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Moment Of Clarity

7 Rules of Being a Good Friend

One day, while talking with an executive, she told me she was having a difficult time maintaining friendships because she was very outgoing and attracted a lot of attention.

After we spoke, I gave her some tips that helped her become a better friend. We bumped into each other several weeks later and she was thrilled at the results because she felt more connected and happier.

The truth is making friends is easy for most of us–it’s keeping them that’s hard.

The importance of friendships has been best displayed for the world to see on reality television. We’ve seen many friendships made and dissolved on shows like Real Housewives of Atlanta and Married to Medicine.

If you truly want to become a good friend, follow these seven rules:

1) Accept Yourself: Avoid trying to impress her. If you feel you have to prove yourself in order to be someone’s friend, it probably won’t last long. If you try to stay on her good side, you risk not being true to yourself, which can make you feel resentful if you feel she is not being as good a friend to you as you are to her.

2) Accept Your Friend: He is not perfect and it is not your job to change him. If you continually judge what he does and say, then you need to reassess if this relationship is a good fit for the both of you.

3) Establish and Respect Boundaries: There are some things that are off-limits to you and and your friend. It is important to learn what they are as your friendship deepens. While you both will probably try to identify them as you come across situations, it is important to remember that they will evolve and change over time.

4) Be Grounded: Having good sense is a valuable asset and at least one of you needs to be able to say, “I don’t think stalking him/her is a good idea. Restraining orders can be a pain in the arse.”

5) Actively Listen: Make sure you understand what your friend is saying by being an active participant in the conversation. Ask questions and offer empathy when appropriate. However, chances are he or she just wants you to shut up and nod.

6) Don’t Compete: Monitor feelings of jealousy and competition closely. Do you want to be the pretty, smart, or successful one? Well, if you do, that means someone else has to be in your shadow. Remember the sun rises and sets on everyone. When it sets on you and rises on your friend, it’s important that you are truly happy for him/her.

7) Rarely Offer Personal Advice: Friends don’t offer advice unless they are asked. If you feel compelled to say something – go ahead; and if they are not responsive, try asking questions that help them consider certain things so they can make an informed decision. If they make a mistake, just accept them and be empathetic. Of course, this does not apply to shopping – you MUST tell her if an outfit is not flattering!

 I hope this was helpful. With love and light!

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW, CHt.

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW, CHt.

We understand.  Sometimes, problems with romantic relationships,  friendships, career or family life get you down. And we want to help. That’s why JET is working with therapist, Jinnie Cristerna, who will take your questions and offer some sage, sanity-restoring advice and insight every week.

Do you have a question for our “Moment of Clarity” JET Therapist, Jinnie? Email us at digitalpitches@ebony.com. We’ll be sure to keep it anonymous and confidential. 

Jinnie Cristerna, affectionately known as “The High Achievers Therapist”, works with talented people to help them release emotional pain and psychological roadblocks so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Specializing in psychotherapy, heart centered hypnotherapy, vibrational energy, meditation, and personality development, Jinnie has a nearly 90% success rate with her clients.  Sign up for Jinnie’s High Achiever newsletter here or join her on Facebook and Twitter!