In light of a lot of friendships coming and going the past few years, I’ve been trying really hard to actively be a good friend to people. It’s important for me to kind of work through any internal conflicts I might have (ex: social anxiety) and just act the way I would want a friend to treat me.
For one, I try to reach out and make plans more. That’s something I used to struggle with. I’d wait for people to call or text me and when they wouldn’t, I’d act all sad and depressed because no one wanted to hang out. Now, I try to make more plans with people. I also try not to come across as flaky. I hate when I’ve made plans with a friend and they cancel on me. If I absolutely have to cancel on someone, I try really hard to reschedule (even if it means waking up at 8 am for breakfast before a flight).
I also try to just be nicer. This sounds awful, but sometimes I just really don’t have patience for people. There are lots of times when I would rather not reply to a text or talk to people. But I’m trying hard to just ignore my personal sassiness and be nice. Turns out, being kind and social puts everyone in a good mood and almost always strengthens a friendship.
I’ve been trying to be there for people. Again, there are (lots) of times when other peoples’ problems feel trivial or like something I just can’t deal with at the moment, but I’ve been making an effort to set aside my preoccupations and let my friends know I’m there for them. Whether that means sitting at the kitchen table for hours just letting someone vent, or sending a text after seeing a sad tweet, it makes me feel good to be able to let my friends know I’m there for them, since that’s same kind of support I would want.
I live in my own little world sometimes, expecting people to reach out to me and playing the victim when they don’t, but by trying to be a better friend to others, I’ve found myself happier and surrounded by people I genuinely love and care for way more than my first three years of school. All relationships are a little bit of give and take, even friendships. I’ve come to learn that if I want good friends, I need to be a good friend, too.