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Friendship: Myths, Mistakes, and Tips

This week we will be discussing friendship and how to be a good friend. Friendship is a key element in many people's lives, so it pays off to have knowledge of what a good friend should act like. You want to be sure you are treating others the best way you can.

5 Myths:

MYTH #1: The more you have, the better. TRUTH: Having more friends does not mean that your friendships are better. Quality over quantity. It is better to have smaller number of friends who you are close with than having a large number of friends with only superficial connections.

MYTH 2: Men and women can't be friends. TRUTH: Men and women can definitely be friends. There can definitely be and there are platonic friendships between men and women. A man and a woman can hang out without there having to be a romantic attraction.

MYTH 3: It just happens.

TRUTH: Friendships don't always just happen. You have to put in work to create and maintain a friendship with someone.

MYTH 4: They always last forever.

TRUTH: Friendships don't always last forever. Sometimes people move away or grow apart. This doesn't have to be a bad thing, it just means sometimes you have to move on.

MYTH 5: You have to have a best friend. TRUTH: Not everyone needs a best friend. You don't have to have only one person that you go to for every aspect in your life. You can have someone you go to for hanging out and having a good time while also having another person you go to for emotional support.

3 Mistakes:

MISTAKE #1. Not being a good listener. Many people don't want to be around someone who is always talking and never lets them get a word in. Listen to others when they talk. Ask them questions about what they were talking about to show you really were listening and paying attention.

MISTAKE #2: Not following through on your promises. This is a big mistake that people make. Don't promise you will do something if you know you cannot do it. This just makes you seem untrustworthy and many people will not believe you when you make promises.

MISTAKE #3: Treating friends like a therapist.

You should be able to talk to your friends about your issues, but if you are constantly bombarding your friends with your problems it could be an issue. This could lead to them associating you with negativity which you don't want. Make sure you have conversations that are not just about the problems you're having in your life.

3 Tips:

TIP #1: Be supportive. You should support your friends in both their successes and their losses. This lets them know that you'll be there for them in both the good and bad times.

TIP #2: Look out for your friends. A good friend looks out for their friends. This could mean sticking up for your friend or telling them that you don't agree with a situation that they've gotten themselves into. An indication that someone is a good friend is if they make sure their friends are taken care of and okay.

TIP #3: Show up. Be there for your friends! Sometimes all people need is for someone to be with them. Go to their events and show your support.

General Advice:

Be trustworthy. No one wants to have a friend that they cannot trust. Good friends keep things confidential and are nonjudgmental. Being trustworthy is one of the biggest aspects of being a good friend.

Pay attention. Give your friends your attention when you are with them. Don't be sitting on your phone or doing other things when they are trying to talk to you. Paying attention lets them know that you care about them.

Be respectful of boundaries. You should also be respectful of your friend's boundaries. If they do not want to discuss something or partake in a specific activity, respect that decision. It will make you a better friend and make your friends want to be around you more.

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