Day 4 of Making Small Changes: Being a Better Friend

Hi there! Thanks for sticking around for Day 4 of Making Small Changes. I hope that you’ve found some helpful information here- and be sure to leave comments because I want to learn from you, too!

Today I’m writing about a subject near and dear to my heart: friends. When we first moved to Houston 6 years ago, I was devastated to leave behind many wonderfully strong, long-term friendships even though I knew we were going where God wanted us. It was actually quite hard for me to make good friends when we first moved and it still brings pain to my heart when I think about those days that were filled with wonderful people that I loved, but were actually pretty lonely for me.

There was one incidence in particular that I remember every woman in the church being invited to lunch after church- except me. I’m not sure if it was the whole pastor’s wife thing or what, but for the first year and a half I only had one friend who would consistently  contact me and ask to hang out outside of church activities.

Since then, God has sent numerous women into my life- I think mostly on behalf of the prayers of my husband- that encourage and uplift me and are really good friends to me. I try very hard not to take these friendships for granted, but I know that there are always small steps that I can take to make sure that I’m being a good friend.

“Don’t wait for people to be friendly. Show them how.” ~Unknown

how to be a better friend

1.) Text or call them just to see how they are

I find myself only texting friends when I need to tell them something specific like, “Hey, I’ll bring that book to you at church on Sunday,” or something like that. I’m trying to be very intentional in my friendships and just text to say, “How ARE you?” or “How can I pray for you this week?” Life gets so busy that these gestures sometimes are forgotten, but checking on our friends is vital!

2.) Pick up a little something at the store, or make something for them

If you know that your friend is a fan of Coke, pick one up for her next time you’re at the store. (Bonus: find one with her name on it!) Making cookies that you know she loves? Stash a few away for her and drop them at her house.

3.) Be intentional about time with them

Again, busy-ness gets in the way of this but I find that a few hours with a friend each week does wonders for my soul. Just this week I went to a birthday dinner for a friend. I was SO tired and had so much to do that I almost backed out. But I went and was uplifted and laughed and was so glad that I took the time to go- and my friend was happy, too!

Being intentional is important here. Busy women aren’t usually going to “accidentally” spend time together. We’ve got to make time on our calendars, reach out to our friends, and make it happen! It used to bother me (and admittedly sometimes still does) that I do the majority of the initiating of seeing my friends, but I know now that it’s probably just because they’re busy that I don’t hear from them, not because they don’t want to see me. (At least I hope! 😉 )

4.) Weep when they weep, and rejoice when they rejoice

Sometimes, when people go through hard times, their friends’ tendencies are to shy away because they simply don’t what to do or how to help, or sometimes it’s just plain selfishness. On the other hand, we sometimes find ourselves jealous of good things that happen in our friends lives and wonder why they don’t happen to us. I lost a very dear friend a few years back because she was jealous of something I had that she didn’t- something very much out of my control. It still grieves me to think of this lost friendship (a friendship of both of our families, really) over something so petty.

Ladies, we’ve got to stop both of these practices. When your friends are suffering, be there for them. I know this is hard. I’ve had friends that have had really terrible things happen to them and yes, it’s sad to talk to them and sometimes I found myself pulling away. But when women are already dealing with a loss (a husband, a job, a parent, a child, whatever), they don’t need to deal with the loss of a friend as well. And if your best girlfriend gets the house you’ve been wanting, or a job promotion, or her kid is an All-Star student and yours is struggling, don’t let it come between you! Be happy for her.

I would love to hear your thoughts on being a good friend. Do you have a great friend you’ve learned from? Maybe you’re in a transition period and looking for a new friend? If that’s the case, please e-mail me so I can pray for you. I know that prayer works wonders in this aspect!

About Kelli Hays

Kelli Hays is a wife, mother, writer, and friend. She has been blogging since 2008 and loves sharing inspiration for the everyday woman!

Comments

  1. Aargh! I totally get the left-out-in-a-new-place-feeling. I’m the principal’s wife at a small boarding school. This is our third year here, and the first year (I didn’t work that year), we had all of the staff members and their families over one at a time (20 different families). Only ONE staff member invited us over the first year, and during year two, another staff member invited us over. Thank you for the encouragement to be a better friend–sometimes, I give up too easily ;).

  2. My pastor’s wife posted this on facebook. It’s a good reminder of the little things we can do to build a friendship. Thanks for the reminder to be intentional. God bless!

  3. Estoy totalmente de acuerdo, a veces somos egoístas o no sabemos como ayudar a nuestros amigos, pero la mejor opción es tratar como te gustaría que te tratarán, ayudar como te gustaría que te ayudarán. Gracias por los consejos.

  4. Kate Hawkins says:

    Thanks for this post, sometimes we think our marriage and kids are the only relationships we need but friends make life wonderful. I have many friends whom I see rarely but think of often. You reminded me how important it is to let them know I still consider them part of my life.

  5. Making friends isn’t too tough for me. Keeping them is near impossible. I have abandonment issues to begin with and everyone i meet makes it worse. i’m the friend everyone throws away. i’d like to say, maybe it’s me and perhaps theres something i could do to be a better frend but it’s not me. I’m the one who makes the dates and gets canceled on, time and time again. I’m the one who goes out of the way to make things special for a friend, no one’s done that for me. I give and give and give and no one every gives back. It’s getting depressing. it’s always been depressing

    • Sorry to hear that! I pray that God sends you a best friend who just adores you. In the meantime, just know that God is a friend that sucks closer than a brother. He never ever leaves our changes! <3

Trackbacks

  1. […] I am a firm believer that women need solid friendships in their lives, but as moms it’s often hard to find time to squeeze that in. We also need to exercise, but that also can get pushed to the back burner. So why not combine the two and enjoy the fresh air and exercise while chatting with a friend? I am much more likely to get out and run if I know a friend is waiting on me. Unless I forget like I did last week- Sorry, Nikki! (Read more about how to be a good friend here) […]

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