We all know that friendship is important, but what does it really mean to have a good friend? Sure, we may have a lot of acquaintances, but a good friend is someone who sticks with us through thick and thin, someone we can rely on, and someone who brings out the best in us. But what are some things we should never say to our good friends?
First and foremost, we should avoid using social media as a substitute for genuine conversation. Sure, it’s easy to post a status update or send a quick message, but that’s not the same as having a real conversation with our friend. We should make an effort to connect with them on a deeper level, whether that means picking up the phone or sending a heartfelt email.
Another thing to avoid is making vague commitments. Saying “let’s phone each other sometime” doesn’t communicate a real sense of commitment, and it can make our friend feel like we don’t care enough to make time for them. Instead, we should make concrete plans and follow through on them.
Cell phones are another potential source of friction in our friendships. We’ve all been guilty of checking our phones during conversations, but this can make our friend feel like they’re not important enough to warrant our full attention. Instead, we should make a conscious effort to put away our phones and focus on the person in front of us.
It’s also important to be available when our friend needs us, even if it’s not the most convenient time for us. Saying “can we talk about this later?” doesn’t communicate a sense of support or reliability, and it can make our friend feel like they’re a burden. Instead, we should be there for them when they need us, no matter what.
Criticism is another potential friend-killer. Sure, sometimes we need to point out when our friend is doing something wrong, but constantly nitpicking or criticizing can wear away at their self-esteem and strain the friendship. Instead, we should focus on encouragement and support, even when things don’t go as planned.
Being honest with our friends is crucial, but there’s a right and a wrong way to go about it. Withholding information or lying outright is a surefire way to lose our friend’s trust, so we should strive for open communication and transparency. That said, there’s a delicate balance between being honest and being hurtful, so we should always be mindful of our friend’s feelings.
Friendship is a two-way street, so we should always make an effort to be present and engaged in our friend’s lives. That means showing up on time, actively listening, and being willing to engage in new experiences together. If we only want to talk about ourselves or do things our way, we risk alienating our friend and damaging the friendship.
In the end, a good friendship is defined by mutual respect, trust, and support. We should make an effort to be present, to communicate honestly, and to support our friend no matter what. By avoiding these twenty phrases and attitudes, we can build stronger and more meaningful friendships that last a lifetime.