Friendships are not always easy. Like any other type of relationship, it takes effort, time, compromise and commitment to make it work. Sometimes it is also hard to be a good friend for many reasons. Things might be going absolutely crazy in your life, or in your friend’s life, or the two of you might be having problems or never get the chance to see each other. What I’m trying to say is that if you think that friendships aren’t always easy and that it is sometimes hard to be a good friend, you are absolutely right and I agree with you. I have been there, and I’m sure we all have been there. Today though, I would like to move on from just saying these things about friendships and share a few tips. Because, as hard as it can be to be a friend and maintain a healthy friendship, there is almost nothing more satisfying or happy-inducing than having and being a good friend. I’ve had some bad luck with friends over the years, but through every failed friendship, I learnt more about what it truly means to be a good friend and how to become a better friend. Through the things that went wrong, I realised the little things that really make friendships work, and today I would like to share those tips with you. I hope you enjoy it!
Learn to listen
This is one of the most important skills you can learn in life, let alone in a friendship. Listening is an important thing to learn how to do because it can make such a difference in a friendship. Listening is crucial because it shows that you care about what the other person is saying, but also that you can stop talking and let them talk. While you may have the advice to give, sometimes all a friend wants is to know that they have someone who will listen to them. Talking to someone who listens attentively and lets you get out everything on your mind can be a very healing experience, and everyone appreciates having a friend who is great to talk to but also a good listener. Number one tip for being a good friend is being able to listen – I can’t tell you how much of a difference it makes when two friends know and learn to listen to each other.
Honesty is another crucial foundation in any relationship, friendships included because how great can any relationship be if the two of you can’t be honest with each other? Being honest is essential to fostering a good friendship and being a good friend for several reasons. Firstly, honesty builds trust because if people are honest with each other, they know that they can trust what the person is saying and won’t need to doubt if they are being told the truth. Secondly, solves problems because if people honestly talk to each other, it stops issues from festering and allow people to talk about the issue and then move on to solving and getting past it. Thirdly, honesty gives us the freedom to be our authentic selves around our friends. If any kind of relationship is an honest one, you give each other the freedom to be themselves because you don’t have to worry about acceptance. You also don’t have to worry about the other being upset or frustrated because you know that they care enough to be honest and say how they feel, giving you the freedom to be you without worrying about hurting your friend.
Loyalty is key
This is another crucial foundation block in any relationship. Loyalty is vital because you want to know that your friend is loyal to you. Now, this is different to a relationship (i.e. boyfriend/girlfriend etc.) because the same issues regarding loyalty won’t really crop up in a friendship, but nonetheless, it is vital to be loyal. Loyalty is so important because it is a choice, a commitment to your friend, that you will be there for them when it counts and not throw them under the bus, gossip about them or do anything that might hurt them. A loyal friend won’t do anything to hurt you and won’t just leave when things get rough or challenging. Loyalty is important because it fosters trust, and if you and your friend are loyal to each other, that means you know that you always have at least one person on your team no matter what. And sometimes, as tough as we all are, we just need one other person (besides ourselves) on our team to get through things.
There is nothing that a person will appreciate more than having a supportive friend, about good things and bad things. Being supportive means cheering your friend on when they are pursuing something and giving them the help that they need if they ask for it. Being a supportive friend means being there to wipe up tears and binge-eat junk food when things are just too terrible to face alone. We are all strong and independent sunflowers when we want and need to be, but sometimes we aren’t strong enough to stand alone and having a supportive friend is just what we need. The thing about being supportive as a friend though is that it shouldn’t feel like a chore. It should just feel like the thing to do – to be there if and when they need. To be their cheerleader when things are good and their support when things are bad. Friends who are supportive of each other, no matter what, are the friends that really stick together forever.
This tip kind of goes hand in hand with honesty, but it is not exactly the same. While honesty is being genuine in that you say what is real to your friend and don’t shield the truth in any way from them, being real in a friendship is more to do with how you act. You will know that you are being authentic in a friendship if you feel like you are just you. You are not changing anything to suit them or hiding one part of yourself. No – you are just being you in all the weird and wonderful ways you are and your friend, if they are a good one, should accept and support that. It is essential to be real in a friendship because it proves that you both know and love each other for your real selves. If you find yourself not being yourself around your friend for whatever reason, then you might need to rethink a few things because, in a good friendship, you should never feel the need to be anyone other than yourself. This works in reverse too though – you should be able to accept your friend for their real self if you expect the same in return and if you can’t do that, then I don’t think the friendship is one that is going to last. For a friendship to be stable, you both need to be able to show and love each other’s true colours. If you can do that – then you are well on your way to having a strong friendship and being a great friend.
Perspective is always an important thing, especially in friendship. This is because it can help you get through things and be more understanding. Perspective is essential in a friendship and in being a good friend because it can help both of you get through fights and arguments (perspective allows you to get through a fight because it enables you to see the other person’s side). Perspective is also valuable because it helps one be more understanding. If you have perspective and your friend is being a bit quiet and distant, you will instead think about why this could be happening (so are there any problems in their life that might make them act this way) rather than jumping to conclusions. Perspective can help solve and prevent so many issues, which is why it is one of those important little things that make a friendship work.
Fight then forgive
Everybody fights. It is one of those predictable parts of life. Families fight, couples fight and friends fight because people are different, and we can’t agree or see eye-to-eye on every single thing every time. Fighting is natural and even healthy, but the crucial thing is to apologise and forgive each other after a fight. Holding a grudge and not moving on after a fight is only going to build up bitterness and make cracks in your friendship, which you don’t want. Even if a fight was terrible, good friends know that their friendship is worth more than the fight. Being a good friend means that you are big enough to discuss, apologise and move on after a fight, once you have both had the chance to cool down. Yes, I know that it can be tough to do that, especially if you don’t think that the fight was your fault, but you need to think about the friendship. You don’t want to throw it all away just because of a fight. So yes, fighting may be natural, but being able to forgive afterwards is what makes a good, strong friendship.
Good times and bad times
Being a good friend means that you are there for the good times and the bad times and friendships become strong because you stay with each other through those times. Make sure that you two go out and have fun together or plan to do things that you love with each other (like sleepovers, movie marathons or just spend the whole day like hermits playing games and eating sweets). That is where your friendship flourishes and you get to make happy memories with each other. The bad times are where your bond strengthens though, so it is also crucial that you make sure to be there for the bad times. Test fails, relationship problems, or just having a bad day, you want to be the friend who turns up with tissues and ice cream. You may not be able to solve the problem, but you are there, and that is what counts. In any relationship, there are ups and downs and a good friend is there for the roller coaster ride. If it is a good friendship and you both are good friends, no matter an up or a down, you enjoy the ride.
Commit to your friendship
Oh, this glorious term called commitment. A word so many are afraid of or hate, and some just haven’t tried it out yet. Well, no matter what relationship or association you have with commitment, it is essential to having a good friendship that works. What I mean by this is that if you are in this friendship, you are IN it, and that means keeping promises, not letting your friend down and actually committing to working and maintaining your friendship. The reason why commitment is essential in a friendship is that you can’t really have a strong friendship without commitment. Yes, it means something different in other relationships, but in friendship, it is still essential. Committing to your friendship in the ways I have explained will strengthen your friendship because it will allow you two to be able to rely on each other and know that your friend won’t just let you down for no reason. Sometimes you might be faced with choices that conflict with your friendship commitments – unless there is an excellent reason (and if there is your friend should understand), be committed to your friendship and uphold the agreements you make. It will set your friendship up properly with good trust and reliance on each other – which will keep the friendship healthy for years to come.
This one doesn’t really fit as a tip for being a good friend, but you can’t really be a good friend if you don’t do this, which is why I have included it. When I say choose wisely, what I mean is that it is crucial to choose your friends carefully. I am an overly nice person(according to almost everyone who is in my life), and so I usually make friends with too many people, some of which are not good friends and so I end up getting let down by them. That is because I didn’t choose wisely in terms of who I decided to dedicate my friendship to. It is essential to know that not everyone is going to be your friend, and that is okay. Choose people that you won’t regret being friends with, people who you can foster things like trust, loyalty and honesty in and people who will accept and love your true self. Once you do that, then the above tips you’ll find just come naturally.
So there you have it! I hope that you all enjoyed today’s blog post and were able to get something helpful or useful out of it. Just to be clear, though, just because I am writing this blog post does not mean I am assuming everyone is a bad friend and needs instant and immediate improvement. Absolutely not. I am instead writing this blog post because I think that sometimes everyone needs a little advice. So, if you feel that any of these tips apply to you or you want to use any of them (and there is nothing wrong if you do! No one is perfect, and sometimes things can get so crazy for ourselves that we forget about our friends), I hope that they help! I just want to share the lessons that I have learnt so that I can help other people and make your lives just a little bit easier. If you enjoyed today’s blog post, please don’t forget to click the little like button at the bottom of this page and subscribe so that you don’t miss out on any future blog posts. Also, I’d like to ask that if you enjoy reading Tall Blonde Tales, please share it with your friends! Thank you all again – that is all I’ve got for today but have a great week everyone!
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx