There are many injustices, tragedies, and crises around the world that can affect every single one of us. Some days can be hard, some easy, some bad, some good, and so forth. No matter the day, having a friend to lean on and count on is always helpful. After all, what would life be like without friendships? To celebrate the power and impact of friendships, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed in 2011 the International Day of Friendship on July 30th, commemorated annually. Having just one friend be there for someone can drastically change their life for the better. For that reason, Pride Palace has got you covered with 5 tips on how to be an even greater friend. If you could change your friends’ lives for the better, why not do it?
1. Ask your friends how they are doing, then ask again.
This may seem silly, but it works. We ask people every single day “Hey, how are you?” and the answers are usually “Good, you?” or “Great, how are you?” but oftentimes that is not the truth, merely the answer we are used to giving. If you stick around and ask one more time “Really, how are you?” you just might learn a lot. Knowing that someone cares about you so much to ask that question twice makes people more likely to be honest. It’s much easier to be there for a friend if you know what’s going on in their life, and they’ll know you care.
2. Listen to your friends, and try not to judge them when they confide in you.
This may seem obvious, but it is many times what can break friendships apart. Listening is a basic part of any friendship, but remember to really listen when a friend is talking to you. If they are sharing something private, that means they trust you, so remember that when reacting and responding. The last thing a friend needs is to be judged by someone they confided in. Never forget that being a good friend means listening, being supportive and creating a safe space.
3. Express gratitude, even for the little things.
Something like a friend driving 30 minutes to see you is a reason to show gratitude. You truly never know what’s going on in someone’s life, even a friend, so take that extra mile and be nicer than you have to. It’s nice to feel appreciated by someone important in your life. A simple “Thank you!” or “I appreciate this!” can go a long way.
4. Always be understanding.
It’s easy to get mad or frustrated when a friend cancels plans, for example. However, once again, try to understand and be supportive. If they truly are your friend, then they canceled for a certain reason; try to understand it. Avoid jumping to conclusions or assuming things. Let your friend speak and try to understand their situation.
5. Be open to new things!
Many times, life-long friendships are made in the most random or unexpected situations. If you would like to make friends, be open to trying new things! If your friends suggest plans that may seem out of your comfort zone and do not appeal to you, try it out! People appreciate sacrifices and compromises, even if they aren’t huge ones.
Another way to meet people and form amazing friendships is through online communities. Pride Palace encourages these connections, and that’s why we created a Pride Palace Community Facebook Group. In this group, thousands of people from all over the world come together to not only share their stories but also learn from others’ experiences. If you are looking for some new friends, this is the way to do it!
No matter how many friends you have or how often you see them, everyone understands the importance of friendships. Friends are the family you choose for yourself. Having just one great friend is an absolute honor and something that should be celebrated. Remember these five steps and be the best possible friend you can be. Happy International Day of Friendship, Pride Palace family!