Posted on : 08-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Spirituality
Tags: How to be a friend
You may be asking yourself, how does Lynn know how to be a friend? And I would answer you, or rather I will answer you by saying that I’ve got some really good friends and know that it really takes being a good friend to have a good friend. Plus, my friends are pretty much not chumps so they wouldn’t be attracted to chump friends. Now chimps on the other hand….
1.) Friends don’t take friends hostage. Sounds like common sense doesn’t it? But, yes, I was one of those people that would take one friend “hostage” (mostly when I was younger) and be really, really close with that one friend. You know, tell them everything, hang with them constantly, etc. and not be that close with anyone else. Sure does limit your world when you do this. Really gives you rather miopic vision of everything. So broaden your horizons and trust that it really can be possible to have more than one friend, and perhaps even good friend or two or three, at a time.
2.) Rise up out of yourself just enough to pay attention to someone else. I know that’s a tall order to ask some of you–but I’m confident that you can do it. It’s absolutely amazing how much most people are hungry for someone to “get” them. Listening intently (direct eye contact, affirming head nodding, understanding sounds, asking questions) for even just five minutes can go a long way towards establishing and building a friendship.
3.) Remember the “golden rule” — treat others as you would have them treat you– well, turns out that it really is golden. I mean, you couldn’t take that rule down to the bank and cash it in as gold in exchange for money but if you use it, and use it regularly, it will be an investment in your friendships and relationships that accrues interest and pays handsome dividends for the rest of your life.
4.) Along the same lines as tip #3, think about those little things that you would want someone to do for you and do that for someone else. For instance, I’ve had friends in my life who were so good at calling me up or dropping me a note to check in on me when something was going on in my life….just to let me know that I was not alone. Wow that sure felt good. It’s a nice thing to do for someone else as well. I’m sure you won’t have to look far to find someone you can call to check in on or drop a note to in order to find out how their test went, kid’s doing in school, anniversary dinner turned out, etc. Look around you, there’s people all over the place that you could ask.
5.) Be that solid friend that people can trust. Don’t talk about people behind their backs. If you are having feelings about someone (anger, rage, resentment, sadness, jealousy) and you’re not quite ready to talk with them directly about it yet, do some extensive writing, go for a walk or a run to burn off some energy, meditate, and if you have to talk with a trusted someone about what is going on, put the focus on yourself and keep the person you’re talking about anonymous. How do you feel? What are they bringing up for you? Anyone can tear someone to shreds behind their back, it takes a real mensch of a person to go deep within themselves to figure out why something and someone has got them all twisted up inside.
These are just a few of the tips I’ve learned along the way about how to be a friend. I’m sure you have some good tips of your own — that I know everyone who reads this blog would appreciate reading too so please chime on in!
And remember, being a friend really just takes a little consistent nurturing and attention for something special to bloom. Reminds me of elementary school when they gave all of us third graders a couple of bean seeds, a cup, some dirt and water and we planted our little beans and watched them sprout. It was so exciting. Probably my first plant friend too come to think of it.
How are you going to be a friend today?