In my opinion, a friend is one of the dearest treasures you can have. They are a joy to have, but I've found that in order to have a friend, you have to BE a friend. BEING a friend requires hard work. We all know what we want in a friend but how often do we treat our friends that way? I've been thinking about how to be more intentional with friendship and have come up with what I think is really important to being a friend.
Of course, if you are my friend and I'm not doing what you want in a friend, please tell me! (:
1. Be reliable. I think this is hugely important in friendship. Of course, we should be understanding if our friend truly has something come up, but we have all had those friends who you can never rely on. Don't be that friend.
2. Be generous with your time. If your friend feels like she has to schedule your time way in advance, she probably doesn't feel like you care about her a whole lot. I get it-- we're all busy. We have jobs, we have lives, we have stuff to do. Seriously, make time for your friends, even if it isn't the most convenient thing in the world.
3. Find out what your friend's love language is. Almost everyone knows about how the "love languages" can affect our romantic relationships, but we can use the love languages in friendship too. If your friend really feels loved by gifts but you always give her lousy ones, think about how you can make her feel truly cared about in your friendship! In the same way, if your friend seeks quality time that you never seem to have for her but you shower her in expensive gifts, your friendship could use some redirection.
4. Be vulnerable. If your friend thinks you are perfect and have it all together, I suspect she doesn't know you very well at all. Be open. Laugh with her, cry with her.
5. Be kind and supportive. Women can be... catty. Don't be catty with anyone, especially with your friends. Support your friends, even if you don't always agree with them. It's not your job to try to control them.
6. But still, learn how to make up. I have no problem fighting with my husband (oops), but when it comes to my friends, I don't know how to tell them my feelings. It is a special friendship that can say "You hurt me but I still love you." I think good friendships are easily dissolved when we don't feel comfortable enough in the friendship to say "That hurt my feelings" or "I'm sorry" or "I'm mad at you."
7. Be inclusive. Don't make people feel left out. If you are spending time in a group that you and your bestie are part of, make a point of not excluding others. From personal experience, I know that nothing is worse than feeling left out. Even if you aren't doing it intentionally, you should go the extra mile to make sure.
8. Make your friend feel good by complimenting her! This is one that I am horrible at and need to work on more. For some reason, it just never occurs to me to tell my friend how good she looks, how smart she is, how funny she is, etc. I know it makes me feel awesome and I am going to make more of an effort to do so to my friends.
SO, what do you think? What do you look for in a friend?