Updated: Mar 1
Welcome to episode 3 of the friendship series and we will be talking about how to be a good friend. As I have mentioned in the previous episodes, friendship is essential, but they are not all worth pursuing. Why are some worth pursuing and others not? Well, we all have some friendships we prefer over other friendships we have and that is because we get more from the one we like compared to the ones we don’t. Being able to build a good friendship with others starts from you. You must be able to offer something for others to be willing to offer too. When I say offer, I do not mean giving a gift or money. Far from it. Here is a list of the things you can offer in a friendship that will make it worth it for someone to pursue or be interested in it.
The first I will mention is being real. This may sound quite silly but there are many people who get into friendships while pretending to be something they are not all because they want to please someone. At the beginning of the friendship, you may be able to get away with pretending but if the other person is observant, they will notice it quite soon. If the other person is not observant, they still will notice it sometime later and once they do, they will not appreciate your company anymore. Because we are all imperfect and have our issues, failures, and faults, we like to be around those who can confidently express those failures and learn from them because that way we are also able to bolden up and reveal our faults. So be real and comfortable about your faults and shortcomings as you learn to correct them.
The second thing I will mention is that you must be honest and willing to have disagreements with the other party in the friendship. Some people think when you suck up to someone in a friendship, they will like you more. This is false as they will rather see you and your comments as of less value. Be willing to tell your friend when he or she is wrong. Be willing to confront them on their poor habits. That is your way of showing you care. You keeping quiet is an approval of the bad behavior or action of your friend. Yes, it is not easy to correct others especially if they have a hard time accepting feedback. If we all are being honest, we all have the issue of accepting feedback at certain instances if not all so do not let that discourage you from correcting your friend. An attitude you do not correct today may lead to a big embarrassment.
The third thing you can offer is the ability to keep secrets and share secrets. If you are able to keep secrets in a relationship, you will be trusted in all situations and more so when you share your secrets too. You lose the trust someone has in you when you share something, they told you not to unless it’s an issue of life and death. In a case like that, I would encourage you to share it with the appropriate person who can do something about it and not just anyone.
The last thing I would say that you can offer is a listening ear and an encouraging mouth. As I mentioned in episode 2, friends help us deal with stress and it is through listening and encouragement. If you call yourself a friend to someone and you cannot listen to them as they rant or complain about situations they are in or if you just brush their issues off, you might have to rethink your role in that relationship.
As I keep saying, friendship is a two-way street, and it takes time and effort to build. Be willing to learn and give something to build that relationship you want.
Always remember it's just you and us.