When you visit friends, do you labor over what to wear? Are you conscious of how you come across? Do you consider some subjects off limits because you’re afraid the discussion may turn into an argument, or you might be judged? In short, are you comfortable being yourself around your friends?
Wait a minute. If you’re among true friends, why are you walking on eggshells? Why are you worried about making a good impression? And why are you nervous that they’ll pass judgment? They’re friends, aren’t they?
When you’re with good friends being yourself should be good enough.
How to Make Your Friends Feel Comfortable Around You
When you’re among friends you shouldn’t have to mince words, second-guess your actions, or agonize over whether you’ll be judged. You also shouldn’t have to put up a false front, build a wall around yourself, or feel uncomfortable in your own skin. Right? Here are 20 ways to make your friends feel comfortable around you:
Be yourself. Be authentic. If you try too hard to impress your friends, you’ll make them feel uncomfortable.
Treasure what’s important. Choose your friends based on who they are rather than what they have. Otherwise, you’ll make them feel that they have something to prove to you.
Let your friends be themselves. Accept your friends as they are rather than judging — or trying to change them. Furthermore, “funny” off-handed comments, disguised as jokes, can be hurtful.
Find common ground. Focus on similarities rather than differences. Pinpoint shared interests and build on them.
Be present. Stop multitasking and constantly looking at your phone. Physical presence is not the same as “being there.”
Listen more. Talk less. Listen rather than try to persuade a friend to accept your point of view. Communication is a two-way street. It requires more than talking.
Share part of yourself. Get beyond small talk. Doing so demonstrates your trust in them.
Keep a secret. Words spoken in confidence are words spoken in trust.
Discuss don’t debate. Respect your friend’s opinions even though you don’t always see eye to eye. You can strongly disagree on an issue and still walk away as friends.
Show sincere interest. Focus on others rather than yourself. Be attentive, be empathetic, and always be supportive.
Be consistent. Make it easy for others to predict your behavior. Be the same person in public and private. Make sure your actions match your words. And don’t run hot and cold.
Keep your ego in check. Get off your high horse. You gain more by making others look good than by singing your own praises.
Be modest. Achieving success doesn’t say as much about you as how you choose to wear it.
Be happy for a friend’s success. Friendship is not a competitive sport. Don’t keep score or play one-upmanship. Envy can turn friends into adversaries.
Be reasonable. Never make demands that your friends can’t deliver.
Be considerate. Don’t overstay your welcome or take advantage of a friend’s good nature.
Give of yourself. Anticipate people’s needs rather than waiting to be asked. Go out of your way and do the unexpected, but never expect something in return. In addition, when you do something nice, do it quietly. You don’t have to rub it in a friend’s face.
Make your friends feel special. Bring out the best in your friends and make them feel good about themselves.
Prove your loyalty. Remain faithful through good times and bad.
Show your gratitude. Invest in relationships to avoid spending the time to repair them. Never take a friend for granted or do anything to jeopardize the relationship.
Being a friend involves so much more than doing a favor for someone or having an occasional chat on social media. Friends share one another’s dreams, open their hearts, and enrich one another’s lives. Bear in mind what Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” Do your friends feel comfortable around you?
What Do You Think?
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