Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light. -Helen Keller
A good friend is more valuable than gold. We all need friends to rely on, friends to laugh with and go on adventures. But how do we go from casual acquaintances to profound and honest friendships?
Here are some tips to help you cultivate friendships that count for the long run.
Provide a safe environment
Providing a safe environment involves being discrete and reliable, someone people can trust. It is about letting people know they can count on you. Gossip can destroy a friendship very quickly, if it is not your story to tell, don’t share it. If you want to be a good friend, you should seek to speak with the truth, but always with love and kindness. This also means to allow yourself to be vulnerable before others and open space where they can feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable as well. Exposing your fears and insecurities encourages others to do so as well without feeling judged. Be a safe place where people feel secure.
Clothe yourself with love, compassion and kindness. Show humility, gentleness, forgiveness and patience. Real friendships produce a kind of love that transcends time and space. Love that does not judge nor condemns, but on the contrary, makes you feel valuable and appreciated even on your worst days. Be the kind of friend that is supportive when someone fails and a hand in help when someone falls.
Be a good listener
We all have a story to tell. We all want to be heard and feel understood. So many times we spend time with friends, and we are so cut up with our own life, that it becomes a monolog. Remember to open the lines for real and honest conversations to take place. There is a lot of richness to be found in the life experiences of those around us.
Be open to feedback
Most people are eager to give their advice when a friend is going through a difficult time, but just as it’s nice to be available to give advice, we should also be open to receive it. We all need those friends who tell us the ugly truth. Those who always speak with honesty even when it becomes uncomfortable. Those are the ones that challenge us, encourage us, shake our comfort zones and help us grow.
Here is an easy list for you to remember:
1. Be authentic and genuine
2. Be vulnerable
3. Be someone people can trust.
4. Motivate and empower those around you.
5. Forgive easily.
6. Let go of the past.
7. Invest time.
8. Undertake adventures.
9. Practice open and honest communication.
10. Concentrate on what you can give and what you can not receive.