Being a healthy best friend
One can have many acquaintances, friendships are special and having that best friend more so. With all life’s mixed drama it is easy to focus on all the woes of one’s life – and it is fine to share to share and be supportive of one another. This is the time when we know that we’re not alone, that we care, indeed this can become a fine line of being supportive and where we can become over supportive.
Here’s a few guidelines that make us better friends.
- Don’t ask. It is sometimes tempting to bring up a topic that you heard about, about your friend. If you know it is not the right time, don’t. It is for your friend to share with you when you need to know. Trust that your friend will know the right time to talk about their problem, then be ready to be supportive.
- Don’t tell. When your friend shares a life challenge with you, don’t tell. It is as simple as that – unless you know her life is in danger. You will know what to do. Friends share as they trust our loyalty, honesty and integrity. Sharing what we know is not worth it in the long run and they will never trust you again.
- Don’t mine for details. When your friend wants you to know the details, they will share the details. Listen when you need to listen. Sometimes, that is all we as friends need to do … listen.
- Don’t pour salt on any wounds. When a friend asks you for advice, you can share an opinion, and leave it at that. We can be helpful and supportive without inflaming a situation.
- Don’t offer advice unless you are asked. We all live different lives with different hopes and dreams. Be respectful of that. When you give advice, think off how you would feel if the same advice was given to you under the same circumstances. Would it be sound advice. Sometimes, it is better to rethink even in the moment what you want to share. It is like cutting a pattern on a piece of material, you can only cut once.
- Support your friends feelings. Be present when you are with your friends, put on hold any communications devices, know how your friends are feeling, be supportive of one another. When we are present in our friendships the feelings of normal and not being alone get felt at our core level.
- Offer support. Let your friend know that you are available when needed, offer support, remember that giving support that you are not a crutch and remember to set boundaries. This doesn’t mean that you are not supportive.
We all have life challenges and have best friends and are best friends, it is a good reminder that being a good friend doesn’t mean that we don’t set boundaries for ourselves and in turn respect our friends feelings and their boundaries. Friendship is about caring for one another, and it’s a relationship that reflects both ways, in both caring and sharing. Remember this when you hold your friends hand not only during that sad moments, but in the happy moments as well.
Take care – Debbera xoxo