How to be a really, really good friend

In this blog post, we are upping the ante on really. Because when it comes to friends, being a really, really good friend is the best way to be.

Facebook has a bad rap. It can easily become a place of divisiveness. When we spew our political opinions, trolls inevitably mar our soapboxes. But it can also be a place where friends reconnect. The birthday reminders, for example, are a simple way to remember and reconnect with a friend. Even though we all know that those handy reminders are responsible for the communication, you have to admit that getting dozens or even hundreds of birthday messages feels great.

Here are some ways to be a really, really good friend – even without social media.

Listening. There is no better way to show your respect and appreciation for your friend than to listen to him. Sure you can interrupt – sometimes it’s too hard to resist adding your thoughts – but bring your focus back to listening. When you listen attentively, you make your friend feel accepted, understood, respected, valued, and validated.

Patience. Patience is the perfect antidote to anger. And anger of course is one of the most corrupting and degrading emotions. If your friend is being a jerk, just wait, he’ll eventually come back to himself and be the person you love. Patience bears all kinds of sweet fruit. Wait for it. Whenever I talk about patience with my best friend, he inevitably says, “We call them clients now, dear.” Which leads me to the next point.

Humor. Humor is good for your mental and physical health, humor reinforces relationships and relieves stress. Humor is fun. Fun is good. Life will always present challenges, facing them with humor makes them more approachable. Laughter is like breath, we need it to live. Science tells us that “having funny friends not only calms you, but it also makes you smarter and more humble.” (https://www.theodysseyonline.com/the-importance-of-having-funny-friends)

Seriousness. There is a time and a place for everything. When your friend is serious, be serious – at least for a little while. Listen and be a good client.

Communication. Write back. Call back. (Go back to Listening.) Get together. Good communication is the foundation of enduring friendships. Agreement and disagreement are not as important as good communication. Communicate your needs. Listen to your friend’s needs. Back up your words with actions.

Yes. Say yes to your friend more often. It shows your willingness to prioritize your relationship. It feels great to be told Yes. It also feels wonderful to give your friend that feeling.

Being a really, really good friend is not always easy or convenient, but it is always worth it.