When we look for ways to be a better friend, it’s not necessary that we are a bad friend. Maybe we’re just company. If you stumbled upon here by choice, your willingness to be invested is commendable. However, one can only level up their friendship, given the effort is a two-way street. We all understand that the key here is mostly to show genuine care, respect and trust, but let’s discuss on the implementation of it:
1. Reach out: If out of every once in a while, you text or call a friend, simply asking them “How have you been? Just wanted to catch up!” without an ulterior motive, they will begin to notice the interest you show for their well-being. Take it forward to make a plan and meet in person, and that will bring you closer to them.
2. Ask Questions: Let’s say you’re talking about a tough time in your life, but your friend ends up relating to a similar incident in their’s. They then continue to explain ways on how they dealt with it, recommending you the same. How would you feel?
It’s easy to jump to advice when a friend is sharing a personal experience. Instead, ask them more about their feelings, thoughts, or sometimes just let them speak without interruption. This will allow them plenty of space to freely express themselves and find trust in your kindness.
3. Communicate and Understand each other’s needs: As much as one may want to believe, nobody is born with the ability to read minds. The essential nature of friendship requires clear communication. What you expect from the friendship might be different from their expectations, therefore making both of them valid. Try to set a common ground, where both of your wants and needs are met and fulfilled by each other.
4. Set boundaries: In every form of a relationship, boundaries are crucial and friendship is no different. This can be a continuation of the previous point where you discuss your limits in terms of availability. You don’t need to feel bad about being wrapped up in yourself. We are all inherently self-centered. That’s the nature of our reality, and it always will be. It’s vital to divide time between yourself and those you love.
Friendships take time and commitment to bloom. Adding patience and consistency to all of the above will bring you growth as a person and a friend.
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