Hey everyone! It’s Caitlin here. I’m excited to announce that Angela Morales is going to be a recurring contributor! She wrote her first post for And Possibly Dinosaurs back in September, and now she’ll be blogging more regularly! This first one is about how to be a feminist by being a good friend. Look for her name and bio on each of her posts!
Sounds really easy, right? Be a good friend.
It can’t be that hard… right?
It’s a lot harder than people think, and friendship is one of those things you don’t really know you’re good at until someone screams “YOU’RE A GOOD FRIEND!” at you.
The other night, my coworker and I were texting each other about her post in a Facebook group we’re both in. It was about waiting for the other shoe to drop when you realize that you’re really happy and that things have fallen into place for a while.
This is where it got real.
I told her exactly how I felt about the situation. That she deserved all the happiness and good things that have come her way. That she worked for, and earned, each and every ounce.
This girl and I have only been friends since we started working together (in June, so for like 2 seconds), but in order to take this job, she packed her whole life up in her tiny car and drove across the country by herself with no certain future.
I told her all this because, besides it being 100% true, that is how I really feel.
Then she pretty much yelled, via text message, that I was a good friend.
I asked Caitlin if I could write another Feminist Friday post, this time about friendship, because it’s been a hot topic in my brain the last few months. In the last year, I’ve seen some friendships blossom and grow into awesomeness, but I’ve also seen a few that I thought were tried and true fall apart for a multitude of reasons.
The last year has really made me doubt my ability in being a good friend. I pretty much broke up with my best friend of a decade because we were/are in very different places in our lives and I got really tired of having my feelings hurt for reasons I couldn’t comprehend.
However, I also got to reconnect with two old basketball teammates, a good friend from kindergarten, and friends from college, and made some amazing new friends along the way.
It’s been a weird year for me and friendship, but here’s what I’ve gotten out of it:
How to Be a Feminist: Be a Good Friend
Commit to your plans, to your life, and do everything you can not to bail.
I get that sometimes life happens and you have to change your plans or, in a sense, bail on the plans and people you had already committed to. That’s okay, just let them know as soon as you can so they can accommodate for it. Don’t take advantage of other people’s time.
Reschedule if you need to, that’s fine too. Don’t go AWOL on people who care about you.
Oh, and for the record: do you best not to over commit. It’s bad for everyone involved, and stretching yourself too thin is never good.
Plus, when you don’t get to see each other all the time, the 3 hour phone calls til 2 a.m. and the lunches that turn into dinners are so worth it.
Listen to your friends. They’ll listen back if they’re good ones.
Lean on each other, but lift each other up at the same time. Vent, yell, scream, cry, talk, gush, whatever. Be there for each other and be present.
If you get to a point where you feel like you’re just there out of obligation, you need to reevaluate how you see your friendship. Part of the idea of friendship is being there for each other, and being there to listen is a HUGE part of that.
You might not always have any advice for them, or you might say the wrong thing, but you’re there. That’s usually all that matters.
Lovers and Friends
Okay. I feel like I need to teach a lesson on how not to be that friend.
You know who I’m talking about. The one who gets overly mad when you hang out with other friends or your significant other… or the one who awkwardly talks about the friends they’ve never met… or the one who doesn’t even try to get to know your SO.
First, it’s rude.
Secondly, your friend doesn’t belong to you.
I do my best to make sure I don’t do this, but I’ll be completely honest and say that I have. It wasn’t a good idea at the time, and it still isn’t.
All in all, you don’t have to like other friends or significant others, but as long as your friend is happy, and they aren’t in a dangerous place, try to keep your opinions to yourself.
When someone’s significant other isn’t my favorite person, and they ask me my opinion, I’ll tell them that while that person might not be my favorite, as long as my friends are happy and okay, so am I.
If the tides change and they ask me, I’ll ask permission first, but I’ll be honest.
Don’t only come around when you need something from the other person.
Taking advantage of someone is the worst when you’re on the receiving end and you know it. Keep that line of friendship open so that you have a relationship that warrants the ability to do something like this and it doesn’t make your friend feel used.
Friendship is a give and take type thing. Try to give more than you take, and find people who want to do the same.
Because when you do, you end up with amazing friends who become family, regardless of where they live, what they do or who they associate with.
Do you have any other tips on how to be a good friend?
Natalie V. says
Great post! I had some amazing friends in high school, but we all went to different colleges and drifted apart. I haven’t ever found a group of friends to replace them–I’ve moved a lot, forgotten about the world when I was in grad school, and haven’t really found my little community yet. My husband and I just moved to a new town about twenty miles from our previous house, and I’m so hoping that I can find some friends who are in the same phase of life as I am! Friends are wonderful!
Hi Natalie! Thank you for your comment! Moving around makes finding new friends difficult, especially as we get older. Hopefully you and your husband find some awesome new friends, be they coworkers, or random people at your local coffee house. Friends really are fantastic!
AMEN! Sharing this!!! Great points about being a good friend! Thank you!
You’re so welcome! I’m glad you liked it!
Cara of Stylish+Geek Blog says
Thank you for writing this post and reminding us one of those essentials things that we need to do as we go through life. 🙂
No problem 🙂 Good friends are hard to come by, so you’ve got to remember to hang on to the good ones!
Andi Fisher says
Really great tips about being a good friend. I definitely practice what you are preaching with my best friend!
Fantastic! I’m so glad you liked the post, I hope you and your best friend are doing well!
Wonderful post and great tips! It’s good to be a good friend!
Thank you, I’m so glad you liked it!
Shipra Taneja says
Being a good friend is so important. We often take them for granted.
We really do. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve taken people for granted, but that I strive not to because it’s a terribly feeling. I think we overlook the little things when it comes to our friends. Best wishes!
Tanya Coffman says
Ironically, I feel such encouragement from this article. I’ve recently went through a BFF break up of 15 years because she asked my honest opion and I gave it to her. It wasn’t what she wanted to hear, so she moved on with her life. Everything happens for a reason though.
Tanya, BFF break-ups are seriously the worst. It’s hard not having the person to call, but that doesn’t mean that someone else won’t come along to fill the void. I’m so happy I could give you a little encouragement, especially because I know (at least a little!) what you’re going through. Everything really does happen for a reason, and in the end, you’ll end up better for it. Promise!
These are all wonderful points! Its SO important to be a great friend!
It really is! Friendship is such a cornerstone in life, especially as we get older and it’s so easy to drift apart. Thanks for commenting!
ahealthier fitterme says
Agreed! I think that supporting other women is so necessary! Thanks for sharing ;o)
Such a good post – you truly do need a good friend who will give you the low-down and what you really need to hear. Not what you want to hear.
Alicia Snow says
I love this!! Friendship is really an important key for most aspects of our lives!
Michelle Chouinard says
Great post. I think the part that resonated with me the most was the issue about not bailing on things you commit to. We’re all guilty of that from time to time, and a good friend knows that sometimes things happen. However, when you do it all the time, or often, it sends a message to your friend that they are not really a priority in your life, and neither is their time. It’s not cool.
Most of my friends come around when they need something which is why I love keeping to myself hehe. Awesome tips!!! 🙂
Amanda Love says
Great tips here. I hate when people try and take advantage of my friendship. They are usually no longer my friends after that.
Nasya A. Acosta says
Love this post some really good points and tips!