10 Steps to Becoming a True Friend: Qualities of Genuine Companionship
Friendship is a beautiful and essential part of life. It is comforting to know that we have people who we can rely on during our highs and lows. While it is easy to make acquaintances, finding true friends is a different story altogether. To develop meaningful connections and become a true friend who can be counted upon, we must commit ourselves to certain qualities. Here are ten steps to help you become a true friend.
1. Be Present for Their Highs and Lows
As Will Smith said, “If you’re absent during my struggle, don’t expect to be present during my success.” Your presence for the good times matters, but it is equally crucial to be there for the bad times. Being with someone on the verge of tears or an emotionally fragile person might not be comfortable, but true friends are readily available when needed the most.
2. Know When to Hush
Ernest Hemingway aptly states, “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” Sometimes, the best thing you can give your friend is silence. Be there to let them vent out their problems and offer stress-reduction through just listening.
3. Offer Your Encouragement
Ralph Waldo Emerson captures the essence of encouragement, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” It is awe-inspiring how just four words—“I believe in you”—can have such a significant impact on someone’s outlook. Believe in your friends, and let them know that they are capable of achieving their dreams.
4. Accept Them as They Are
George Orwell in his books has written, “Happiness can exist only in acceptance.” Accepting your friends as they are and not trying to fix them for your convenience is crucial in fostering strong relationships. Appreciate their quirks and imperfections without trying to change them.
5. Challenge Them to Grow
Helen Keller’s words ring true, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Challenge your friends to dream big and push their boundaries. Tell them that they can do it, and if they accept the challenge, offer them the support they need.
6. Be Vulnerable
As Alanis Morissette states, “I found that the more truthful and vulnerable I was, the more empowering it was for me.” Being open and honest, letting your friends see your flaws, can strengthen your relationship. Your true friends won’t judge you for your vulnerabilities; instead, they would appreciate your openness.
7. Forgive the Past
Buddha famously said, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Forgiving your friends for their past mistakes is crucial. Learn to forgive and move forward to strengthen your friendship.
8. Watch Out for Jealousy
Jealousy can poison friendships, so it’s essential to be self-aware and know when you feel it creeping in. Instead of feeling down and getting envious, take inspiration from your friend’s success, and aim to achieve your plans as well.
9. Speak the Truth (Even If It Hurts)
There will be times when you have to confront a friend with the truth, even if it is painful. If you watch a friend damage their self-esteem by staying in an emotionally abusive relationship, confronting them can help them see things clearly. You must be supportive and encouraging in these moments but also truthful.
10. Make It Special
The best friendships have unique quirks and qualities that are exclusive to them. Find something that is reserved for just you and your true friend, a song or dance that you both love, or a weekly ritual exclusive to just you two. These special moments will make your friendship all the more meaningful.
In conclusion, becoming a true friend requires effort, commitment, and an open heart. The ten steps mentioned above will help you become a true friend who can be counted upon. Cherish the friendships you have and always strive to become a better friend.