Goals for 2018: Be a good friend

Good friends are hard to find, and a good friendship is one of the most valuable things you can have in this life. In order to have good friends, you have to be a good friend, and that can be hard to do. We have five ways you can improve the way you interact with your friends in 2018.

1. Be there for them in the good times and the bad times.

Life is full of ups and downs, and sometimes your friends need you even more in the bad times than they do in the good times. If they're trying to survive one of the storms life has thrown their way, don't abandon them. Give them grace — they may be a little more grumpy and a little more fun than usual. Listen to them, and try to avoid giving them unsolicited advice. A lot of times, people who are hurting don't want someone to tell them what to do, they just want someone to walk with them through the pain.

2. Know when to keep a secret, and when not to keep a secret.

Don't tell your friend's harmless secrets — to anyone. Give them the respect you hope they'd give you. Being tustworthy in your friendships is so important, but sometimes situations come where your friend is putting himself or herself in danger, or making choices that will be costly to them in the future. These are the times when it takes the strength to get help — even if it could mean your friend is upset with you for a while. Be willing to do what is best for them even when it's hard. 

3. Don't gossip.

We've all been devastated by learning that our friends have talked about us behind our backs. It's not fun, and it hurts. Be a loyal friend. Practice kindness and honesty, and don't participate in any conversations that could damage your friendship. In fact, go one step further — stand up for your friends.

4. Be an includer.

We have old friends and we have new friends. Work to include everyone. Invite others into your circle, don't discard old friends for new friends, and don't be excluding to newcomers. Be a connection builder who encourages deep bonds between friends.

5. Be honest.

Part of building trust is the ability to be open and honest with each other. Respectfully share your opinions, and try to find common ground. Don't lie to make your friend feel good, and don't lie to avoid conflic if something is wrong. 

WRITTEN BY RespectTeam