Learning how to be a better friend is something we all strive for, but it’s not like our friends give us an annual friend review. Here are some tips to measure how you’re doing.
- Listen without distraction when they are speaking, ask questions to learn more, and follow up on the progress or outcome if there is any.
- Be supportive, which doesn’t mean you must understand or agree. It’s about supporting your friend in their highs and lows and never discouraging them from their dreams.
- Show that you are engaged by putting your phone away, maintaining eye contact, nodding your head, and saying things like “uh hu”, while they are speaking.
- Don’t make a habit of dominating the conversation. There are times when we all need more support, but most of our time talking should be balanced.
- Embrace your differences. If we aren’t careful, we sort ourselves into groups that look and think like us. We all have more in common than not so ensure your inner circle has a rich and diverse range of backgrounds and thought processes. It will challenge you to open your heart, empathize, and think critically—and what better than friends who help us grow!
Here’s to being the best friend you can be!