Friends are important in our lives, aren’t they? They are there to support us, to have drinks with when we just had an awful day at work, to keep us company when we are going through hardships, and our go-to companion for facials or mani-pedis.
Recently, I messaged a close friend of mine to ask if she’d be willing to help me move out of my current apartment to my new one. She replied “If I have the time, yes sure.” I looked at the message and was surprised at her reply, but before I am annoyed at that response, I asked myself, “Hm, was I expecting too much?”. That reply was not the reply I thought I will get from a friend whom I have known for more than 10 years. I thought she would be more willing and would first ask about the details of the move, before giving me that passive aggressive reply. So, I asked myself, “have I been a good friend to her?”
Are you a good friend to your friends?
It’s an existential question, one that there’s no straight answer to it. From my experience, it’s about being there for them when they need you and to show your appreciation for their friendship, so there is no need for grand gestures or expensive gifts. Here are 3 tips on how you can show that you care about them and doing it consistently is the key to long-lasting friendship.
Check-in with Them
If you have not spoken with someone for a while, why don’t you reach out and check in with them? Ask how they are doing and what they have been doing lately. Focus on them and what’s going on with their life before plunging in about yours. For a while, let’s avoid talking about ourselves too often and too much. To quote the famous Dale Carnegie: “Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.”
Be Fully Present
We are all busy and we do not have much time to spare but when we do have the time, let’s fully utilize it. Make sure that you are fully present with your friend for the entire time so avoid checking your phone or let your mind wander elsewhere. Give them the attention and ask for the same. Both of you can come to an agreement to really listen to each other and go back in time when smartphones or social media were not created yet.
Share or Do an Activity Together
Find an activity that you both enjoy and can do together. Discuss it with each other and see which one you’ve kept for a long time in your bucket list. It can be anything from hiking to cooking lessons, attending a happy hour at a bar, or traveling together. It will be a great bonding experience for all. Whatever it is, find the time, schedule it and do it.
Time passes quickly so make sure you are showing the people in your lives how much they mean to you. Do not take them for granted because you never know what will happen in the future and when you will need them.
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