We call someone our BFF for a reason. There are certain qualities that separate say, a Facebook friend, from the friend you dial when your boyfriend forgets to text you back.
I'm sure everyone strives to be a good friend to those who they care about, so here are six easy ways to make sure you check all the boxes for being the ultimate best friend.
Become A Good Listener (aka. Put Down Your iPhone)
Listening is an extremely important skill. Especially when it comes to friendships. These days it’s easier to get distracted while listening to someone speak than it is to pay attention. Considering that Generation-Y can barely survive without an iPhone in hand at all times, it is surprising when someone even half-listens. Next time a friend is talking to you, try to focus your attention on everything he or she says and cut out all distractions.
Do not waste time thinking of how to respond, or cut your friend off. Just listen to what he or she has to say until he or she is finished. There is more helpful than talking to a friend who truly listens to what you have to say.
Don't Act Like You Are A Human Encyclopedia
If we think about those who have helped us the most in our lives, it is most likely those who have lent us a shoulder to cry on, sat with us while we vented our hearts out, and stood beside us through every decision.
Nobody has the all the answers to everything, and that is completely okay. So don’t try and come up with a list of solutions. Just be supportive, compassionate and be there for friends when they need you the most. Don't look for friends who think they can "solve all our problems" but instead, face our problems with us.
Don't Build Walls, Build Bridges
If you don’t let people in then you are essentially building a wall around yourself and closing yourself off to those who can help you. I have found that it is so much easier to let people in and open up to them because it helps you build deeper and more meaningful connections with them. I’m not saying we should spill our whole life story to someone upon a first meeting, but we should share ourselves with people who seem trustworthy and real.
These few are the ones worth taking the risk for. All people share similar dreams and wants. We all want to be happy, successful, and well liked. Likewise, we also share similar insecurities and struggles. Everyone has their own insecurities and instead of covering them up, we should work on overcoming them. Trust me - it is a lot easier if you do this with support, because then we can look at someone else and say, “I am feeling frustrated lately because I feel ___” and he or she can respond by saying, “I know how that feels” or “Me too” and maybe share a similar experience with you.
Radiate and Share Positive Energy
Negativity is extremely contagious and life is way too short to be surrounded by it. We all know that one person who constantly complains, judges and sees the bad side of things. This is the person who constantly sees the glass half empty, not half full. These people are unhappy, and feel the need to drag everyone down with them. Drama seems to surround these people simply because they create it, no matter how many times they insist they hate drama.
Misery loves company, right? So, please don’t be that friend. Stay positive and surround yourself by positive, happy people and then you will attract those types of people to develop friendships with.
Don't Be Quick To Judge
Who would ever want all of their friends to have exactly the same personalities, interests, and values? I personally love the fact that I have friends from all over the world, who have all lived completely different lives and have drastically different stories to tell. All of my friends are unique in their own way, which is what makes each friendship a little bit different. Respect originality and search for it. We shouldn’t judge our friends for the mistakes they make, or for making different life choices than we would make. Loving friends means allowing them to be themselves and not making them feel bad about being who they are.
Reach Out and Stay In Touch
It is certainly a lot easier to keep in touch with friends these days, thanks to social networking. However, if we feel a sudden urge to talk to a friend we haven't seen in a while we should stop what we are doing, pick up the phone and get in touch that friend.
Think about it; is there a better feeling in this world than knowing someone cares about you? Some of my greatest friendships are with those that I can go forever without seeing, but once we are together again it's as if we never were apart.
Photo courtesy CW/Gossip Girl