I’m not going to lie and say I am the greatest friend in the world, because I’m not. At times, I have been a really crappy friend – selfish, un-reliable, too busy, or even just rude. Which makes me feel bad. For anyone that knows me, I am a people-person. I love to be positive, happy, and loving. I feel awful looking back on the instances when I was mean, or untrustworthy, and I do whatever I can to grow from them.
Here are five suggestions I have for someone who wants to be a great friend (or just a decent human being):
- Tell. The. Truth.
I know this may sound elementary, but being truthful is very important. For me, I used to tell white lies for one of two reasons. I was either A) trying to avoid confrontation or B) trying to protect the other person’s feelings. My intention was always good, but in the end, I sometimes harmed the other person more than I did good. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been such a people-pleaser, telling then what they want to hear for the sake of avoiding a discrepancy. I later on realized that you cannot do that, or people will start to think you are a liar or un-trustworthy, which are never good traits to have. Now, I am straightforward and honest with people, because I know that will save a lot of pain to all parties involved, in the long run.
- Don’t be Envious
It’s really easy to be jealous of your friends. Some of them might have a wonderful job, be in a great relationship, get to travel all the time, or even have the perfect workout regimen. You could spend your whole life wishing you were them or feeling sorry for yourself. OR. You could work towards your goals. You could find that dream job, look for that soul mate, save money to travel, and work your butt off in the gym. Life is all about how you make it. Be happy for your friends and their successes. They will certainly be there for you when you get a win of your own.
- Have an Open Heart
Whether it’s a break up, the death of a loved one, or just a really bad day, ALWAYS be there for your friends when they need a shoulder to cry on. Life is hard, and there is nothing better than having a close friend who will listen to your problems, buy some ice cream, and plug in the electric blanket for you. Make sure you always support your friends emotionally, and lend a ear when they need someone to talk to.
- Help Them Achieve Their Goals
Do everything you can to help your friends achieve their dreams and goals. For most people, it is hard to achieve those long-term goals without a person cheering them on. If they are studying for a hard exam, bring them lunch and a lot of coffee. If they are training for a marathon, try to go on some runs with them. Do whatever you can to show your friend that you support them, and care about their happiness.
- Look Out for Their Health (Mentally and Emotionally)
This one is HUGE. If you think your friend is being emotionally or physically abused, TALK TO THEM. If you don’t like their significant other, CONFRONT THEM. If you think your friend has depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder, CALMLY approach them. Do not let anything go for the sake of it being a “touchy subject.” I call B.S. on that excuse!!!