Be a Better Friend
Do your friendships need a reboot? Susan Vernick, founder and owner of Etiquette Chics, has suggestions on how to keep your new or long-standing friendships strong. Relationships are not fed by neglect so we need to be investing in them for them to grow and be healthy.
Show You Care
Be intentional about planning times to be together. Schedule things ahead of time. Getting together can be as simple as meeting for coffee or a quick lunch.
Try to make it a routine. For example, plan a monthly lunch at a new restaurant.
When together, don’t monopolize the conversation. Ask yourself: are you really listening or are you waiting to talk? Try the 2-2 technique. Look at your friend face-to-face and listen for two minutes without interruption. Nod and smile and acknowledge you are listening and then ask two questions about what they shared. Share this with a friend so that both of you can become better listeners.
Don’t be a Dream Killer
When a friend shares an aspiration or goal, encourage and support those dreams. Encourage it authentically by avoiding jealousy and envy.
Care for and help your friend, whether it is through an up or a down time in life. Be present and don’t try to wait for the perfect time to meet or talk, because your schedule probably isn’t really going to slow down. You have to show you care even when the timing isn’t perfect.
Learn to Disagree or Deal with Issues as They Arise
Speak directly to your friend if an issue or disagreement arises and don’t involve other people.
If there is some ongoing tension, say to your friend: ‘I feel like our connection is weakening. What are your thoughts?’
Apologize if necessary.
Use Proper Etiquette
Introduce your friend to other friends and family members. Be on time for outings. Short of an emergency, don’t back out of a planned get-together. Respond to calls and texts in a timely fashion. Don’t constantly be on devices when you are with your friend.