Friends are the family we choose for ourselves; they lift us, guide us and encourage us in all aspects of our lives. Just like romantic relationships, friendships need to be nurtured, loved and appreciated otherwise we will come to a point, years down the track where we won’t have anyone at all.
As pop-culture suggests, it’s clear the rest of the world thinks this way too; just look at the success of the ‘Sex and the City’ franchise and the world’s favourite, longest running sitcom ‘Friends’.
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RESCU Discovers the Top Ten Ways to be a Better Friend in 2017
1. Spend more time with them. ‘Time and attention are the most precious gifts you can give’ says Annie Hollands, Relationships Australia CEO. We know it seems obvious yet unobtainable to many of you, but it’s not.
RESCU Recommends: Don’t just delegate time for your friends on the weekend, why not catch up over a quick cocktail after work? Trust us- the Gossip Girl repeats will wait.
2. Do something special.
RESCU Recommends: Both work in the CBD? Organise a picnic lunch under the trees, it will add some light onto an otherwise monotonous day and make for a great catch-up session.
3. Bake something. This may seem very 1920’s but we can assure you that it will be highly appreciated.
RESCU Recommends: Nothing says care like a batch of pink cupcakes or a yummy caramel slice.
4. Pick up the phone. In this technological age of sms, mms, twitter, blogger and facebook, sometimes every single idea, plan and suggestion is done digitally.
RESCU Recommends: Pick up a phone and spend 10 minutes actually conversing with your friend whilst relishing in the sound of her voice – surely your cap can accommodate it.
5. Create 1-on-1 time. It’s precious because you generally see your friends in groups and don’t get a chance to truly spend quality time with them as individuals.
RESCU Recommends: Take her out for a frappe, or invite her over for a pasta-bake and glass of red; just make that time and effort to listen.
6. Organise girls nights out. As appealing as DVD’s on the couch with your partner may seem, a night out with the girls is much more fun.
RESCU Recommends: Regress to your younger days by dressing up and dancing. The only difference between now and your 18-year old selves are keener fashion senses and the ability to afford delicious cocktails.
7. Know what to say. With practice, comes the art of realising what and when to speak. When something is bothering your friend or something bad has happened, don’t patronize her with the customary ‘I know how you feel’ line, which is generally followed by ‘I felt the same when…’. Just listen, she doesn’t want to hear about your previous issue right now, it trivialises hers.
RESCU Recommends: Sometimes all someone wants from their friend is a simple ‘poor you, that sucks’ and a joke when they are ready for a dose of laughter.
8. Be there when everything is going wrong. Marcy Silverman (author of ‘Do Good: 201 Ways to Lend a Hand’) points out that there isn’t a specific thing you can say or do which is going to make her feel better however it’s the gestures you perform that will ultimately help her through the difficult time. Silverman suggests babysitting, organising things, bringing food and offering compliments.
9. Be honest. A sign of true friendship is when you can tell the truth. But you should never be callous. If your friend tries on something that isn’t exactly flattering, don’t tell her she looks fat; simply say that you think a different style would look better.
10. Encourage. If the green-eyed monster ever rears his head in a friendship its generally your issue to work on. If you love someone you should always encourage her to do well and help in anyway possible.
RESCU Recommends: Don’t envy what your friend has that you don’t, be happy that she is happy.