If You Want to Have Good Friends, First Learn How to Become One Yourself. Here Are 15 Ways to Help You Out.
Hello Aluxers! Today we’ll be talking about a very important topic: friendship. Friends are the family you choose. It is important to have someone you can share both the happy and the sad moments of life with. And since quality is better than quantity, here are 15 tips on how to be a better friend.
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With that out of the way, here are 15 Ways to Be a Better Friend.
Be a Good Listener
There’s a reason why we have 2 ears and only 1 mouth, and that’s because we should listen more than we talk! If you want to be a better friend, learn how to truly listen to people. Pay attention to what the other person is telling you, the tone of their voices, the very words they use. Make them feel your attention is all for them. Many times, there is so much more in what is not said and only by truly listening you can understand what your friend is trying to tell you.
Sometimes an ugly truth is better than a beautiful lie. A great friend should not be someone who always says what you want to hear, or who always agrees with you. A true friend is someone who calls you out on your mistakes and is not afraid to tell you the truth even if it’s a hard one to tell. Break it gently as much as you can, but do not hold back: your friend may not like it at first, but they will appreciate the value of your sincerity in time.
You know when you’re talking to someone and you can tell they’re on another planet? Or maybe they keep checking the time while you’re pouring your heart out? Annoying, right? If you want to be a better friend, make sure you are fully present when you decide to be with your friends. Really dedicate your time to them and leave everything else for later.
If you want to spend more time with your friends but don’t know how to, check out 15 Reasons Why You Never Have Enough Time.
Be a Giver
All the best relationships are mutual. They’re a give-and-take situation where both parties should win equally. Be at your friends’ service and be there when they need you.
If you fear becoming a somewhat people-pleaser and give too much, there’s a good book by Adam Grant called “Give and Take” where he tells you exactly how to be a giver in a healthy way. Thanks to our partnership with Audible, you can also listen to the audiobook for free: go to alux.com/freebook and enjoy!
As we said, mutuality is key in all relationships. You cannot always wait for others to make the first move. A good friend actively seeks you out, is proactive and comes to flush you out even from the deepest and darkest hole. Be creative and don’t wait for friends to drop on your doorstep!
We are not talking about money here, although if a very good friend is in trouble, you may want to show how much you care also by lending them some money. The generosity we talk about has little to do with material things. Be generous with your time and with your attention. If appropriate, make your friends physically feel your love through hugs and kisses. Gestures always say so much more than words.
This is a fundamental rule if you want to be a good friend. Never ever reveal a friend’s secret to anyone, especially if clearly told not to. If someone is brave enough to become vulnerable with you and make you private to something very personal, show them your respect by not sharing this confidence with anyone.
It’s always fun to watch young siblings being constantly at each other’s throats until an outsider comes and criticises one of them. The reaction is usually an immediate alliance between the siblings to defend each other. That’s what loyalty between friends is. You can be brutally honest with your friends, but make sure everybody knows that’s your exclusive privilege.
Be the #1 Fan
Sometimes friends do make incredibly crazy decisions. In many occasions, you might not agree with their choices at all. Of course you should tell them your sincere opinion, but once they’ve set up their mind, get into cheerleader-mode. Be supportive, back them up when they have a setback and always encourage them to pursue their goals.
We are our harshest critics and sometimes do not give the right importance to what we manage to achieve in life. A great friend recognizes our worth and is ready to celebrate our every little win, particularly when we ourselves cannot see how good we’ve been.
So whether it is a promotion they’ve worked hard to achieve or their first month of consistently going to the gym to lose weight, make sure you praise your friends and celebrate their milestones with them!
Admit When You’re Wrong
Learning to deal with admitting fault is extremely important, especially if what we’ve done or said has hurt a friend. We’ve all done something which might have seemed good at the time but turned out to be flat wrong. Just be candid about it, admit you were wrong and sincerely apologize. As hard and daunting it may seem to declare out loud we’ve made a mistake, not doing it would cost way more.
As you may have noticed, we’ve been promoting honesty a lot in this article. We strongly believe that this is the base for a genuine and long-lasting friendship, but sometimes too much honesty can come through as entitlement. Without turning your back on sincerity, always make sure you put yourself into your friends’ shoes and try to understand where they’re coming from. Being empathic will help you supporting your friends and be a better counsellor for them.
Accept the Other Person’s Weaknesses
Perfection is divine. So, as much as none of us is perfect, we can expect our friends to have weaknesses too. Maybe someone is always late, or talks too much, or even has worse flaws. Again, talk plainly with them about what may annoy you but always do so from a place of compassion and understanding. They may have as many remarks on your defects as much as you have on theirs.
Not every day is the same. Life gets in the way and sometimes all we need is to crawl up and binge-watch TV in complete solitude. A good friend knows when it’s time to just let a person be and is willing to give them space. Just check in with your friend to make sure they’re ok and let them know you’re there should they need you.
The craziest adventures happen with your friends. Sometimes you just have to leave your troubles and worries at home, grab your friends and go have fun! Chances are, after a day out laughing and chilling, your problems won’t look that big anymore!
There you go, Aluxers: 15 ways to be a better friend.
What’s the most important trait for you? What do you do that make you a great friend? Let us know in the comments!