1. Like any relationship, friendships are a two way street. Yes it is! You have to do your part so that your friend can do theirs. Another way to look at a friendship is to imagine it as a bike. A bike has two wheels, if one of you is not dependable and there, the friendship can’t run smoothly. You can’t ride a bicycle with one wheel.
2. Honesty!! Honesty is key. Don’t lie, what’s the point? Try and be honest, if you can’t be somewhere, just tell them. Don’t lie and then be caught in that lie.
3. If you screw up, if you have said something horrible or disappointed your friend, fix it. My motto is, it is not the actions or words that hurt but what is done when the words have already been said or actions have taken place. If you have done something, apologize. If that person means anything to you then swallow your pride and apologize.Talk it out, be honest and do your part. Basically follow steps 1 and 2!
4. If you say your going to be there, be there! If you promise something, follow it through. Be dependable, allow your friend to count on you and be there. This is the number one problem that often ruins friendships, people are just not dependable. They break promises that have been made for months, they lie and basically prove that they can’t be depended on. If you want a friendship to grow, show up and be there! It’s that simple!
5. Be the shoulders for your friend to cry on, because as the Beatles have said, “I get by with a little help from my friends” Learn to be the kind of person your friends turn to when all else is lost or when their heart has been broken or when life just sucks. You don’t have to fix their problems, sometimes you can just listen and be there.
6. Don’t be a social media friend. You guys know the kind of friends I am talking about. The one who is just there for the fun times and photo ops, the ones who insist on the right filter to show the social media world that they are the bestest of friends, but in in reality they are shallow people. Avoid these people and avoid being like those people.
7. Don’t manipulate your friends. We have all had that friend who is manipulative or says or does things so that you feel sorry for them, or so that they can get out of you being mad at them. Don’t manipulate or play with others feelings or life. Don’t say things so that you give the impression of being loving or caring.
8. Learn to be understanding. This is something that I struggled with in the past. I was often too quick to judge others intensions and motives, even when they apologized. I refuse to understand or sympathize. The best way to ruin any friendship is by being close minded and failing to see the other side. Try to hear your friend out, see things from their perspective and try and understand.
9. Don’t be the kind of friend who throws around the “love” word, the friend that says “you’re like my sister/brother, I love you like family” when in reality you don’t mean it. The word “love” is a big word, throwing it around when you don’t mean it can be very painful and hurtful. Understand what the word means and then say it, you can like a friend a lot but that doesn’t mean you love them. Know the difference between “like” and “love” and use it carefully.
10. Know when to let go and walk away. If you have someone who is toxic or you feel toxic around them, walk way. There is nothing wrong with letting go of someone who does not want the best for you.