Proverbs 18 starts by talking about unfriendly people and how they only care about themselves and lash out at common sense (guilty as charged). Over the years I have lost and gained many amazing friendships and as I became aware of my reclusive nature I decided to work hard on my friendships.
So here are my tips to becoming a better friend if you are a slacker like me ;).
- BE HONEST- When it comes to friendships being honest sometimes is not as easy as it sounds. Most times we are worried it might hurt them so we lie and cover up with flattery. Proverbs 27:6 Says wounds from sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. That being said most people use 'honesty' to state their opinions in a harsh and unloving way and say 'I'm just being honest' not cool.
- EMPATHISE- Being able to share and understand another person's feeling is very important in maintaining a lasting friendship. This is not always easy and does not come natural to everybody people. Years ago I had a friend that left everything till the last minute, then she'd panic and want everyone to rally around her and help. I used to get upset and think...why didn't she do her work instead of partying and why do I have to help her when it is her fault. That was a wrong attitude because empathy means you share her feeling at that moment and if you do, you rally and help her out regardless of how she got there.
- DON'T BE SELFISH-This is so simple more of them less of you! Again not easy but absolutely doable.
- BE LOYAL- My sister has this saying I like "Don't tell me what they said about me, tell me why they were so comfortable to say it to you".
- BE SUPPORTIVE- Being supportive is easy if you agree and are on the same page, good friends are supportive regardless. I have learnt that you don't always have to agree with a friend's decision and choice to show support.
- BE RELIABLE- Say you'll be there and be there.
- SAY I AM SORRY and mean it- Because we have not reached Christ-like perfection there is always room for improvement and mistakes are inevitable. An apology is like a fire extinguisher, quench the fire before it consumes the both of you.
- SEND A SURPRISE PRESENT- Who doesn't like an unexpected pressie, I recently received some dark chocolate and green tea in the post randomly and it coincided with that time of the month so I NEEDED it! Couldn't be happier and it meant the world to me. A present does not need to be expensive something small thats says I thought of you today is all you need.
- MAKE TIME- We all have 24hrs each day and life can get quite busy and full-on sometimes, it is important to invest quality time in friendships as this make them grow stronger.
- FORGIVE- Your friends will hurt you at some point, the same way your tango partner will step on your toes at some point- it is part of the dance. When they step on your toe learn to forgive easily, let it go and try not to rehash it when next they step on your toes- remember it is part of the dance.
Do you have any tried and tested friendship tips? Please do share, I enjoy reading your comments.