It’s wonderful to have a close friend; someone who loves to hear your good news or is there for you when you’re having a bad day. But like any relationship, friendships need attention to keep them strong and growing.
Here are some ways to be an even better friend:
1.Ask thoughtful questions. Instead of the usual, “How are you?” try asking, “What’s the best thing that’s happened to you since we last talked?” Or simply ask how you could be a better friend. There are different seasons of friendship and you may need to change the way you relate to your friend because of circumstances in her life. When my friend Amy was in a particularly dark place, she asked me to help her talk more about the few good things in her life and celebrate them.
2.Pray for your friend. When you pray for your friend you invest in her life. Even if your friend is not a believer, praying for her and her family connects you to her daily struggles. Ask her how you can best pray for her and then be consistent. Check back with her periodically for updates.
3.Invest in your friend’s interests. Does your friend have a favorite charity or support a particular cause? Does she enjoy a particular sport or play a musical instrument? Even if it’s not your interest, support something that’s important to your friend. Attend an event simply because it’s important to your friend.
4.Try something new together. Stepping out of your comfort zone is much easier when you have a friend along. My friend Pam and I have tried yoga and Zumba classes together. Part of the joy of friendship is being willing to look silly together.
5.Give your friend permission to hold you accountable. I trust my friend Linda enough to let her know about some of my deepest struggles. When we have time together she gently asks me about those issues, and celebrates small victories with me. When I’m in need of someone to pray me through a tough place, I know Linda is there for me.
Friendships are precious but it’s easy to take them for granted. Try one of these ideas today to help strengthen that special bond you share with a friend.