People often over-value people. You remember a friend from university a lot, but the one friend who you kept in touch with regularly and were in regular contact with, well you just don’t remember them. This is because we tend to remember people we remember our acquaintances rather than our closest friends. Even though we don’t remember them, we still consider them to be our friends, but we don’t give them the importance that we give our other friends.
How Can We Be More Forgiving and More Generous to Our Closest Friends?
First step is to treat your best friend like your friend. Ignore the feelings of guilt. We all sometimes judge harshly. Don’t feel guilty. Just do what you need to do to make the friendship work.
Go Out of Your Way to Be Nice
If you have a friend that is single and wants to meet someone, go and sit with them for a while and be friendly. Give them the full attention you would give to someone you wanted to date. Or if you are single and want a boyfriend, make sure you treat your single friends like they are single. It doesn’t mean that you should act like you are unavailable but show your friends you are interested in their hobbies and work with them to find a date.
Here are some ways that you can be kind to your friends even when life gets in the way.
Bake or Cook Something
Even if you have no culinary skills at all, most people have an oven or can at least go food shopping. Bread, cake, cookies, biscuits, pretty much anything you can bake can be cooked. In fact, if you want to cook something that takes a long time, such as pizza, you are better off cooking it yourself. It is a lot cheaper and much easier.
Plan a Day Out
With people so busy this time of year it can be difficult to arrange a day out. However, if you want to plan something, just do it. If you want to go and see a movie, organise it. If you want to go sledging, go and sled. If you want to cook something, do it.
Don’t Cancel on Them
I’m sure you have probably already experienced this. You just suddenly have a meeting or an important phone call and they tell you that they need to cancel on you now. You then tell yourself that you shouldn’t have told them anything and now you will feel bad. Don’t feel guilty. Remember, they are friends. They are your friends. They have far more important things to do than cancel on you.
Instead tell them that you have something more important to do and you can catch up when things calm down. There is no need to go into a lot of detail but let them know that you understand that things have come up and that they understand that you are a busy person. Try not to make it seem as though you are upset or angry. Avoid defensiveness. You know why they need to cancel, it happens.
Give Them a Call
Sometimes you can’t make it to visit, particularly if one of you lives in a different city. In this case, give them a call. Whether it is the next day or in a couple of weeks, call them. Get all caught up. Sometimes a phone call will do you more good than a visit.
Don’t Send a Text
People don’t read text as much as they read emails. If you are happy to talk on the phone, then why don’t you call them? This doesn’t mean that you have to stalk their number in order to call them.
Texting, emailing and even social media don’t really work, especially in a situation where you have no real relationship to this person. Emailing is the worst thing that you can do because it just shows that you do not value them. Be kind. Try to call them or send them an email.
Postpone Your Birthday
If you are traveling, know that this can happen to anyone. There will be a day when you can’t make it and before you cancel on your friends, ask yourself if it is really worth risking friendship. If someone is traveling for work and they are desperate to see you, it is not going to be the end of the world if you reschedule your celebration, especially if you are not in the best shape.
Even if you can’t see your friend in person, congratulate them. Whether they have won an award or been appointed to a new job, congratulate them. This will show your friend that you still care.
Be a Friend
The last way that you can be kind to your friend is to always be a friend. Being a friend means being there for your friend when they are going through a tough time. If you are traveling for work, don’t cancel on your friends. Call them when you get back. Send your congratulations.
Remember, be nice to your friend, it will repay itself in the future.