Sometimes being a great friend just comes naturally. Other times, it may be a bit more of a struggle. Friends come in and out of lives at different times. Some friends come early on and then disappear only to reappear years later and you have to figure out how to rekindle the friendship.
There are also different types of friends. You have the friend that you partake in sporting activities with and you have the friend who will listen to you tell the same breakup story over and over again even if it is three in the morning.
So, how do you reciprocate? How do you be a great friend in return? For the most part, it should just come naturally. However, there are snags in friendships just like in any other relationship. So, there are a few tips on how to be a great friend.
Be a Good Listener
When you are a good listener, all the world is right for your friend. Sometimes they just need to repeat the same things over and over again so that they can work it out in their own minds.
Even if they have said the same story more than once, be a good listener anyhow.
Tell the Truth
If you see your friend heading for a danger zone or if you feel your friend should move on and get over a certain situation, tell them the truth but do so in kindness and in love. Gently remind your friend that by staying stuck they only hurt themselves. Chances are the person they are troubled by has already moved on and your friend is still stewing.
Find creative and kind ways to gently guide your friends to recognize the truth for themselves.
Ask Good Questions
Sometime friends want us to tell them what to do while other times they just want you to listen. How do you know when to give advice or when to stay quiet. A good gauge is to ask pertinent questions.
Ask your friend what he or she should do about the situation and see if they can come up with something on their own. If not, then perhaps some good advice from the outside looking in is in order.
Sometimes we put so much pressure on our friends that we expect too much from them. Learn to be flexible with your friends and cut them some slack. If you have a friend who is always late, but was always there for you when you needed them, be flexible and accept this small trait.
After all, you can always tell them to meet you fifteen minutes earlier and then they may just wind up being on time. Learn to work around their flaws instead of making a big issue out of them.
Accept your friends exactly as they are so that they can return the favor to you.
So, there you have it, a couple of great tips on how to be an even greater friend.
This article originally appeared here: http://www.socialana.com/how-to-be-a-great-friend/