Best Friends: How to Grow a Friend A twelve-step program

The best time to grow a best friend is before you need one!
Written or compiled by Joy Stevens

1. People Equal Friends.
There is a certain chemistry with friends just as in a love relationship. Therefore, contact with other people is the first building block to grow a friend. Friends can't grow in a vacuum. Best friends take time.

2. Talking Is Essential Among Friends.
Talking between friends requires reciprocity. In a mutually satisfying friendship, both friends talk and both friends listen. Friends talk appropriately to each other.

3. Friends Acknowledge Friends.
Friends acknowledge each other when talking. Many conflicts in your personal relationships can be avoided if you will take the time to acknowledge other's feelings and points of view.

4. Friends Listen to Friends.
Listening to friends in an important step in building a closer friendship. We often take listening for granted, never realizing what it means to really listen to a friend.

5. Friends Attend to Friends.
Friends focus during conversations. Friends pay attention in conversations. It means that your ears, your eyes, your body and your feelings are all focused on that person at the time.

6. Friends Show Empathy With Friends.
Empathy is identifying with your friend's feelings and seeing life through your friend's eyes. Confidences are freely given when they are received with empathy among friends.

7. Friends Touch Friends.
Touching is a warm form of communication between friends. When you see best friends communicating, you will notice friends "listen with their eyes," stand close together, and touch comfortably.

8. Friends Praise Friends.
Affirmation is a powerful tool for growing a friend. Genuine praise can affect your friends' lives. Be liberal with praise for all of your friends, including your casual ones.

9. Friends Are Loyal and Trustworthy.
Trust and loyalty go hand-in-hand for friends. Friends can trust you with their secrets, both large and small, because good friends never break a confidence. Good friends are forever loyal!

10. Friends are Equal.
Friends are on a seesaw. In a healthy relationship, friends are equals. Not 50/50 every time, of course, but with a true, lasting friendship it always evens out in the end.

11. Friends Reveal Their Feelings.
We feel closest to our friends when we are suffering together, when we feel like our friend needs us, or when we feel a friend has shared something of great importance with us.

12. Friends Do Not Mind Read.
The person who thinks, "If you really liked me, you could read my mind" can not have an adult friendship. No friend can read your mind. And you can not read your friend's mind.

What kind of friend are you? God made us to need others. Please, take the role of friendship very seriously.


"Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control"
- Richard Kline

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