How to Develop Equal Respect in a Friendship
Have things been rocky between you and a friend lately?
If it seems like you and someone you care about aren't on the same page (and it's not because of one major fight), it may be because there's respect lacking.
We all have our faults, so it's important to recognize where we're lacking in order to grow. It's also important, however, to acknowledge areas where your friend could improve their behavior towards you. Keep reading for how to develop equal respect in a friendship:
1. Don't Bail on Plans
There's nothing worse than getting a last minute text from a friend canceling on your plans. Obviously, some circumstances are understandable, but if someone bails for another person or a cooler opportunity, that isn't okay. The next time you plan on hanging out with your friend, think twice before canceling. It's important to show you respect their time, just as you don't want them to waste yours.
2. Stop Gossiping About Others
Nothing good comes from gossip. If anything, it leaves you feeling bad about yourself after putting someone else down. The only energy you should put into the universe is positive, so don't flood it with negative thoughts and actions. Chances are, if your friend gossips with you, they're also gossiping about you. Obviously, friends are here to serve as a sounding board when you need to vent, so don't feel like you can't share your angst about things or people who really bother you, but catty gossip just opens the doors for others to talk the same about you.
(Gossip Girl via The CW)
3. Apologize When You Make a Mistake
Every now and then you're going to mess up. Maybe you forgot about your friend's birthday or you snapped at them in the heat of the moment. Whatever the reason may be, it's important to realize when you're at fault. A simple apology can go a long way. Rather than avoiding confrontation, take the first step to making amends. When you take responsibility for your actions, they'll likely mirror that behavior and do the same.
4. Give Your Opinion
You're not going to agree on every topic—afterall, that would make for pretty boring conversation. If your friend brings up a subject that makes you uncomfortable or that you don't agree with, express your feelings. Good friendships are built on trust and honesty, so make sure to unleash your bottled-up emotions and state your opinion. If you hold too much in, and smile and nod about everything, people will walk all over you.
(New Girl via FOX)
5. Remember Your Conversations
It's not a good feeling when someone completely forgets about a conversation you shared. Not only is it awkward, but it's totally rude. Don't tune out of your discussions. Instead, devote 100% of your attention to the subject at hand. Your friend will think highly of you if you remember the small details at a later date, and it will inspire them to listen to you in return.
6. Stop Looking at Your Phone When You're Together
When you're hanging out one-on-one with a pal, avoid devoting your focus solely to your phone. This will make your friend feel unworthy of your presence, which is probably the last thing you want to do. Maintaining eye contact and steering clear of other distractions will make your friend feel validated and like an equal—which will therefore make them want to behave the same way in return.
(To All The Boys I've Loved Before via Netflix)
If you're the one constantly making the decisions in a friendship, at what point will your relationship start to dwindle? Let your friend take the reins every now and then. Take a step back and loosen your hold on the need to be in control. Compromise when it comes to deciding where to eat, what party to go to and more. Friendships (like other relationships) are give and take. It shouldn't be one person's way or the highway.
8. Be Confident in Yourself
This may seem like an odd piece of advice, but in order to have a proper, working relationship with a friend, you need to work on yourself first. Confidence doesn't come easy, and it takes a lot of work. Start out by writing down positive thoughts, taking care of your body and surrounding yourself with like-minded people. Your friends will undoubtedly notice a difference in your life. Positive energy is contagious. If people see you smiling and being your best self, it will make them want to be around you more and treat you the way you treat yourself.
(Wonder Woman via Warner Bros. Pictures)
9. Do Something Nice With No Expectations of Reciprocation
Make your friend's day by doing something nice for them. It can be as simple as complimenting their new haircut, grabbing their fave coffee from Starbucks or driving them to the airport. A real friendship is not about evening out the score, so by performing a random act of kindness without expecting anything in return, you're proving how much they mean to you.
Is someone mistreating you? You'll definitely recognize these signs of disrespect.