Lifting up a friend can be very strenuous, but one of life’s best exercises and rewards!
One of the most admirable and endearing qualities of my late father, Harry Fagan, was that he was one of the best friends a person could have. I aspire to be so good. Thinking about him, it dawned upon me that there are a few key questions we can ask ourselves to see how we stand up in this area. Adjustments are self-explanatory and relatively easy to affect. So how do you stand up? And for some added fun, how would your friends comment about you?
1. Are you there for them? In good times or bad, early or late, and at inconvenient times, are to there to answer their call?
2. Do you communicate with your friends? In today’s world of texting, phone, social media, and yes, letters, do you keep in touch?
3. Do you speak well of your friends or at worst, nothing at all? This was something that my father always not only preached, but most definitely practiced – all the time. Do you?
4. Do you avoid competing with your friends? Friendship is not about competition, but collaboration, communication, and cooperation. It avoids envy and jealousy whereby you celebrate your differences and each other’s successes.
5. Are you trustworthy? Can your friends safely confide with you know that anything in confidence will stay in confidence?
6. Are you a great listener? Do you offer a good listening ear that is more focused upon their needs as opposed to yours? Or are you more interested in telling them your story and needs?
7. Do you thank them? How often? In what ways? When was the last time you tried something different?
8. Are you honest with them? Can you offer truly constructive feedback as opposed to concealed destructive input?
9. Are you a great friend? If you answered more yes’s than no’s you are doing pretty well, but how about striving to get all “yes’s” and becoming a “great friend?”
And it’s been often said that in order to get friends, first you must be one!