Being good to your friends is not only about helping them when they need help or being with them when they need someone to talk to. Good friends are more than that. They have patience, understanding, selflessness, and some sacrifice.
Good and genuine friends are great to have in your life. But in order to earn them, you must also be a good friend to them. Here are 20 ways to be a good friend and even the best friend they can ever have.
1. Be a good listener.
Listen to your friends while they are talking and be enthusiastic about their life’s stories. A good friend is interested in what’s happening in their friends’ lives. So give them the chance to talk, listen eagerly, and make them feel that someone is interested in their stories too.
2. Admit your mistakes and weaknesses.
Avoid acting like an omnipotent and omniscient person. Understand that we cannot do or know everything. Being a know-it-all person will only annoy your friends. It will also make them feel that you don’t believe in them. To be a good friend, learn to humble yourself and show that like other human beings, you are also susceptible to making mistakes.
3. Be a peacemaker and learn to apologize sincerely.
Learn how to say sorry when you have hurt your friends, even if they have also hurt you. Be a peace-loving friend by being the first one to apologize. Prove your sincerity with humility.
4. Forgive them.
Forgive their sins even before they ask forgiveness from you. Some friends may not realize that they are already doing things that are offensive to you. Either you tell them frankly that they have offended you and they must apologize to you, or simply forgive them without telling them anyway. Your goal is to avoid hatred from growing and corrupting your heart.
5. Get rid of pride in your heart.
Pride is one of the most destructive forces in any relationship, including friendship. It’s not easy to show humility if your heart is corrupted by pride. With a proud heart, you will find it hard to apologize or forgive someone. Get rid of pride in your heart by being a more genuine friend who really cares. Cleanse your heart with kindness, love, and compassion. Don’t plant hatred in your heart, as it amplifies the pride that exists inside.
6. Help your friends because they need it, not because you need it.
In other words, help them or give something to them because it makes them happy, not because it makes you happy or gives you some comfort. Helping a friend should be done without self-interest.
7. Share your problems and ask for help.
Make your friends feel that they can be trusted by sharing your problems. Make them feel that they are also needed and they are dependable by asking them some help.
8. Love their loved ones.
Live in harmony with your friend’s loved ones, like their spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, parents, other family members, and even other friends. Avoid getting jealous of them just because they also share in your friend’s time and attention.
9. Keep your promises and don’t lie.
Did you promise to be at your friend’s wedding day? Did you agree to go with them on a beach trip? Whatever your promises are, whether they are small or big, always deliver them. Do your best to not disappoint your friends.
10. Keep their secrets.
Keeping the secrets that they have entrusted you will show how trustworthy you are to them. Don’t make them feel betrayed. Take care and protect their secrets.
11. Share your secrets.
If you trust them, you will share your secrets with them. And if you are really a good friend, you won’t hide anything from them. Share your secrets to them as they tell you theirs.
12. Trust them more.
Trust your friends’ own decisions and actions. Understand that they know what’s best for themselves. Also, trust the good pieces of advice they give you. Do not ignore their warnings. Understand that they only want what’s good for you.
13. Learn how to take a joke.
Jokes among friends are what make friendship fun, not boring. Learn how to take your friends’ jokes. Do not get easily angered. Do not create a blockage that will hinder the fun and laughter inside your friendship. Be patient, understanding, and keep cool.
14. Show some respect.
Respect your friends’ privacy. Give them some space if they need it. Furthermore, respect your friends’ uniqueness. Be careful when dealing with the things which are sensitive to them, like the things that are related to their gender, family, and romantic relationships.
15. Be loyal.
Don’t exchange your friendship with money, popularity, and other selfish interests. Be loyal, not only to your friend but also to your friendship.
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16. Don’t make them feel alone.
Never make your friends feel alone, even during a fight, argument or misunderstanding. Do not create a wall that will stop you from communicating, caring, and helping for good no matter what.
17. Help them grow as a person.
Do not corrupt your friends’ character. Instead, help them grow as a person. Be a role model of good virtues, like self-discipline, patience, persistence, honesty, and kindness.
18. Appreciate their efforts.
Whether it’s a small or big thing, learn to value what your friends have done for you. You may not know how much thinking, planning, time consuming, and efforts they have spent just to offer something for you. Of course, genuine friends will not expect something in return for any kindness they show you, but a little appreciation would not harm you.
19. Be their best support system.
People need a support system to go on and encourage them in their endeavors in life. One great supporter they can have is their friends. Be that friend who cheers them up to achieve their goals and dreams. Do not be that self-centered friend who competes with them and tries to pull them down.
20. Be selfless and make a sacrifice.
Real friends make sacrifices for their friends. Without sacrifice, you will find it hard to follow the tips above. Sacrifice your own pride to be humble enough to forgive your friends. Sacrifice your own time to be with them and not make them feel alone. Sacrifice your energy to help them in any way. And sacrifice your self-interest to make your friendship grow and even last forever.
Good friends are hard to find. If you cannot find them, find someone first within yourself. In other words, develop yourself to be a good friend to others. When you become a good person, you will naturally attract a lot of friends into your life. Just don’t forget to carefully choose who your close friends will be. Remember that bad company may corrupt your good character. Therefore, as a precaution, to maintain your goodness as a friend, choose good friends too.
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