I was reading a post on what is a friend? And I was inspired to write a post on friendship too. You see in my 23 years of life I can say I have lost a fair share of friends, equally I have gained new ones too. I have also had some crap friends, and likewise I have been a crap friend too. But as I have grown up, I have began to appreciate that it is less important to have lots of friends, and more important to have real (good quality) ones.
And so yes, you may flick through you primary school pictures, to your secondary school pictures, to post school days and feel nostalgic as you reminisce over past friendships, but I reassure you that it’s not all that bad, some friends are just passing by, in our life for a reason or a season and some are here for the full ride and are our friends for a lifetime.
Nonetheless, like everything and anything in life, you get back what you put in. And I’ve been doing a little soul searching and self-evaluation of late and think being a better friend is an area I could really improve on.
And so I’ve compiled a list of the various traits and qualities that I really appreciate about my friends now and even some old friends too, I think that this is a great starting point in improving myself towards becoming an even better friend:
Often we overlook the effort it takes to listen, and truthfully speaking it’s a quality I think not many of us are fortunate enough to possess. I really appreciate and admire my friends who are able to listen, and when I say listen, I mean the undivided attention kind. I don’t know about you but in some cases, I haven’t been looking for advice, I’ve just wanted to rant. I think it’s important to have a good healthy balance, where one day you rant and someone listens, and on another day you listen and let you friend vent to you.
Honesty surely is the best policy, but I think here delivery is key! Although at times it may be hard to receive that honest truth, I surely have appreciated it. But just to reemphasise delivery is key! You know your friends best, so it’s important to think about how, when and where you are sharing your honest opinion, there is a time and place for everything.
Stop Being Flakey
I can’t even lie, I’m a flakey friend, but I’m getting better. I know it definitely grates on one of my friends, because I’m not their only flakey friend in our friendship group. We make a plan, it could be as simple as going over to someones house for a meal, and usually a few hours before (I know, not even 24 hours before) one flakey friend bails out and then it’s a snowball affect for the rest of us flakey friends. I’m giggling as I write this, but it really isn’t funny. It’s probably been the story of my life since my secondary school days, but the truth is in most cases I actually don’t want to go in the first place, I just hate being Debbie Downer and the only one to say ‘no’. But I’ve learnt that it’s better to tell the truth and be free, and yes I may be disappointing my friends but I think they appreciate the honesty as opposed to messing around with their invaluable time.
I have friends spanning to as far as OZ & in-between and it’s nice to know that distance has not put any limitations on our friendships. And although there may be time differences every so often I receive a message that puts a smile on my face. Equally, it’s easy to not meet up with the friends in your immediate environment, so it’s so important to ping a message/email or have a quick call to let that friend know that you are there thinking of them, and that you care. It’s definitely something that shouldn’t be one-sided and it also shouldn’t feel like a chore.
I can genuinely say every single one of my friends, current, past, old, new have exceeded in this trait. I know I can always count on my friends to support me, whether it be emotionally, with tasks, whatever it is, they’ve got my back. And I would love to think that they could say the same about me… To be able to willingly offer your support to someone speaks volumes about your character, and yes some are more supportive than others, but the truth is that they don’t have to do it. So with becoming a more supportive friend I also want to take the time out to let each and every single one of my friends know that I appreciate their support and that it isn’t taken for granted.
So here’s to being better quality friends!
“A strong friendship doesn’t need daily conversation, doesn’t always need togetherness, as long as the relationship live in the heart, true friends will never part…”