One thing I’ve learned as I’ve grown up is that the best friendships are the ones that feel easy and natural, but they still take a lot of work and effort. Love Maxie’s tips for being a more supportive friend because I think it’s something everyone can be a little bit better at, even if you’re already a great friend!
4 Simple Tricks for Being a More Supportive Friend
Guest post by Maxie McCoy
From the early playground days to the dorm room turned bestie days, friendships make life magical. Life becomes more vibrant. You feel more supported. And oh, the amount of belly laughs that can happen when two peas in a pod are back together.
As you get older, friendships become a little bit more real. Some will fall away. Some were just contextual with stages in life. Some will blossom. And others will get stronger with every passing day.
Those incredibly strong and powerful friendships all have one thing in common: mutual support. They’re like a lifeline when things get tough, life gets crazy, and the bumps become bumpier. You’ll be able to do anything, feeling like this. And the science is here to prove it, we are happier, healthier and live longer with more friends.
Over the past year or so I’ve seen the amazing power of close friendships as I’ve been on an untraditional path, figuring my shit out, going on adventure, trying new things, launching a new business. And none of it would have been possible without my besties and my tribe. They made their home mine while I searched for apartments, they answered the phone in the middle of the night to pick me up after I’d been followed home in a foreign country, they gave me a pep talk when I was worried I wasn’t working hard enough, they talked me back from emotional ledges when I questioned my choices, they voted and celebrated me when I was the award show underdog (love ya Car!) and they filled me with so much love to make the everyday adventure a magical one.
I saw support at it’s finest. And you can be darn sure the support will come hurling back their way. Because that’s what friends do. You have to give support to have support. Take a cue from a few of my favorite easy ways to tell your friends you care, no matter what the situation is:
Remember. Using Reminders.
Being thoughtful about what’s going on in your friend’s life can go a long way. When you’re catching up and they tell you they have a big interview for an internship next week, put a little reminder on your phone to shoot a text that morning and tell them good luck. From big test days, to flights home, quick moments of well wishes can go so far for your relationships. And look, you’re busy. We all are. So let technology help you on this one. Whether you set an early alarm with their name on it, or put a reminder in your calendar for a week from now…it’s doesn’t take much to send big love their way. The support will be felt. Trust.
Encourage. With Voice Memos.
If there’s one thing everyone can use a little bit more of, it’s encouragement. To know it’s all going to be OK. That the breakup will get better. The tough teacher will be over. The crazy work situation will pass. Talking on the phone doesn’t always happen, especially in our constant text and messaging app craze. But the sound of your voice can do wonders. So too can a smile. Open up your phone, press record and send a little pep talk to a friend that might need it. One better? Swiping right on your iPhone from picture to video and letting them see those twinkling eyes and giant smile. They’ll feel better in an instant and thank you for it.
Listen. And Put Down Your Phone.
There’s nothing better than a friend that is fully there. But it’s impossible to be fully there and completely listening when you’re simultaneously trying to write the wittiest of captions for Instagram. Make your bestie time sacred. Leave the phone in your bag. And show up fully for your friends. You’ll see more clearly how they’re really doing. And your support will come across in abundance. The opposite is true if you’re constantly distracted while with them. Lock it up.
Celebrate. On Social Too.
When your friends have huge life wins, often times you’ll be just as excited if not more than they are. It’s important to show it. While you may not be able to drop off some fresh tulips just because, you can send a little social love their way no matter how many miles separate you. Maybe it’s a twinning picture from middle school shouting your pride, or tweet shouting to the rooftop your friend’s accomplishments, your support can be magnified with a little social love here and there.
Focus on your friends. Supporting them in meaningful ways is as simple as it is important.