A friend in need is a friend indeed. I've heard that saying a million times and it's true. Where would we be without those real friends who are there for us in challenging times? I for one am grateful for their presence in my life!
Friendships are funny at times. One look at most people's social media would have some guessing that a person has a lot of friends. I'd wager that those are mostly acquaintances. Real friends are the type of friend who walks with us on all our experiences. Do you have those friends in your life? Are you that type of friend to others?
Look at your life. Honestly take a few moments to reflect on who your real friends are. Why are they? What have they been or done in your relationship that makes them special? Do you have one friend like this, or a handful? Do you want more intimate (Definition: Knowing someone and being known deeply) friends? In order to gain friends like that, one has to be a friend like that.
Do you reach out to others? Do you call, email, or text the people you know; inquiring how they are? Do you put aside your plans for them? Do you take an interest in their day-to-day life? Do you participate in their life? If you answered yes to these, you're being and doing friendship well.
Having friends like this in your life can be a bit trickier. Yes, the first step is to be this for another person. But, the next step would seem to be inviting others into your life. I've known so many people who wait for others to step up to the plate in friendship, before offering their own. I think these people miss out. Ever heard that saying, people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care? It's corny but pretty true. We have to be good friends, to earn good friends.
Determining to be a good friend is a great start. There is a portion of that which requires doing. Here is a simple check list of things we can do to be a quality friend:
-Create a friend date
-Send a postcard/note to your friend
-Call for no reason
-Give a gift, just because
-Post a status message about your friend
-Surprise them at their sporting event
-Donate to their favorite charity, in their name
-Host them for cocktails on their half birthday
-Take a class or attend a reading club together
Our challenge is to be as good of friend to others as our friends have been to us. Are you up for that?