Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Be a good friend

Studies show that having a well-balanced social life helps promote a healthy attitude toward life. This doesn’t mean you have to be the life of every party, but it does mean developing strong bonds that can help you through the ups and downs of the world. In order to have great friends, though, you also need to be one. Not sure if you are? Here are some tips.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
1Step OneBe there for them when they need you, not when you need something from them. Good friends don’t call up people only to request a favor. While knowing people that can help you out is important, it’s equally important not to abuse the relationship. Focus on what your friend is going through at the moment. Are they happy? A little lonely? Maybe they need to talk about their kid going away to college or the fact that they are worried about their in-laws. Whatever the situation, put yourself second and listen to what’s being said directly and implied in their conversations.
2Step TwoDon’t wait for friends to call you. Make an effort to keep in touch with people. Everyone is busy, but if you want to maintain good friendships you should be proactive about communications. It doesn’t mean you have to sit on the phone for two hours a day, but it does mean you send an email, a card, or give them a quick call to let them know you’re thinking about them.
3Step ThreeRespond to them in a timely manner. There’s nothing more frustrating than sending a friend an email or note, and having them ignore it because they are “too busy.” Everyone is busy. If someone is your friend, you make the effort to be kind to them. Responding to their questions and requests is one way you can do that.
4Step FourDon’t be part of the gossip train. Bad mouthing people you call friends is one of the worst things you can do. Don’t be catty or talk about them behind their backs. Don’t hang out with someone just so you can go back to someone else and talk about your friend. Decide if you are someone’s friend, or not, and act accordingly.
5Step FiveBe happy for them. It may sound ridiculous, but some folks just can’t be happy at their friend’s successes. Don’t be someone that’s only in for complaining about life. When your friend hits it big – celebrate with them. When they’re interviewing for a new job – pull for them. When they want to find love – be gracious and supportive when they find it. There is nothing better in the world than having people that support and care about you. Go out of your way to show your support for your friend.