“Be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm & constant.”’
Before we begin, let us first understand why becoming a genuine friend is important at all! The answer is pretty simple.
It not only makes all your personal and professional relationships stronger, it also gives you that boost of positivity from within, which propels you towards all the positive outcomes in life.
And blessed are those people who find deep friendships in all their relationships, be it professional or personal.
5 Ways to Be A More Genuine Friend
But the problem is – most of us try to become popular instead of genuine. And that’s what I am going to talk about in this post. Trying to be popular entails a massive and consistent effort to live up to an image of ourselves that we have created.
That’s too much work.
Instead, simplicity and genuineness go a long way in building and maintaining relationships, in my experience as a Motivational Speaker. I only talk from the collective experience of all the people who have spoken to me in the last decade and half!
There is unprecedented surety and peace in being genuine to people you want to build relationships with. But it requires work. Here’s how you can up your friendship game:
1. Don’t Be A Gossip Monger
When you are in a group of friends, you may think that the person who has the maximum information about everything and everyone would be the most popular and loved.
But that’s so not true!
When you gossip, your own friends will talk about others with you but they won’t share their troubles with you. Because they know they can’t trust you with theirs. What’s the guarantee that you won’t talk about them to someone else?
You gossip. You lose trust and respect too. You would still be popular though.
But for all the wrong reasons! Gossip is that weapon which can end your relationships, some of your best partnerships which you may have worked hard to build. It is a wasteful exercise of the tongue.
A better idea would be to remain a bit quite & listen and observe the people around you. The more you do it; the more dangerously powerful you will become.
2. Don’t Judge Your Friends
“What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others”. – Confucius
Opinion is the lowest form of intellect, often marred by biases and preconceived notions. Before judging your friends/partners and forming an opinion, you should look at all perspectives.
I think, a lot of relationships go sour because people don’t stop to consider the other side of the story. Assumptions and judgements are definitely the root cause of relationships going bad.
And what kind of a friend does that make you?
You should not forget that you are getting judged too, and probably wrongly. Why extend the same injustice to your friend? Be fair to your friendship and have room for conversations, not verdicts.
A lot of people think they are not judging. But they invariably are. Always stop to see whether you are forming opinions/passing judgements about your friends, even if mentally. See them as they are and accept them as they are.
That’s the stuff genuine friendships are made of.
3. Be A Mystery
Being mysterious does not mean you go totally black box on your friends. But what it does mean is – not boring them with each and every detail of your life. You will have many professional and personal friendships.
You can’t be an open book to all of them!
You need to filter out what needs to be told and what needs to kept to yourself.
There is joy in life when it unfolds in surprise every now and then. And there is less fun in knowing it all. Being a genuine friend in every relationship means being truthful to the role you are playing.
Besides, if everyone knows everything about you, you will end up getting judged more! And it might also turn against you in some crucial situations, especially at the work place. Avoid being an open book. Give away only the genuinely needed chapters.
4. Be the Peacemaker
Relationships that look great from outside, often have the deepest fissures invisible to the outside eye. It is true for families and true for work partnerships as well.
A calm demeanour outside and a raging conflict within – what’s the point?
If you can identify the rifts, you should also make efforts to fill them up. Not gossiping will take care of half of it. For the other half, be the peacemaker among your friends. Make them see each other’s good sides.
We tend to drift towards the negative because that’s easier to believe.
True friendships are those where we tend to bring out the best in our friends. As you siphon out your own flaws, try to uplift your friends to a higher level too.
5. Don’t Forget Yourself
The best that anyone can do for their family and friends is take care of themselves. While you move the world for your friends, do not forget to step up your own game.
Make constant efforts to be healthier and happier.
Work on your expertise, skills, hobbies – they will help you become a genuine friend as you start setting positive examples for the people around you.
When you are making smart progress in your own life – the right people will get attracted to you automatically. And this will definitely make you more popular among your friends. They will not only want to imbibe your good qualities but also want to reciprocate the genuineness that you extend to them.
Here’s a quick recap on the 5 ways to be a more genuine friend:
- Don’t be a gossip monger
- Don’t judge your friends
- Be a mystery
- Be the peacemaker
- Don’t forget yourself
People think relationships are tough and too much work.
But have you noticed?
Your best ones are those where there is no pre-tense; just a lot of genuine care and affection. I firmly believe that when it comes to friendships that matter, being innocent and truthful is more effective than being clever.