Earlier in the week, I had an honest, face-to-face conversation with a female friend. It wasn't nasty or brutal, but she had enough respect for me to be honest and tell me somethings that I needed to hear. She's someone I met only a few months ago here in DC and there was something that just clicked. She's smart, intuitive and fearless. Then, yesterday, I had the great fortune of having lunch with another girlfriend, one who makes me laugh, is creative and genuine and just makes me feel adored. When leaving, we had an exchange that was as innocent and as childlike as a second grader passing another a note that said "do you like me, check yes or no." We commented on how much we enjoyed one another's company and jokingly said, "Well, maybe we just bring out the best in one another." And maybe she's right. In an age of competition and jealousy, when we're clamoring to reach the top of our game, it's nice to know that there are women out there who are supportive and loving of one another. Women can be catty and manipulative, which breeds such discontent and anger and why do any of us want to live like that? While there are some women with whom I will never be friends, I find it necessary for my well-being to surround myself with women who are supportive and loving, and try to give them the same. Because at the end of the day, the old adage is true: Treat others as you would like to be treated.
Here are some tips that I have found helpful in being a friend to others:
- Be as supportive when your friend has good news, as when they have bad news.
- Don't gossip. While it's entertaining, it doesn't have any benefits to you or the person about whom you're gossiping. It also makes you not trustworthy... if you're willing to gossip to me about another friend, what are you saying behind my back?
- Keep a secret. Mystery is more powerful than a know-it-all.
- Help each other out. Exchange favors.
- Don't criticize a friends significant other or their children. And no flirting with their spouse.
- Be kind their children and nice to their friends.
- Show up when asked. They want you there because they like who you are as a person. I'm not saying bend over backwards to be everywhere at once (as that is emotionally draining on you) but be supportive when possible.
- Remember their birthday
- Help them to think big and encourage them to move forward on projects that are out of their comfort zone or scary.
Life can be hard, and I don't want people in my life who aren't supportive. You want those who will tell you the truth, because you need to hear it and not because they're trying to pull you down. You want women who touch your soul with a smile and who make you feel supported and loved, just the way you are. I have many acquaintances, and a few really close girlfriends, for whom I am truly thankful everyday. Why? Because I adore them as people, appreciate their support and recognize that they contribute to my success, well-being and betterment as a friend and a person.