When I was in Kindergarten, I would come home and tell my mom no one would play with me. I said that I just stood by the pole all by myself. Let's say I was not a fan of school.
I was a timid child, and school was extremely troublesome for me. Shoot, I think I cried when I had to go to school until third grade; however, third grade was a pivotal point in my life. It was then that I found my sweet friend, Donna. Once I had that friendship, my confidence grew, and I finally came out of my shell.
Fast forward to high school, and I had two very outgoing friends that would not let me stay home. We were always on the go! And, oh, how incredibly grateful I was for them because I probably would have been a hermit! Making friends as an adult wasn't too tricky either because I was surrounded by teachers all day long. We always had fun stories to share and had a ton in common. All was well.
And then I had a life change! Cam bought a tax office in Snook, TX, and I knew no one. Not a soul! I had to start all over again making friends. Of course, I had my staple, lifelong friends; but I was in a position that I had to start over finding friends nearby. I was back to that girl standing by the pole with no one playing with me. And the worse part was I was nowhere close to those friends that could push me out of my shell. I had to do it all on my own!
Well, ten years in Snook, and I now am incredibly blessed to have found a wonderful group of friends, and I don't take them for granted ever! However, if I'm honest, I'm terrible and letting them know.
I usually get self-absorbed with my schedule, my kiddos' lives, being a wife, mom, and blogger. It is not hard to quickly lose sight of what my friends are going through because I'm absorbed with my own life.
I'm sure many of you can understand how difficult it is to connect and maintain friendships as an adult. Sadly, at 4o, I started researching relationships and what it means to be a good friend. I continued to see these seven tips throughout my research and feel they are worth sharing with you.
7 Ways to Be a Good Friend
Make Plans and Keep Them
This one is probably one of the toughest in this stage of my life. In our 40s, we are rushing kids to practices, going to games, meetings, and trying to get homework done and kids in bed at a decent time. The idea of finding time to hang out is so difficult, but it is imperative. It's incredible visiting with friends, even if it's for a short time, fills your heart.
A few ideas to stay in touch with friends:
Ask to meet for coffee.
Just Make a Time to Talk on the Phone
One of my favorites way to connect was from my friend, Morgan. She just randomly texted a group of us and said an impromptu friend night. She told us that we would have a charcuterie board and wine at her house from 5 to 7 pm. If we can make it, come on!
I loved this surprise friends' night, and we stayed WAY past 7 pm laughing and talking.
Be Loyal and Trustworthy
Brooke and I always say with have the circle of trust, and if you break that circle, you're out. Harsh, yes, but we are too old to deal with cattiness. If you want to be a good friend, then be a good friend. Be loyal, be honest, and be trustworthy! Always remember if friends are trusting you, then it's an honor, so keep your promises.
As adults, we are all so busy and usually doing for others, so one way to show good friendship is to send them a sweet call or text. It doesn't take much time, and you will fill their hearts, I promise.
Let Them See You
Opening up is always a hard one for me. I think it's difficult for many adults to open up to new people. We often are worried about being judged, which makes it challenging to open up and let people see who we are. However, if we never are vulnerable, then we don't make intimate connections that build friendships.
Be a Good Listener
Oh boy, I need help with this one! I'm terrible at interrupting or making the conversation about me. You can ask my best friend, Sarah; I'm entirely right about this one! (laughing) But a good friendship is balanced. You need to listen just as much as you speak and remember to keep the relationship level.
Like I said before, adults are busy, and we can't just drop everything to talk or go out. It's essential to respect the boundaries of your friends. My friend, Sarah, and I try to speak during the day when our kids are at school and the afternoon (unless it's a MAJOR emergency) are usually off-limits because we know we are taking care of our families. It helps your friendship when you both understand and respect each other's schedules.
Have Experiences Together
It's so much easier to make friends when you are growing up and at work because you are going through experiences together. Having inside jokes and funny memories comes naturally. As adults, it's a bit more challenging. One way to building bonds is by doing things together. Whether it's trying out a new restaurant or working out, spending time together builds a web of friendship that continues to strengthen and grow.
Please know, I am no expert at being a good friend, but I'm always striving to be better; and if you are reading this, I know you do too. I hope these tips help you to think about your friendships and keeping them strong.
Please let me know if you have more suggestions or tips on being a good friend in the comments below. I would love to learn from your wisdom.
Have a beautiful and blessed day,
Amber and Brooke