So you’ve made some friends, but how do you keep them?
If you have a group of friends, you’ll know that not all of them are the best at being good friends. There are some you know who will have your back through anything. And then there are others who are only there for a good time, and nothing else.
You might know how to pick the good friends from the not so good ones, but do you know how to be a good friend?
This is good advice for everyone, but it’s especially important in friendships. No one likes the friend that only talks about themselves and doesn’t listen to others. Or the friend who is constantly spaced out when you try to tell her something. So don’t be that friend!
When your friends tell you they have something to tell you, take time to actually listen to them. And not pretending to listen while actually checking your Whatsapp messages, but actual listening. Give them your full attention. It’s a great way to show your friends you actually care.
KEEP THEIR SECRETS SAFE
So how many times have you had a friend say to you, “Don’t tell anyone else this?” And how many times have you told the thing they told you to another friend, saying the same thing to the other friend “Don’t tell anyone else this?” So many of us are guilty of this, and think that when we use the caveat at the beginning of the secret that it’ll keep the secret safe. But it didn’t stop us from blabbing, did it?
The easiest way to ruin a friendship is by ruining someone’s trust. And the easiest way to do that is by sharing things with other people that your friend asked you not to. Imagine how you would feel if you told something in confidence to a friend only to find out that a bunch of people find out? It’s not a fun feeling, so keep your friends’ secrets safe and don’t share them with others.
BE THERE FOR THEM
We all have friends who say they’ll be there for us, but never are. And then there are the friends who go above and beyond and are there whenever we need them. Be that kind of friend!
If your friend is sick, find out what they might have missed in school and go over to their house to let them know, and take some of their favourite snacks or magazines. If they need your help with something, don’t put it off but help them with it. When they get a promotion, send them a cake or flowers. If they’re having a bad day, let them vent.
KNOW WHEN TO MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS
Some of us treat our friends like our family and are incredibly close to them. When our friends make bad decisions, many of us are concerned and try to help them. But some of us take it too far and try to meddle in our friends’ lives, which is when things get complicated.
It’s important to know when to be there for your friend and to give advice, and when you need to back off. It’s a fine line to walk but being too pushy can ruin friendships.
We all know that honesty is the best policy, but in friendship it really is. This includes telling your friend what you really think of the top she’s trying on when she’s asks you to what you really thought of her paper you edited. Don’t spare her feelings just to be nice, especially if it could come back to bite you.
No matter what the situation is, be honest with your friend. Lying or hiding things is an easy way to ruin your friendship, since it’s a form of betrayal. Think about the times when you found out your friend had kept something from you and how hurt you felt. Don’t do it to your friends.
We all think we’re good friends, but when it comes down to it, are we really? We know what good friends looks like, because we might not always be good friends ourselves. Follow these 5 tips to learn how to be a good friend.