to sit quietly: sit there. If the need is to relax and get your minds off of things, offer to take in a movie or concert "together." Give a sincere hug, if you are friends -- not strangers, after all. Stay honest, but upbeat and positive. Even a stranger would appreciate a sincere word or possibly a gesture of a "quick" hug, or a hand rubbed across the back for just "a moment," but don't overdo it.
Give advice, add perspective. Don't judge your friend, but do advise to stay out of dangerous situations where one may harm oneself or others. Tell him/her how you perceive his/her situation, and what you might do in the same circumstances. Don't be offended by one listening to your advice and then deciding to ignore it. Your friend must make his or her own decisions. Avoid saying "You should...". That may feel like you are imposing "shoulds" upon your friend.
Give your friend space. Understand if he/she wants to be alone or hang out with other people. Allow it to happen. There's no need to become clingy or needy. Friendship doesn't require that you always have to be paired together. Allowing one another the time to hang with other friends gives you much-needed breathing room, and allows you to come together fresh and appreciating each other even more
Listen. you don't have to agree -- just listen to what is said. Make sure to stop talking to listen -- so you are not just running your mouth. Some people don't really find it interesting listening to someone talk about your/their feelings 24/7. If you're monopolizing every conversation with your feelings, the friend isn't getting anything out of the relationship (Don't sigh and groan like the world is against you. Seek help elsewhere and try to stop being paranoid.). Invite sharing hearts with you as often as you would share your heart -- but not so you have a monopoly on the friends time or have some juicy gossip or a cut down like to do to "teach a lesson" to your friend. A long or hard lesson may not be practical or appreciated at all.
Don't be selfish. Grabbing, stealing, envying and/or begging are big No's in the rules of friendship. The friend will soon get tired of this and eventually move towards more self-less people who are willing to give the same as one gets, but a good friend will not demand it, yet one might mention being tired of it. Even if you are a total wreck -- don't expect constant sympathy.
Honest: A good friend would be honest and loyal with you. He does not break the promises that he made to you. He makes you feel safe and secure with him. He is your true critic. You will find many who falsely appreciate you and your work to remain in good books. A good friend will tell you the truth even if it's something you don't want to hear. He will point out your mistakes in private and not in front of others and also help overcome it.
Always in touch: Good friends don’t wait for you to call you. He always makes an effort to keep in touch with you even if it is through a quick phone call or an email. He knows what's going on in your life and is interested about it. A good friend also does not avoid even if they are busy and do not ignore your phone call or mails. A good friend makes it clear that they care about you.
Happy for you: A good friend never gets jealous on your success but would be happy for you. He celebrates your success and his success with you. When you are down and needs support he would be there to support and care about you. An ideal friend has a sensitive side which would make them understand others feelings. They may not be able to read your mind, but chances are they can usually tell when you're happy, sad, excited, shocked or upset. A good friend will likely know how to lift your spirits and make your day.
Giving: Good friends give more than what is asked. When they see a need they respond before the other has a chance to ask without expecting anything in return and without anyone knowing about it. Good friends are generous with their time, money, possessions and knowledge. Best of all they have a generous spirit.
There is a saying that what you give is what you get back. The qualities you want in a friend should be the same that you are offering to someone else. How else can you expect to have good friends if you aren’t one yourself?