My Mum (Sue) spent her life loving and giving sacrificially into people lives, young and old, singles and couples. One piece of advice she told me was to invest time loving into people around you, new ones and old ones, over time making life time friends, ones you can trust and lean on come what may. You never know when you will be in a position where you need a friend to be there for you.
My family moved up and down the country and so it was basically forced on me as a child growing up to make new friends all the time. I quickly learnt that the way to have friends is to be a friend. That all friendships are a priceless gift to be thankful for everyday! So to make the most of my life, it became my daily goal to take the time to express encouragement and love to at least one person each day. It doesn’t need to take long or be expensive to let someone know they are special and loved.
Below are a few tips on how to be a good friend. Some of these ideas will depend on the type of person they are but over time you will learn what your friends respond to more and what they don’t appreciate as much.
21 ways how can you be a good friend:
- Have a listening ear and genuinely show interest and try to understand their perspective and what they are sharing
- Cry and laugh with them. Compassion and a good sense of humour go a long way!!
- Show affection…give a hug or a high-five!
- Fight for your friends. Don’t be afraid to stand up for them and show that you believe in them. Being a good friend means you respect and love them enough to fight for them!
- Send flowers to brighten up their day
- Practically serve them eg. Do their housework, wash their car etc
- Bake for them or have them over for a meal/coffee. Or shout them out for a coffee.
- Participate in a hobby/interest they have
- Celebrate and be there for the good and the bad eg. Graduations, occasions like weddings and funerals, anniversaries, surgeries etc. Be genuinely happy and sad for them. Allow them to be there for you too
- Give a gift/voucher…this could be done anonymously. Don’t keep score on who gives what
- Send a fun encouraging txt
- Pray for them. Sometimes things are out of your control to help and love a friend but with the power of God…all things are possible
- Baby-sit the children so the parents can have some fun time out together
- Be honest no matter what its about. This will make you a trustworthy friend
- Give a head, back or foot massage…(if its appropriate of course…if not vouchers for massages are always welcome and loved!)
- Go for a walk/run in the outdoors. Great way to enjoy creation and spend quality time together sharing in each others lives
- Avoid judging them and be quick to forgive!
- Pick up the phone and call them. This doesn’t have to be a long conversation. It’s the little chats about daily life that count over time
- Be willing to help them out eg. Help with a project they are doing.
- Write an encouraging or thankful card/note/short or long email.
- Initiate doing a fun activity or experience together eg. Go to a concert, bike ride, road trips. It doesn’t have to be expensive!
So I encourage you to be intentional and plan to do one of these things to love and build into a new or old friend and make some fun memories!! Remember to be selfless and sacrificial, fearless and vulnerable. Try not to see them as competition or be jealous of them. Everyone is on their own journey. You may not always know or see the impact you are having on others but I know you will enjoy the journey of loving others along the way!! As a friend, how do you want to be remembered for? What are you going to do today?
Kirstie – Fit 4 Life Staff