We all survive and thrive on the comfort of those who know us best, who get us back on our feet and help us to carry on when the going gets tough.
I am continually challenged to take my ability to be a friend to another level. My wife and I have made some strategic decisions for the next year and are laying out goals for our personal and professional development. Often, in my desire to offer comfort I sabotage her by offering a way out of difficulty rather than challenge in the pursuit of her goals and dreams. She’s told me, “I really need you to be a friend to me and not let me out of these goals when things are not easy.”
I have to admit, it’s far easier for me to soothe when I should be urging her on to hit the marks she has set, with affection and encouragement.
How about you?
As a friend, you are able to speak in love to those closest to you and help them become the best they can be. In fact, it’s your love and commitment that makes such direct challenges palatable.
Here’s some starters to help be a better friend:
- “You’re overextending yourself. Why don’t you get to bed a little earlier? You need sleep—not more movies.”
- “Come on. You’re better than that!”
- “Do you really need that second bowl of ice cream or can of beer?”
- “There’s a trend I’m seeing in your attitudes. Let’s talk about it. I’ll walk with you through this and stick with you.”
- “You need to take better care of yourself. Why don’t you make an appointment to see a doctor?”
- “Be a class act. Don’t descend to the level of petty gossip and malice over what [insert name] has disappointed you with.”
Being a friend surely means offering solace and empathy. But it also has the character of a good coach—you help those you love to win. Be that friend.