Many times in life you will understand the benefits of a good friend. Also to have even more than one. Sometimes however, being a good friend is not so easy.. I have often heard a couple of home truths that have made me sit up and think. How do I become a good friend to different people? What if your chosen friend is not practicing traits in life that you have but….. Maybe they are quirks that you have to deal with in each of your personalities? How do you practice being a good friend in harder situations?
What are some attributes of a good friend?
Ask yourself this question: What can I be helpful with in another person’s journey of life?
Caring is a gem where friendship is concerned. Caring is an extremely helpful commodity to another person particularly when times are difficult. Now caring may not be in the same vein as you might think. Most people may just want something as simple as someone to listen. And actively listen. Yes a simple answer really – your time is worthwhile in this way. Encouraging them to also talk about their problems if they feel sad about things. But also bringing up happy and funny memories is good for both of you. Draw them out also with things they themselves can do – no matter how small. We all have gifts and talents – just that a friend needs to point them out. That is being “friendly”.
Remember we all want to feel important – no matter what it may be trifling or much bigger and therein is a problem if we apply it to ourselves. But let’s look at applying it to others. Give them a feeling of being accomplished in their lives. Helpful if they are feeling a bit low of where they are at.
Be an “encourager” to your friend through thick or thin – whether they are starting a business, having some relationship bumps, family idiosyncrasies or anything where they are being problem oriented rather than solution oriented.
What is not a good friend? .
When looking to find a good friend I rather do look at what is not a good friend. I look at this from a female perspective purely because I am one. This is so you can understand I may have a little bias. But there is a common thread with human nature so I will travel onward!
It is so very easy to see the negative in someone and that is where a good self talk is needed. Maybe with the maternal comes the issue of being an arbitrator. Particulary where motherhood is concerned. Mothers (of which we all have or have had a stand-in) seem to have to oversee the conflicts and problems on a daily basis because of the conflict with children. Maybe this is why females perhaps can struggle the most with being a good friend. Or they can tend to look at some negatives in a person.
By this I mean to point out that we can see any little thing as a problem with another when really we may well be overlooking the bigger thing. Don’t let your friendship or budding friendship be let down by”small things”. Over-look what you can and pray for Wisdom about what to do about those you can’t overlook. Use humility with a good dose of generosity.
What if your friend is acting as an Enemy?
We live in a world where an enemy is defined as someone who is actively opposed or hostile. Maybe for some reason your friend has become this. Maybe because of something you have done. Maybe without realizing it or maybe realizing that you have done something unwittingly that has got you on the wrong foot.
Sometimes – particularly if it is a big thing an apology goes a long way. If it is a much smaller thing – maybe something that a person is sensitive too – think of practicing apologetic behavior, It may not be good sense in some situations to just apologize. So being more open and honest with the person about your own shortcomings can work things out. The gift of being empathetic and understanding goes a long way. Rather by walking in that person’s moccasins as the saying goes can help you see it from their perspective.
Being a good friend is mostly something that is enjoyable and so therefore for the betterment of you both. Remember we are not called to be friends with everyone – but we can practice friendliness to everyone who crosses our path. It’s being at peace and building trust so that you can both be a force for good.
5 thoughts on “How to Be a Good Friend”
Thank you for this post on this topic. I needed this right now, it was so encouraging. I have wrestled with feeling like I am not a good enough friend at times and this helped me consider what I can be doing to be a better friend.
Hi Nena, Thank you so much for your kind words. I am sure that you’re a good friend, but yes we do doubt ourselves from time to time but do not beat yourself up over it. Take care
I feel let an apology can go a long way and talking it out. You cant change the past, but you can the future if you know what you did wrong. Great post!
Yes to active listening. I also think we assume different roles in different situations. Also for different friends. I have one friend that bouncing ideas off of, another strictly listening. Maybe being what that person needs in that moment.
Yes each friend should be treated as an individual and you need to treat them as they deserve in each situation