How To Be A Better Friend
Friends fill a vital role when it comes to quality of life. We confide in them. Vent our frustrations. Bond over our common struggles. They are the backbone to our sanity. A necessity for our happiness. These are the reasons so many moms are constantly seeking their tribe. A genuine circle of friends bound to each other through life. We crave that level of acceptance and love.
Have you found your tribe? Right now I would answer yes. If you asked me that same question a couple of years ago my answer would have been different. As we go through life, seasons change. Friendships ebb and flow. People move across the country. Life happens.
It can be incredibly hard to meet new people. Start over. Find someone that you want to laugh with and bear your soul to. It took me losing my child to find my tribe again. I left an amazing group of friends when we moved across the country. We were here 3 years before Cameron brought us all together. I thank him every day, but I would give it all up in a heartbeat to have him back.
This last year I have not considered myself a very good friend. When I reflect back on previous friendships, I see my own failures. Since then, I have found some tips to help. Things I do to try to be a better friend. These are easy things to implement that will improve your relationships.
Put Down Your Phone – Do you remember what life was like before cell phones? I do. Friends actually talked and made eye contact with other. Being in the same room together was the highlight of our week. There was nothing else going on outside of that room that fought for our attention.
Have you had dinner with a friend that kept checking their phone? Maybe they carried on a text conversation with someone else while you were together. That makes me feel pretty crappy! I try to make a conscious effort when I’m with friends to put my phone away. If it is out it is at least flipped over face down on the table and only used to check the time. Give your friend your undivided attention.
Remember Important Things – Know what is going on in their life and remember it. Check in with them to see how it went. The simple act of remembering goes so far! I’m going to share a tip one of my best friends uses. She actually keeps a note in her cell phone that she references before she sees someone. In it she includes important things they talked about the last time they spoke. Events that are coming up. Things she thinks of between their visits that she wants to mention or ask about. It is her little cheat sheet file. Even though I know it exists, it makes me feel special knowing she takes the time to try and remember.
Genuinely Be Happy For Them – Jealousy should never exist between friends. You should care about this person so much that all you want is for them to be happy. Whatever happy means for them.
Celebrate Life’s Wins Together – Be each other’s cheerleaders! Invest your time in knowing those important moments in their life. Get excited about them. Share your wins! Friendship has to be a 2-way street. There is give and take. You both need to be on each other’s side.
Let Them Be Real – Judgement Free – Life is hard. There are moments when we just need to dump our crap and have someone be there to listen. Make them feel comfortable that they can bring all of their crap to you and just drop it in your lap. Let them be completely real and share the raw details. Then the biggest part is to do so without any judgement! Just accept them and their life and be a good friend. Listen.
Be Supportive Without Trying To Fix It – Don’t just offer your support and say you are there if they need anything. Just do it. Find ways to help. Text them to check in and make sure they are doing OK. Plan a lunch date to catch up and give them a mental break. Make them laugh. Let them cry. Keep their kids. Just figure out what you can do to support them and do it. This shows you are invested in their happiness. Then when you need it, they will be there for you in the same way.
What other ways can we be better friends?