How do you rate on the friendship meter this year

As you know, our lives can be very demanding and busy. Sometimes it is very hard to keep up with our own needs and schedules let alone have time to maintain true, meaningful friendships with others and pay attention to their lives. It doesn’t make it any easier that most communication these days is through social media and texting. This tends to make bonding with friends seem very superficial and impersonal.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to keep up with friends via Twitter and Instagram.  And the convenience can make it easier to stay connected with their day to day life… but it can also keep us from connecting in their real lives.  Perusing a friend’s Facebook feed is not the same as  sharing lunch or having a long chat about the things that are happening in their life.

I think  it’s time to reevaluate how we rate on the friend meter- not just online.  Are you connecting and supporting your friends for real?  Human connection is vital to our happiness and health.  So, the next time you want to reach out and connect to someone, instead of “liking” that picture or “retweeting”, try these  5 tips to being a good friend offline:


1. Always be there for a friend in a crisis

Ask yourself, “How can I best help my friend go through this current crisis/struggle?” This could be anything from a financial hardship to a breakup to the loss of a family member or even to an illness. Another question you might ask yourself is, “What might he/she need most from me?” Often times we may be tempted to offer something that is easy for us to give than something they truly need to help them through. For example, a few hours just talking to your friend about their struggles might be a lot more valuable than dropping off a chicken casserole for them to eat.


2. You should be loving and caring through thick and thin

Many people are fair weathered friends. We even see this in fan reactions to their favorite sports teams. We tend to support our team when they’re winning and shoot them down when they are on a losing streak and not performing how we would like them to. This tends to pertain to friendships as well. Many love and want to be around their friends when they are riding high, but aren’t as willing to put time into the friendship if there’s nothing in it for them. So, put the time into your friendships and always be caring no matter what your friend’s situation is.


3. Confront your friend when necessary

Being a true friend doesn’t mean to always be a “yes man.” You don’t always have to agree and support everything that they say and do. You should be able to, out of care and concern, confront your friend if you feel that they are doing something that can be harmful to themselves or others. However, it is important that this confrontation should always be done with their best interest at heart and done in a loving, truthful way so they don’t feel bad about themselves.


4. Don’t gossip, be a good confidant, keep a secret!

Probably one of the most valued attributes to having a good friendship with someone is believing that your deepest, darkest feelings can be shared freely and protected by the other. You should be sounding boards for each other and give your personal insight and suggestions and be very mindful that this information was shared in confidence and should remain a secret.


5. Forgiveness is key

The final step to being a good friend is to always remember that no one is perfect. We all have our faults and we should be willing to forgive the friends in our lives when they have stumbled or fallen. Before you know it, you will need the same treatment and hope that your friend will forgive you as well. So be mindful that everyone makes mistakes and a true friends puts that behind them and moves forward.


Remember to ask yourself have you been a good friend lately? Having lots of friends always starts with being a good friend!


[Tweet “”There is nothing on this earth more prized than true friendship.”-Thomas Aquinas”]


P.S. If you have more advice for being a good friend, comment below! And check out this site for more tips to being a friend and what qualities to avoid in others.