Friends are the real treasure of any person’s life, that’s why we all seek them carefully and try to be friendly with others. They support us, help us with any struggles in life and simply make our existence more bearable no matter what challenges appear on our way.
Friendship is mutual, so if you want to get all its benefits, you need to be a good and supportive friend yourself. Here is how you do it:
Be there for your friends
A good friend goes above and beyond to help out, even when it’s not convenient or easy. This could include shutting down gossip about them, intervening if they are dating someone dangerous, or taking them home safely after a night out.
Understanding what being a supportive friend looks like for different people is important. If your friend is struggling with depression, for example, the support required for them will look very different from those you provide in case of a breakup or other difficult situation. It’s also important to avoid being toxic, including overstepping your boundaries or making hurtful comments that can be difficult for your friends to handle.
You can do this by listening to them when they need it, being available when they reach out, and encouraging them. This can be done through a simple text, phone call, or video chat to check in. Sometimes even a small chat or an english paper writing service recommendation can be enough help for your struggling friend, so don’t worry if you think your effort is insufficient. You can always simply give them a consensual hug, as this releases oxytocin, and ask them about their challenges – this is more than enough.
Your friends will know they can trust you if you’re honest. However, there are times when it’s okay to tell a little white lie. If your mother asks if that new split pea soup you cooked tastes good and it really needs a little improvement, it’s okay to say “yes.”
You should always speak the truth but not be so blunt that you hurt your friends. You also shouldn’t gossip or talk behind their back. Your friends trust you with personal details they don’t want the whole world to know, and blabbing those secrets to others is betraying them.
If you find yourself lying often, take some time for self-analysis and consider why you are doing this. It can be difficult to accept your flaws, but you will never be able to move forward unless you address them. You can still be a great friend, even though you’re imperfect. A real friend will understand and forgive your shortcomings, and a good friend will encourage you to improve.
Putting yourself in the shoes of others helps us understand their emotions. For example, if your friend shares that their boss is making them work late, you might feel a bit of their distress. This can help you respond appropriately.
When you feel empathy, your brain is triggered to solve problems and understand what you see. It’s a way for your emotional center and frontal lobe to collaborate and support each other.
To practice this skill, consider looking at people respectfully and giving them your full attention during interactions. You can also try to find similarities rather than differences, as this encourages feelings of understanding and support.
A supportive friend is someone who cheers on your dreams, even if they aren’t exactly the same as theirs. They’ll help you stay motivated, especially during tough times.
They’ll also be willing to lend a hand when you need it and aren’t afraid of taking on extra responsibility in their friendship. They’ll make time to send a card, call, or text just to check in on you and be the first to pick up when it comes to planning an exciting adventure together, like checking off items on a bucket list.
If your friends are struggling through a tough time, knowing that you can only do so much to support them is important. Sometimes, you must encourage them to seek help from a professional, such as a counselor or therapist, if the situation is dire. It’s okay if they turn down your offers, as they may simply be too overwhelmed or struggling right now to accept your help. Just remember that they’re still your friend, and you love them no matter what.
It can be difficult to stay positive if you spend much of your time around negative people or in adverse situations. Try to change your environment and habits to help you think more positively. You can do this by finding things that make you happy, such as a fun playlist to listen to on your commute to work. You can also focus on doing good for others, which can also boost positivity.
A good friend remembers the important days in their friends’ lives, like birthdays and weddings. They also remember the small, unique details that make their friend special. This is a great way to show you genuinely care about them.
If your friend shares a video on Facebook of their kids playing or a photo of an accomplishment, tell them how proud you are of them. This will help them feel like you care about them and encourage them to share more positive things in the future. Be cautious about praising too much, though, as it can be a turnoff for some people.