This week on Real Talk I am talking all about being a good friend. This may sound simple but it can be a dicey topic. How can we show up for our friends everyday but also need a friend to show up for you too. Today I am going to give you practicals you can take away right now and apply in your life. This isn’t meant to make you have a performative spirit to stress about implementing immediately. Good friendships take habits and habits don’t just happen overnight. You may already be doing a few of these things but find one or two that you aren’t doing and begin to add them into your everyday life.
Making friends as an adult can feel awkward, you can fear friendship breakups but I was inspired to do this episode after going on a fun girls trips with people I knew but also didn’t know very well and we got to make the most fun memories. Spending the week celebrating my friend Abby was so much fun, she has been on the show, and I have learned so much about friendship from her. Thank you Abby for friendship inspo, we have come a long way #iykyk
Abby and I’s first lunch date did not go as expected. We ended dinner and honestly felt like we weren’t ourselves and like it didn’t go that well. A few weeks later we realized we were both headed on a trip to where we are both from (South Carolina) and decided to ride together. Giving her a round two was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. There is a story to unfold behind each person that you meet, you just have to find how to get to know them. Everyone is waiting for someone to make the first move so what if it was you?
#1 Celebrate big, but also celebrate small
Sometimes we wait for the big monumental moments before we celebrate each other in big ways. We wait for the engagement, pregnancy announcement, wedding, to pop the champagne when so many little things deserve celebrating too. I feel so cheered on when I get a text for making it through solo parenting, or a half birthday, or a small achievement. When we find ways to show up in the mundane moments, we get to start to engrain ourselves in their lifestyles. We get to be the ones to celebrate them when they meet the work goal that the world doesn’t know about but their close friends do.
#2 Book the trip and figure out logistics later
I am the girl that will not book the trip, I will have the cute idea on pinterest, and never get the trip out of the chat. As women we can carry the domestic load, finding someone to take care of the dogs, meal prepping for the family, you know the rest. You will never regret the memories that things make. You deserve something to look forward to. What if you did take the PTO? And we saw that the relationship was worth the hassle. Whenever I know that my friends found the babysitter, spent the money, I am always so so grateful because I know what it took to make the trip happen. Your relationships are worth the extra mile, the fun extra mile might I add, and you will be oh so grateful for the memories that it brings.
#3 Ask for help
I know, it sounds so easy. Call your friends at 3am when you’re working the night shift and you’re walking to your car or nursing in the middle of the night. You need a friend that you can call on when the nights get lonely. Another practical is to send a voice memo, you can share the excitement in a way other than the exclamation point. Give that close friend a specific ringtone so that when they call you know it’s them. You need a safe friend but you also need to be a safe friend. When all need a safe friend in our corner for moments of authenticity. Find someone you can confess to. Have someone you can cut the fluff and be real with and you know there will not be shame given.
#4 Ask the deep questions
In the moments when you would rather ask about the coffee order or talk about the kids, ask the deep questions. If you have a friend that asks deep questions, ask them in return. I heard once that psychologically people ask the questions they want to be asked in return. If your friend asks how your day was, psychology says to ask how their day went as well because they may have something they want to share. A few questions you can ask:
What is something about you I wouldn’t know?
What was your first impression of me? (this one is funny and may be better asked over a glass of wine)
How can I serve you best these days?
Is there anything you find troubling right now?
Ask about their childhood.
#5 Know their details
Know their coffee order, chipotle order, etc. You never know when your friend needs a surprise pick me up. In a person’s phone contact, there is a notes section. Use these notes to remember coffee orders, prayer requests, or must know about them. Add birthdays to your calendar and put them on yearly repeat. Doing this helps us show up for our friends, even in ways where you are praying for them when they don’t know it. When people text me on the day that my Dad went to heaven, I feel so special and seen because I know they care about that detail of my life. We get to be a friend who does the same.
#6 Let’s be grateful and not overlook showing appreciation
Don’t forget to tell people they’re good friends. It is so important to allow your friends to be a blessing. Maybe you feel guilty when people are good friends to you because you feel the need to do it in return. This can look like just telling your friend how much their action means to you, don’t take away the joy that it may bring them to love you. A great way to be a friend is by receiving the friendship someone is trying to give. Instead of apologizing or saying you feel bad, receive it and love them back as well.
#7 Put in the work
Don’t turn away when things feel weird, don’t turn away when things go wrong. There may be times when we feel like we are being the better friend and moments like that are hard. Just because she hurt your feelings once does not mean that you should leave her hanging. If she hurts your feelings then let her know that. We put so much weight on hard conversations when it is those conversations that strengthen our relationships. When friendships get hard, do not abandon them but lean into them and make them stronger. It is these moments that set our friendships apart from others in the world.
Take a tool from today and make the most out of the friendships in your life. Think of a friend in your life you love so much, are so grateful for, and see how you can show the same love. If there is a girl in your life that you didn’t hit it off with, give her a second shot. The second chance, the hard conversation, the affirmation could be the beginning of the lifelong friendship you have been praying for.