3 Ways to Be a Better Friend
How to Give More to Your Friendships
I’m one of the luckiest people in the world. Things always work out for me. And if by some chance they don’t, I just keep trying until they do, and then they do. I’m lucky for a multitude of reasons, and one of those reasons is that I have the greatest friends in the world.
They say if you want to have a friend, you need to be a friend. Let me share 3 ways you can be a better friend. Unintentionally by being a better friend, your friendships will improve which will make your friends better, which will make you better, and the circular feedback loop will keep going.
Send your friends heartfelt notes
One way you can be a better friend is by sending your friends notes. We wrote about that last week. You can find that post here. One of my dear friends read it and wrote a note to me. That’s just the kind of person she is. It moved me to tears.
I’m also in the midst of a massive Marie Kondo cleanse. I like to take most things and make them my own, so I modified it a little bit. Marie Kondo encourages you to keep only those things that speak to the heart and discard those things that no longer spark joy. I have this huge cardboard box in my living room (of all places) that is filled with things to inspire me and help me in my business. As I began emptying it and sorting through it, I found a thank you note from 2016. I helped to open the only Nordstrom in my state, and the thank you note was from one of my favorite customers. Her note began with “Dearest Cindy.” She mailed this card to the store, and my manager proudly gave it to me, as he was fond of her too. I’ve saved it for 5 years, and it still brings me joy. I reached out to her on Facebook. Hopefully she’ll respond. Either way, I’ll continue to save the card and the other special notes I receive.
Be fun to be around
The second way you can be a better friend is simply by being fun to be around. That sounds like a lot of pressure. I think of George on the TV show Seinfeld and how he commented how tiring it is to always be “on.” The joke being that he never seemed “on.” I know what you’re thinking. I want someone to listen to me for a change. I want to vent to my friends. I want to just relax. You can do all those things and still be fun. You can be fun by being your best self, being present, being a good listener, being a good sharer, being supportive, being human, being you.
I was reflecting on what it is about my friends that I enjoy and what makes me want to be around them. Spend some time reflecting on it yourself. I think there is beauty in that exercise. People have been described as a gift where we unwrap them as we get to know them and see their inner beauty. Other people have described a person as an onion, and we get closer to them by peeling back their layers. Use whichever metaphor speaks to you and spend some time thinking about and celebrating the layers of your friends.
Some people bring out the humor and silliness in me. I’m the youngest of three girls. When I’m with my sisters, I tend to be the jokester. I don’t know why or how, but they bring that out in me. Be silly and lighthearted if that suits you. It can be freeing and fun. Whatever makes you feel fun, do that - while still being authentically you.
Reach out and stay connected
The third way to be a better friend is to stay in touch, or get back in touch. I was part of a pom pon squad in high school. I was with 15 other girls 3-5 days a week nearly every week for three years. We’re pretty close. My high school group of friends plans a yearly get together where they reminisce and just enjoy each other’s company, and they laugh - a lot. The friendships in that group are really strong. They have been friends for over 30 years. A few of those friends reach out to others when they start to drift off and encourage them to stay in touch. That’s quite an admirable thing to do. Who can we include, reach out to and reconnect with?
There are many ways to reach out and stay connected. You can send a card for no reason or on their birthday. You can call or send a text or a snapchat. You could meet for coffee, go on a walk or run. Do you have a friend who likes dogs? Call her up when you are going to take the dog for a walk and have her join you. What is your favorite way to stay connected? What do you wish people did for you? Tell someone.
These are simple yet powerful ways to give more to your friendships and be a better friend. Give them a try.
Thank you for reading. Wishing you beauty & joy, kindness and compassion.
The more experiences we have with someone, the deeper our relationship becomes. Friends are one of our greatest treasures. To build your Friendship Super Powers, commit to acting on 1-3 of these friendship tips.
This month’s Super Powers focus is on building friendships.
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