We all have one or two friends we turn to for everything. We call them up when we want to celebrate, or when we are bummed out. What makes those friends so special? How can you become that kind of friend? Here are 20 quick, simple, and easy ideas to help you become a better friend.
1. Remember that old saying “You have two ears and only 1 mouth, so spend twice as much time listening as talking’? When it comes to being a great friend, this is key. Learn to be an attentive listener, instead of dominating the conversation.
2. Support your friends’ wacky career choices. Maybe they always dreamed of being a DJ, a belly dancer, or some other bizarre career you cannot imagine. It is their life and you should celebrate it along with them.
3. Never loan money to friends and family, but feel free to give them a gift if you can afford it and want to. Loans turn off friendships, gifts crank them up.
4. When your joke flops, you should just grin and bear it. Trying to explain a joke is painful to everyone.
5. Lay claim to hurting their feelings. Don’t say “I’m sorry you feel that way”, say “I’m sorry I hurt you.”
6. Strong friends apologize, bad friends try to be right.
7. Listen to their problems, but avoid trying to fix them. They want a sympathetic ear, not a therapist.
8. Avoid hiring friends, especially if you will be their direct supervisor. How can they say how angry they are with their boss over drinks, when you are the boss?
9. Don’t hide behind text messages and email. If you need to let them down, tell them on the phone, or better yet, in person.
10. If you have a problem with one of your friends, don’t avoid them or hide. Sit down with them face to face and discuss the issues. They can see your concern when you talk in person, instead of getting the wrong message via email.