4 things to remember when it comes to being a good friend

In this blog, I will talk about things you should remember when it comes to being a good friend. What I talk about in this blog post is based on my own personal experiences, but your experiences may be different to mine.

You should follow through on what you say you will do

Reliability is an important part of any friendship. It’s one thing saying that you will do something, but you need to be reliable and follow through on it. One example is if you tell a friend that you would let them know by the end of the week whether you can make an upcoming social event, then you need to get back to them without them having to chase you up for a response. Another example is if you tell a friend that you will do something that they want you to do, then you should ensure that it is done. From my experience, there are instances where a friend says that they will do something, and then it doesn’t get followed through because they forgot. Therefore, it is important to have the intention of following through with what you will say you will do, rather than saying you will do something for the sake of it.

You should be realistic with what you can commit to and communicate this effectively

I have generally found that friends are very understanding of the fact that life does get in the way sometimes, and therefore there will be times where you can’t commit to social plans or regular catch ups. There might also be times where you can’t commit to being a good support to a friend that is struggling if you are struggling with your wellbeing yourself. When life gets in the way or if you are struggling with your wellbeing, it is important that you are realistic to what you can commit to in a friendship, and not take on more than you have capacity for. Furthermore, you should also communicate this to your friends in an effective manner. What I mean by communicating effectively is that you should be honest and upfront with what you can commit to.

Friendships aren’t always a 50:50 effort

It is often said that friendships are two way, and that two friends need to give an equal amount of effort to maintain the friendship with each other. Whilst this is true, in reality it will not always be possible for two friends to give an equal amount of effort in a friendship. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, life does get in the way. Therefore, there will be times where your friend has a lot on their plate and hence you will have to give 80% effort to the friendship if your friend can give only 20%. The same thing applies if the roles were reversed and you were the one having a lot on your plate. However, it is also important to realise that everything should approximately balance out to a 50:50 effort over a period of time. If there is a particular friendship where you are always having to give 80% effort to whilst your friend is always giving 20%, then that friendship is one sided.

It’s ok to make mistakes if you learn from them

At the end of the day, we are all human and therefore we are bound to make mistakes when it comes to friendships. For example, we may have said or done something to a friend that had hurt their feelings. However, I find that friends are generally forgiving and understanding with you making mistakes, unless the mistake was a real deal breaker in the friendship. However, it is important that you try your best to learn from the mistakes that you make and not repeat them if possible. Whilst some friends won’t say anything if you have made a mistake, others will and it’s because they care about the friendship. Therefore, you should appreciate that when a friend has told you about a mistake you have made, it comes from a good place, and you should take on board what they say to be an even better friend.

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