Right now, take a couple minutes out of your busy day, and stop whatever it is you’re doing.
Close your eyes.
(okay, maybe wait until you’re done reading this and then close your eyes)
Think about your circle of good friends. Let each one pass through your mind, and note the particular emotions that come up within you.
Are there certain friends you feel closer to than others? Is there an individual (or two) who does an especially great job of being a friend? What is it about these friends that tend to make them better at being a friend than others?
Chances are, they are people who…
- Encourage you
- Are honest about and affirm the positive qualities they see in you
- Don’t run when you’re being a jerk or need to express your emotions
- Will tell you when you’re not being the person you’ve told them you strive to be (i.e. when you’re being a jerk instead of your more authentic self)
- Can tell you that you’re being a jerk without being a jerk themselves
- Not only make time for you, they make an effort in the relationship
- Are forgiving
- Keep their word and are consistent in both word and actions
- Will listen without judgment
- Inspire you to be your best self
- Accept you as you are today
- Will express, on a regular basis, how much you mean to them
- Demonstrate their trustworthiness rather than expecting you to earn their trust
- Honor you; treat you with regard and integrity (no shaming, belittling, or snarky sarcasm)
Know what this list says about those friends? L.O.V.E.
The friends who are really great at being your friends, know how to express AND action their genuine love and affection for you on a regular basis. And they tend to do it in a way that’s meaningful to you because they really listen to what you share with them.
Another friend may love you and treasure you just as much, but if they don’t often tell you how they feel about you, what they like about you, or action the things in the list above… how are you supposed to know how much they love you? You are not a mind reader.
Now, within the circle of good friends that you were thinking about earlier… is there someone you haven’t taken the time with recently to express or action your love for them? When was the last time you expressed how much they mean to you, or offered words of encouragement and affirmation?
Your feelings are important…to you. They become truly meaningful, inspiring, and significant when shared with others.
Your friend isn’t a mind reader.
It makes no difference how you feel about your friend, what really matters is that they know it. When they hear it in your words and see it in your actions, then all those beautiful feelings you have for them serve an actual purpose.
It’s a purpose that’s real, and honest, and it matters. One small affirmation from a friend can change the course of someone’s day entirely.
Pick up the damn phone… right. this. second. And call that friend.
Share a little bit of your L.O.V.E. with the friend who hasn’t heard from you in a while.
Know that what you have to offer absolutely matters, and it’s absolutely beautiful.