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Friday, June 13, 2014

Life :: 10 Ways to Be a Better Friend (Guest Post)

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1. Listen

It’s awesome to have a best friend who you know you can call up to vent to and they will listen without judgment or complaint. However, no one wants to be in a one sided friendship so make sure that you are listening just as often as you are talking.

2. Respect Other Peoples’ Choices

We live in a huge world full of billions of people. There is no way we are all going to make the same choices and that actually makes life more interesting. You and your friend may have a lot in common but you are not going to handle every single situation exactly the same way. If your friend is making a choice that you don’t agree with, it is ok to respectfully tell them but just know that they may not see things the way that you do and they are an adult that is free to make their choices.

3. Say You're Sorry

If you are friends with someone long enough, it is almost guaranteed that you will eventually do something to upset them in some way. That is just how things happen in the real world. Maybe it was a complete mistake, maybe you are a wonderful person but you were having an off day, or maybe you are a horrible person but you are trying to be better. No matter the circumstances, sincerely apologize and do what you can to fix the situation.

4. Treat Your Friends as You Would Want to be Treated

It’s the Golden Rule for a reason! You can’t expect to go around treating people horribly and expect them to continue treating you with kindness. If you want fun, loving, and supportive friends, be a fun, loving, and supportive person.

5. Compliment

Compliments go a long way, especially when they come from someone who we care about. I am not talking about a Facebook comment compliment here but a real life in person compliment. Women will so often tell each other when they look less than perfect (yes, I am tired and thank you for pointing that out) why not point out something positive. I know my best friend puts a lot of effort into her hair and I always take the time to tell her how awesome it looks when we are on a lunch date.

6. Celebrate Their Successes

It is easy to be jealous of that friend who has an awesome career, an attractive husband, a brand new car, a brand new baby, and some how still manages to have a flatter stomach than you (even though you have never carried another human inside of yours). I mean, who could really blame you, right? What if you tried something different though? Why not celebrate this friend’s success with her. Chances are she works hard on her career, her marriage, and her abs. At the very least, she has been through childbirth, which as far as I am concerned means she should at least get some sort of medal. It’s often said that you are the company you keep so instead of sipping on haterade, why not be encouraging and happy for your friend? This way you can learn more about how she has found her success, and work on your own form of success so that you can wear your hater blockers together.

7. Respect their privacy

Social Media sometimes makes us forget that people are allowed to live off line and have their own private, personal pieces of information that they don’t have to share with the public. Maybe your friend is applying for new jobs, maybe she is dating someone who she doesn’t want to introduce to her friends yet, or maybe she is going through some private family drama. Regardless what her situation is, if she doesn’t want to share it with you, respect her privacy no matter how many secrets you shared in middle school.

8. Be encouraging

Is your friend trying to fit into her old jeans? Maybe she wants to go after an ambitious career goal? Nothing hurts more than hearing doubt from your so-called friends when you are chasing your goals so be sure to be encouraging. It can be as simple as sending an encouraging text before an interview or as elaborate as surprising her from the sidelines at her first 5k with giant glittery signs and a home made gold medal at the finish line.

9. Check in on them for no reason

Call, email, or even send a card snail mail style just to say hello and see how they are doing. Everyone loves knowing that someone is thinking of them and hoping that they are having a great day. It takes all of two minutes to complete any of these tasks so why not brighten someone’s day?

10. Love and Respect Yourself

Last but certainly not least; to be a good friend to others, you should be a good friend to yourself. If you treat yourself with love and respect, you are more likely to treat others the same. If you are self destructive and unstable, you are more likely to treat others badly. Make sure to have a positive relationship with yourself and surround yourself with other positive people. Being a good friend to yourself is imperative because after all, you start and end each day with YOU!

*Thank you Charisma for sharing your thoughts with us! Be sure to check out her blog here and her photography here, and you can read my friendship tips here. Photo found via Pinterest.
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