Just like shopping for food and clothes, when it comes to choosing friends to share your life with, quality matters. If you find yourself surrounded by shallow, shady, or untrustworthy girls, it may be time to reevaluate the people you call a friend. The best way to find and attract the right people is to be the friend you wish you had.
As a military wife, I am forced to make new friends every 2-3 years. Because we move often, I have a small window of time to meet new people and cultivate relationships that are worth keeping. In the past eleven years, I have met and spent time with dozens of ladies. However, of all the women I have met, I have just a few that I actually can call my friend. Some people come into your life for a season, while others become lifelong friends. Know the difference.
If you want to attract new friends, you have to first be the friend you wish you had.
If you are having trouble in the friendship department, trust me when I tell you that I know how hard it can be to make new friends. You have to step out of your comfort zone, be vulnerable, and sometimes you are the one who has to take the first step. One principle that I love in the bible is the idea that if you want more friends, you have to first be friendly (Proverbs 18:24).
As simple as that concept is, many of us still struggle with making new friends. We sit around and wait for friendships to magically happen, instead of taking small steps to initiate a connection. Something as simple as starting a conversation with someone you see every day is enough to spark interest. If you want to engage with new people, you have to make yourself available to new relationships by being friendly.
If you are having a hard time finding people to connect with, start by finding people you have something in common with to help kickstart the conversation such as:
- husbands work together
- have kids the same age
- live in the same neighborhood
- enjoy the same hobby
- go to the same church
Over time, you will know who is supposed to be in your life and who you should let go of. Don’t rush friendship, as time reveals who is worth keeping around. Many of my favorite friendships were cultivated over time by getting to know one another through different seasons of life. Trust doesn’t come overnight, but it can be cultivated over time. Have patience and take notice of the people that are there for you through the good times and the bad.
As you start to make new friends, learn to treat people well. Good people are more likely to make friends with other nice, thoughtful, considerate people. You have to learn to become the type of person you want to be around. You want the people around you to see you as someone they know, like, and trust. Always ask yourself, would I want someone to do or say that to me? If the answer is no, you probably shouldn’t do it. To find a good friend, you must first learn to be a good friend.
7 Ways to Be the Friend You Wish You Had
1. Make time for your friend. Quality time helps to build and strengthen any relationship. If you want to cultivate a deeper relationship with your friend, find ways to spend time together getting to know one another. Listen to her and get to know her for who she is.
2. Encourage her. As a good friend, always be ready with a kind word. You should be able to encourage your friend with positive words when she needs it most. Use words of affirmation to help build her confidence and encourage her to keep going. Find someone who can also do those things for you.
3. Keep your word. Actions speak louder than words! Being a good friend means showing up when you promised you would. If you tell your friend you are going to do something, do it. There is nothing worse than depending on someone and they repeatedly let you down. If you can’t keep your promise, apologize and be honest about what happened.
4. Be trustworthy. If someone confides in you, they trusted you enough to share their deepest thoughts and feelings. Be a friend and keep their secrets a secret (unless they plan to harm themselves or someone else). Show yourself trustworthy by not gossiping about your friend. Don’t do anything that will intentionally har her. Anyone who calls you friend should be able to trust you. Once the trust is broken, it is hard to get back.
5. Respect boundaries. If there is a boundary set in your relationship, honor the friendship by not crossing the line. Make sure the boundaries in your friendships by openly talking about what is off-limits. Remember to be the friend you wish you had. If you wouldn’t want her to do it to you, don’t do it to her.
6. Be honest. Honesty is the most important component of any relationship. Honest keeps the lines of communication open and allows both parties to feel safe in the relationship. If you make a mistake, be honest about it. If you are offended by something they did or said, be honest about it. Hard times will test a relationship, but as long as honesty is involved, you can overcome hardships.
7. Watch out for your friend. One of the most important obligations you have as a friend is to be accountable to each other. If you see your friend headed down a wrong path or doing something that is dangerous to her well-being, speak up! If you care for her you won’t let her do anything that will bring harm to herself or those around her. Be bold enough to bring it to her attention, even if she initially gets mad at you. Her safety and your friendship is more important.
I hope these tips help!