Oh, almost everybody already knows this. What more to tell?
There is really nothing more to tell. Having read the title of this article already gives you the idea of the burden and responsibility of being a true friend to others; however, it will not hurt to list down and expound the things you can do for a friend.
1. Be sensitive.
In other words, be mindful of your friend’s feelings. This is very important since your friend expects something from you, as you expect from them. Your friend expects you to know immediately when you are anxious, sad, in deep pain, in love, irritated, happy or confused. Your friend may not seek advice or help from you all the time, but he or she definitely wants you to feel him or her.
In some cases, he or she may not want to share everything with you, and you should know that, too! Personal matters should remain personal, until he or she is ready to share it. If you have a hint of what his or her problem is, you can give a general advice.
Look at his or her eyes. It takes experience to determine a person’s feeling by looking at the eyes alone, but it is a very good skill if you learn it. Eyes are very expressive. You can also get information from body movements, manner of speaking and choice of words.
2. Spend time once in a while.
There are several scenarios for this. Your friend may be your classmate/co-worker that you see everyday, but not necessarily talk with each other everyday. You may have a family already and you don’t have the leisure of time to be with your friends regularly. You may have a friend who transferred to another place hundreds of miles away.
Whatever the scenario you’re in, find time to be with them to talk about things that you don’t usually talk about. Typical conversations are only touching the tip of the iceberg. Talk about problems. Talk about difficulties in life. Talk about past experiences even though you’ve already told him or her before. Sometimes we learn more from our past experiences because we have more knowledge than before. We appreciate more the lessons that we’ve learned from the past. Friendship is about protecting each other, and teaching each other in life is one way of protection.
3. Spend money once in a while.
Well, it depends! Money is not necessary in friendship. You may have friends that cannot give anything to you because they are less in life. They may even ask for your help, financially or not. Whatever the case, whatever your social status is, your friend will appreciate if you give something to him or her. Treat your friend. It’s not necessary to be expensive. It’s always the thought that counts.
Sacrifice is necessary in friendship. It’s not always “you”. Give chance to him or her. Do not focus on your personal interests. Even if you feel aggrieved, endure it. People do not always see the right thing immediately. Sometimes, they have to learn it the hard way.
Sacrificing is hard to do. You have to practice it, or else you might be the one who will aggrieve others, even your friend. Of course, if you are in the right state of mind, you don’t want that to happen.
You should forgive and forget, unless it’s really unforgivable… But whatever circumstance it may be, do not take revenge. Forgiving may be hard to do as much as sacrificing, but it is one of the best virtues you should have. You will understand its importance more deeply as time goes by.
6. Give constructive criticism.
Criticize your friend in a nice way. When you see something that he or she did wrong, tell him or her in a way that he or she will not be offended. Your intention must be to correct your friend and not to humiliate or discourage him or her. When you do it, your friend will remember it and will be grateful to you.
I cannot enumerate all you can do for your friend, but I am sure that these are fundamentals. Just don’t be insensitive and don’t take advantage of your friends in any manner. My heart really hurts if I see other people are taking advantage of my friends… It is unjust and ungodly, and it is my duty to protect them.
Being a true friend is a burden. It is a responsibility, but the reward is priceless. Having true and faithful friends is more than all of money in the world. Once you’ve found a true friend, never let go, for they are like diamonds you found in the sand in a desert.
Have an understanding heart to retain your friends. It will not be always a smooth sailing journey. Enemies are always there to ruin your life. That is why keeping friends are very important. They are your refuge.
Most of all, always pray for your friends (if you believe in God). God is always there and can save your friends from danger anytime, and you cannot. Prayers are very powerful. It should be part of your daily life.
The Bottom Line
The common denominator among the items above is love. You cannot do all these things without love. However, of course, you may not do everything I stated above to all of your friends, as you don’t treat them equally. There are ordinary friends, close friends and best friends, as there are different levels of love for friends.
In Matthew 5:44 (KJV), it says, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”
If we are to love our enemies, how much more our friends?
I am always open for comments, may it be about grammar and spelling mistakes, choice of words, or about the article itself. I composed this because this came to my mind, and I want to share it to others. Keeping it to myself would be a waste. Sharing knowledge is one of things I want to do in life. Thank you for reading! 🙂