Because, you know, there’s always room for improvement.
P/S Before you start yelling at me for generating a formula for being a good friend, I know I’m a horrible friend, OK? This is why I wrote this *rolls eyes*.
Hopefully, after reading this, we can all endeavour to become better friends.
1. Drop in from time to time.
Life in the fast lane has its perks, but it also has its cons – especially when it comes to maintaining friendships. I’ve seen so many friends break apart from each other simply because they didn’t bother to check up on them every now and then. Look, what I’m saying is, you can never be too busy to drop a line, or even make a 5-second phone call to ask if they’re doing OK. While it is understood that you are way too busy to schedule a meet-up during the week, you’re always with your phone.
For example, send a text that goes:
“Hey bij I miss you. Hope you’re OK. Don’t die. Bye.”
OR, schedule a once-a-week, or once-a-month meeting with them.
This counts, right?
2. Know the difference between ranting and raging.
Ranting is fine, in fact, I think most welcome it. However, there is a stark line that needs to be drawn, or rather, an awareness needs to be created, of what the huge difference is between ranting and raging.
[Ranting] “This asshole just swerved into my lane and I nearly ran into him! Imagine how much that would have cost me, oh my god, is he even for real? I can’t believe that just happened to me!”
[Raging] “YOU *******!!! WHY COULDN’T YOU HAVE ****** THE MOTHERF*****!!! Honestly, I REALLY CAN’T TAKE IT IF YOU F**** ***** ***** ***** ****** ****!!! OH, GOD YOU’RE REALLY ***** ***** ***!!!!!”
Come on, while your friends’ ears are always at the ready, don’t turn him/her into an emotional outlet/punching bag. You affect their moods more than you think.
The punching bag isn’t your friend. Or your friend isn’t the punching bag. Something like that.
3. Don’t always make it about you.
It’s human nature to be narcissistic. At times, we are practically bursting at the seams waiting for our turn to update someone about our lives.
Stop it, Shakira. Wait for your turn.
But hey, take it easy. Relax. Let them have their fill first.
For example, wait until they’re done and say something like, “God, I’m sorry I spent so much time bombarding you about this. How are you?” That’s the green light to then bombard them with your shit. And then you can gracefully end it by repeating, “God, I’m sorry I spent so much time bombarding you about this. How are you?” and then the cycle continues until you both die, because #bff5eva.
4. Don’t talk to them only if you need something.
Isn’t this familiar? I bet that you can find at least 2 posts on Instagram or FB, about someone talking about someone else who “talks to me when you need something” or “I don’t need this kind of people in my life”, etc. That being said, make it a point to actually see to the fact that your friendship is based on more than just a matter of convenience. You got into the friendship for a reason – common interests, music, you recycled exes (hey, we ain’t judging), so it’s best to revisit those common grounds.
You: Hey. You busy?
Your friend: No, what’s up?
You: I need something from you. It’s very important.
Your friend: What is it bro?
You: Your time and attention, because our friendship is important to me.
Your friend: Bro ❤
5. NEVER ignore a distress call.
Now, this may be subjective, depending on whether you have a friend who is … let’s say … unstable. We all talk about dying sometimes (or always, for millennials), but if you have a friend who always strays from sanity, make sure you’re there for them. When you feel like they’re unusually down, or stressed, please ensure that they’re not going to do anything stupid.
Friend: I want to die.
You: Hey, you OK? Want me to ring you, or come by with some pizza?
Friend: I want to die.
You: lol nice.
(Befrienders KL Hotline: +603 7956 8145. 24 hours)
6. Support them always, and be genuinely happy for them.
I can’t speak for men, but women are generally very competitive when it comes to everything and anything. There was this quote I heard/read before, “If girls always treated each other like we do when we’re drunk in the girl’s bathroom, then the world would be a much happier place.” No truer words have been spoken because you can literally help a puking girl in the stall next to you, make sure she has water, find her friends for her – and you can even start giving motivational talks in the toilet if you had the time, coherency and sobriety. Now, if you could perhaps direct that drunken behaviour (minus the booze) to your own friends, I think everyone would constantly be striving for better.
Your friend: Does this dress make me look slutty?
You: OF COURSE NOT WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU DON’T YOU EVER CALL YOURSELF THAT DO YOU HEAR ME WHAT IS WRONG OH MY WORDDDD I CAN’T EVEN YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL BABYGIRL DON’T YOU EVER CALL YOURSELF THAT
Your friend: Does this dress make me look slutty?
You: Ya, cause that’s what you are. You want the attention anyway.
7. Thank them often.
This is easily a forgettable part. I know some things are better left unspoken, but at times, it really just goes to show much you really appreciate them if you took the time, effort and frame of mind to sprout out a nice essay to express how you really feel. Trust me, it would be highly appreciated.
Your friend: Hey, I just got home.
You: Great. Hey, I just wanted to thank you for helping out with the dead body earlier. Don’t think I could have done it without you.
Your friend: AWWWW ❤
8. Send nice gestures.
So your friend is having a rough day – or a good one, even. I’m sure it’ll help them feel better, or even better, if they were to receive cupcakes, flowers, coffee or something, no? (Enlist the help of GoGet, Foodpanda, dahmakan, etc). Even selfies are considered gifts to some, I feel. So why not?
You: Hey, I got you some chocolate because I heard you had a bad day but I ate it all before it got to you.
Your friend: Awww, it’s the thought that counts. I feel better already.
9. Get to know people in their lives.
You don’t have to loooooooove their significant others, or their other friends, but it should be just enough to get mutual acknowledgement that you all co-exist in this one friend’s life. You don’t even have to get into full detail, but be bothered enough to care about who he/she speaks to regularly.
You: Hey, is there anybody else from your side of the family or your friends that I haven’t met yet?
Your friend: Yeah, I’d like you to meet my cousin’s father’s brother’s former roommate.
10. Be there at their worst, and then you get to see them at their best.
Have you ever seen your friend so violently drunk that she threw up on your best suede boots? I have, and while that was painful (for me, in terms of boot aesthetics and smell), it was fine. It’s OK. She’s a friend, and while this wasn’t her finest moment, there were other times where I saw her succeed, thrive and get whatever she worked for. For every bad time, a good time will surely come your way. I once met a girl whose friend had breast cancer, and she had religiously followed her to every single checkup (without fail), and saw her best friend at her weakest and frailest. In the end, they both celebrated the fact that the other healed and beat cancer. So, if you can, and are willing to handle your friend at their worst, then you deserve to be there at their best.
Your friend: OMG I can’t believe I shat my pants at the club!
You: It’s OK, it happens. Let’s get you cleaned up.
Fast forward a few years later …
Your friend: OMG I can’t believe I now own this club where I once shat my pants at!
You: YAY! So happy for you.
- Pick up the phone, and tell your friend you love him/her today. Because you never know what might happen tomorrow. He/she might cancel on that dinner meetup, that flaky idiot.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kathlyn is the founder, and managing editor of Anything Lah! She is bad at completing biodata and