Top Ten List: How To Be A BETTER Friend

How To Build Rock Solid Friendships

How To Build Rock Solid Friendships

“Don’t wait for people to be friendly. Show them how.” ~Unknown

Just two years ago I reconnected with an old friend from Middle School through Linked-In. He had found me and wanted to connect. Over the course of a few weeks we got caught up on life and all that it has been the last 20 years. He offered some friendly advice to me and I greatly appreciated it. We exchanged favorite books as well. One that I loved him sharing with me was called Give and Take by Adam Grant.

Fast forward to September 2016 he had experienced a great amount of stress which required him to go to arbitration over a business he developed. Interestingly enough, I have had experience through the court system and mediation. I was able to provide him with insight and support.

We don’t live close to each other, so grabbing a coffee isn’t an option. But really connecting with him, sharing pieces of my life  and receiving the pieces he wants to give, doesn’t require specific geography.

We can be great friends to each other, despite the distance, if we choose to make the effort. If we remember to make the time, we can have those types of meaningful, fulfilling conversations that make us feel seen, understood, appreciated, and supported.

Then I started to think about all the times when I’ve gotten busy and lost touch with friends who live right down the street—times when I got caught up in everything going on in my life and forgot to nurture my relationships.

We need meaningful connections with other people. Only ones who care about us are the ones who when somethings off, especially when we are quiet.

Not everyone has to be a close friend, but it’s integral to our happiness that we show people who we truly are, allow ourselves to know them in return, and then remind each other through actions—small or large—that we care.

We never need to be or feel alone in this world, but it’s up to us to create and allow opportunities to be together, enjoy each other, and be there for each other. It’s up to us to make our relationships priorities.

With this in mind, I recently asked on Facebook, “What does it mean to be a true friend?”

I compiled some of the ideas that resonated strongly with me (some of them paraphrased or slightly altered for ease of reading).

1. Always be there, even while silent.

2. Listen without judgement. Be kind.

3. Be honest and share thoughts.

4. Guide each other in times of need.

5. Be loyal in confidence and character, always open and inviting to share concerns, always honest even if you disagree.

6. Take the time to really know each friend. Do you know their likes and dislikes.

7. Be in your friend’s corner if he or she’s not there to defend him or herself.

8. The Golden Rule: Treat others the way you wish to be treated.

9. Be empathetic – It takes time to develop true empathy. Put yourself in their place. Try it on with your heart.

10. A true friend show up in the thick of hardship and stays the course.

I can’t say this enough. Friendships and close family ties are one of the most important pieces to lasting health. Good ones are not always easy to find and they show up in the most odd ways. Embrace them and the great experiences you get to have with them.

If you’re stuck in the mode of winter hibernation, it’s time to get out and connect. Make a call, a dinner appointment with friends and family. It’s time to let go of past hurts and hardship. This is Year 1, the year of renewal and setting a positive foundation. Let’s get to it.

Set up an event on facebook or an event page and go do something fun together like skating, hiking, a movie, a yoga class, a spa date or even a luncheon with 1-3 friends and make it a potluck.

To you, your friendships, family and connecting. Breaking bread is always a great start.

Christie

Comments

  1. Well Done !

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