“There is nothing on this earth more prized than true friendship.”
The following are tried and true steps to becoming a bad friend. << Click to Tweet
Take it from an expert!.
STEP ONE: CALL ONLY WHEN YOU NEED SOMETHING.
If you are going to be a bad friend, be sure to call your friend only when you need something. I find that when I am frantically searching for a babysitter is the prime time for a “‘catch up”’ with a friend…and to ask her for a favor.
“‘Hey, how are you? How are the kids? What are you doing Friday evening? We’re looking for a sitter…”’
Don’t waste time just calling to see how your friend is doing or anything silly like that. Don’t ring her to see how her three- year-old with chicken pox is doing. I wouldn’t waste precious time ringing your bridesmaid to ask how her job interview went. If you know your friend is having a particularly bad week, for love of Janice, don’t lift the phone. Who knows how long she’ll need you to listen to her! Call ONLY when YOU need something.
STEP TWO: GIVE ADVICE ALL THE TIME ABOUT EVERYTHING.
If you want to be best at being a bad friend, overwhelm your friends with advice about everything. Give your opinions on their marriage and how they can improve their communication skills. Overload you friends’ email inboxes with links to blogs and articles on how, for example, she can be a better mother. When your friend’s boyfriend breaks up with her, tell her your top 10 reasons why their break up was clearly inevitable. Recommend books that you think your friends should read and remark how you can’t believe they haven’t read them already. Critique everything they eat and how they spend their money. This will ensure that you are probably the worst friend they have.
STEP THREE: BE REALLY BUSY.
A good friendship requires time. Simply, don’t invest. Keep your calendar full to the brim. When you do finally get to have “coffee with a friend,” make sure they know how busy you are. Say things like,
“I am sorry we haven’t gotten together sooner. I’m just sooooooooo busy. You know.”
This will make you feel better but also remind them that they aren’t as important as the things you must do. Bad friends are too busy to be good friends.
STEP FOUR: FORGET TO CELEBRATE.
Don’t put too much effort into celebrating your friends. What’s another birthday anyway? So what if their daughter just had a baby? It’s not like this good stuff is happening to you. Save your money and cut cards, gifts, and celebratory dinners from your budget. You may hear less from your friends, but your wallet will be fatter. A bad friend doesn’t make a big deal over anything. So, stay cool and forget to celebrate your friend.
STEP FIVE: IGNORE CONFLICT.
If there has been a bit of tension in your friendship, the best thing a bad friend can do is to ignore it. Don’t forgive them or anything crazy like that. Make sure you bottle up you resentment for a good long time so you can explode when it will cause the most damage. In the meantime, give the silent treatment, keep her at arm’s distance, and make her sweat. When she asks, “Is something the matter?” just smile and shake your head “no.” She’ll know that you mean “yes,” but aren’t willing to hash it out so it can heal. The worst of friends can harbor an offense for years and never once bring it up.
Come on, no one wants to be a BAD friend. I know I don’t. There have been times in my life where I have been that bad friend who only called when she needed something…went overkill on the advice…was far too busy to be a real friend…forgot to celebrate important moments…and worst of all…refused to deal with conflict. I am guilty of it all!
I know I may not be able to be the best friend the world has ever known, but I certainly can be a better one. Can’t we all? With a little more intentionality and a little less self-centrality, I think there is a strong chance that I can become a “good” friend to the wonderful people I have the privilege to walk this life with. Here’s my plan to do so:
STEP ONE: CALL MY FRIENDS REGULARLY TO SEE HOW THEY ARE DOING. One of the things I would like to do is to see how I can be of help to my friends.
STEP TWO: GIVE ADVICE ONLY WHEN ASKED, BUT PRAY FAITHFULLY THAT GOD WOULD GIVE THEM WISDOM. Instead of being super opinionated about my friends’ lives, I want to be super awesome at praying for friends.
STEP THREE: PUT MY FRIENDSHIPS ON MY CALENDAR. I want to make it a priority that I spend time with my friends by including it on my schedule. I am no longer going to let “coffee dates” happen by chance.
STEP FOUR: REMEMBER FRIENDS’ BIRTHDAYS AND CELEBRATE THE GOOD THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING IN THEIR LIVES. One of the practical ways I can do this is to put this in my budget. Setting aside money to celebrate my friends helps me to commemorate the big moments.
STEP FIVE: ADDRESS CONFLICT AS SOON AS APPROPRIATE. When conflict arises, I must open up and talk as opposed to shutting down and staying silent. Forgiveness forges a stronger friendship.
Here’s to being a better friend!
Noelle is married to her best friend, Troy, and mama to two of the most hilarious human beings to exist: Silas and Olive Pearl. She and her family reside in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, as missionaries. When she is not wrangling her children or beating her husband in a game of Scrabble, you would probably find her doing laundry. Read her #FaithStory HERE.