"The only way to have a friend is to be one."
Everybody talks about how difficult it is to find good friends or they talk about how to make more friends, but I never really hear anyone discussing how to become a better friend. If you're a good friend, you raise the standard of friendship, set an example for your friends to follow as well as attracting other people into your life, because if you're an amazing friend, people are going to want to be your friend automatically, so in this post, I'm going to run through some ideas you can use to become an EVEN better friend.
Give instead of take
In this day and age, there is so much emphasis on taking, on getting as much as you can from people and maximising results, which takes the focus away from the power of giving, which is a shame, because the power of giving can open our lives up to a different level of happiness. When you give, you not only make the person who is receiving feel amazing, but you also make yourself feel amazing, boost your own self esteem and by having the other person in mind, you won't be stuck in your own head worrying about your problems. So do yourself a favour and think of where you could 'give' to one of your friends today. Send a caring text, offer them some help or just try to add some value to their life. Watch how amazing it makes you feel.
Being grateful for anyone in your life is important if you want them to be around long term, and this is most definitely true when it comes to your friendships. When you're grateful for someone, you increase their value by focusing on all their good points and when something has a higher value to you, you treat it with much more care and appreciate it more than you would if you had no gratitude for them. It might feel a bit weird but make a list of reasons why you're grateful for each one of your friends and regularly go back and add to the list and re-read through the list and really feel the gratitude inside you. Your positive feelings towards this person are going to go through the roof and you will feel genuinely lucky to be friends with them. By putting this into practice, your friends will feel a massive difference from if you were to treat them like an indispensable part of your life that you're just trying gain and gain and gain from without ever giving back. Honestly, try this and see what happens. It's so weird how the universe works, whatever you put out into the world, you get back in some shape or form. Smile at people and you get smiles back. Love your friends and they will love you back. Try and use and abuse them for your own benefit and watch people around you start to use and abuse you in return. Be careful what intentions you put out into the world.
Surprise them with a text or a gift
Just imagine you're having a terrible day, everything is going wrong and you feel like a waste of space...just as you start to feel like giving up, you get a text from your friend saying how much they appreciate you and lots of reasons why they love having you as a friend, can you imagine how much this would affect your emotions and happiness levels? When this happened to me, the text I received was off've a friend telling me to keep my chin up and reminded me of some of the amazing parts of my personality and it came at a time when I really needed it, and it made more a difference than the person who sent it would ever know. I still remember it to this day, and makes me think of that person even more positively. Just drop your friend or loved one a text, tell them why you love them and you're glad that they are part of your life (this will make you more grateful for them too which will increase your overall happiness. Make you happier, make them happier...WIN WIN)
Don't be afraid to say no
Saying yes to everything and everyone seems like the way people try to please everyone, but it nearly always backfires as you only have so much energy, happiness, resources and time and when you say yes to everything, you soon begin running out of these resources and when they start to run out, you begin tiring and enjoying yourself less and the people you have said yes to, may end up getting the wrong impression and mistake your lack of enthusiasm as negativity or hatred in their direction. If you say 'no' to the things that you aren't wanting to do completely, then it gives you the freedom to do the things that YOU REALLY WANT TO DO. If you give try split yourself between 2 people, you can only give each person or event 50% of you. Whereas if you say no to one and take part in the one you wanted to do, then you will be able to give 100% of you and fully enjoy yourself in the process. Don't be afraid of saying no to people, be afraid of trying to please everyone, without ever taking into account the things that you want to do and experience.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends."
And there you have it, our guide to becoming a better friend, hopefully you've picked up on some nice little bits of knowledge here and have a clear idea in your head of some things you can be doing in your own life. This post has not been suggesting that you are a bad friend, because I know for a fact that I'm a great friend to have, but this do not mean I do not want to become an even better friend and this is what life is about to me: being happy with who you are and what you are, yet still being excited for what you are going to become and where you are going to be. Happy with where I am, excited for where I am going. As normal, we like to leave you with an action plan to get you taking clear action towards improving your life.