Growing up my mother was full of instructions . My earliest memories are of her teaching me how to treat people. That was not a lesson that I learned one time , it was one of those that were repeated over the years. Each lesson grew in strength and importance. As I am imparting the lessons to my children the wisdom that she passed down to me still resonates very strong. I don’t know if we are still teaching lessons on friendships to our children but it’s one of those things that we should teach . Perhaps Daily . I don’t even know if we all know the importance of friendships or even what we would lack if we don’t have friends in our lives but to me being a friend and having a friend is just as important as meeting your spouse. Here are some of the lessons she’s taught, some that my friends taught and some that I’ve learned throughout the course of my life.
Being a good friend means that you are able to share the good and the bad. I know some people who are quick to point out bad things about people but are not able to point out the good in the person. Don’t always focus on the bad and don’t always focus on the good but be sensitive to know when its the right time to give constructive criticism and when its the right time to boost their ego. And in between all of that make sure you are being open and very honest.
Being a friend means being dependable. Whenever I am in a bind or a crunch and I need someone to talk to or someone to help me out. I want to know that there is someone there for me when I need them . But at the same time I need to be there for them in the event that they need me . We sometimes get it wrong …we are always wanting someone to be there for us but in return we are never there for them . It is okay and very normal to ask someone , do you need anything , are you okay , how can I help you with that. And if they need your assistance or if they need your help don’t just give your word…make it happen .
To have friends you have to be friendly . We are so bogged down with our individual life that some times we fail to answer the text, call back or send the email off. Listen your life is not that important that you cannot remember your friends. I have been places and was just about to walk on stage and if my best friend or mom texts and says …have fun , you better believe that as I am walking out on the stage or into the venue or wherever I am , I’m hitting the buttons saying thank you . They were not too busy to text me I’m not too busy to return the text.
Being a friend means being available. When I had small children ( I still have small children ) sometimes I wasn’t able to be physically available but there were times that I could have been more available than I was. During those times I would use the children as an excuse but then you realize down the road that you let some people fall between the cracks because you used excuses that caused you not to be available for them . I started to think …what if they really needed me and I wasn’t available? What if something happened to them and I couldn’t help …because I chose to not be available. I had to change in that area. Being available is not for your personal gain . Being available is to help someone else. To be a listening ear . To motivate, to laugh and understand . Being there goes more than two ways.
Being a friend is being able to share. When you have friends their life is open (well as much as you like sharing) and your life is as well. We will share information on how to do things, what we think about things, how to do something great, what not to do and so on . Remember that’s sharing information not spouses , boyfriends and houses. Even though I can give you examples of all kinds of dateline shows , investigative reports , snapped and etc there should never be a time that you have to physically look up , pay for files, and find things that may be embarrassing to your friend . Just be a friend and try not to be too nosey.
To be a friend you have to have integrity . This means that if someone tells you something in confidence …you don’t share that information . People just want to share information with you . If they wanted to share information about their lives with other people they would have told them .
To be friends you never have to pay for attention ,over exaggerate for attention or lie for attention of a friend. Be yourself if they don’t like what you offered , then consider other friendships. I often tell the experience I had in college. I was roommates with a group of young ladies. Because I was new to the school I embraced their friendships. I quickly learned that most of the relationship was more about what I could offer and less about what they could offer me. Pretty soon the relationship became toxic I was actually scared to go to sleep , didn’t feel rested, didn’t trust …the day I left and packed my things was the last day that I had any communication with two of these young ladies . It was really a testament of how they really felt about me . After that time my heart wasn’t closed to friends I just learned how to chose friends and I also learned how to be a better friend…