Real men value relationships – they go beyond for family and friends. Unfortunately, some guys don’t get it. Learning to value a relationship is, in fact, a learned skill. Common sense tells us it’s important but learning how to treat a friend takes practice – and that means “doing”.
Here’s some tips to go above and beyond for friends – and add value to friendship.
1) Understand “Give and Take” – Friendships are personal relationships. You wouldn’t treat your significant other in a way that is all take and no give – and you can’t do this to your friends either. The goal shouldn’t be a 50/50 give and take ratio – it should be 60% giving at the least. The more you make an effort to give, the more you’ll get.
Some thirty-plus years ago, my grandfather told me the secret to a successful marriage is to always treat your wife as a guest in your home. The twelve year-old kid in me had no idea what he was talking about but as I aged, it became apparent.
When you treat others as a guest should be treated, you spend a lot more time giving and a lot less time taking. You’re doing things for others and going out of your way. As you give more, you’ll get far more in return – unexpectedly and without fail.
2) Be Sincere in Saying Thank You – It’s too easy to get caught up in the “thanks, dude” mentality that guys learn while in their teens – uttering meaningless phrases of thanks while showing zero sincerity. That’s worth nothing.
[quote_right]Don’t diminish the efforts of others by failing to show anything less than a great amount of enthusiasm and excitement over what they’ve achieved.[/quote_right]Real friends go out of their way to say thanks. If you aren’t comfortable in saying a meaningful thank you, say it by returning a favor or going out of your way to do something nice. Buy a card, a gift – anything.. just do something to show appreciation.
Being known as the “guy who cares” often seems anything but cool as a teen, but as an adult, nothing will make you look more manly. The “guy who cares” ends up being the one with the most friends – and the most girlfriends. That’s got a lot of worth too – if you happen to still be single and looking.
3) Go the Extra Mile – Don’t wait for the “thank you” moments to do something extra nice. Be first in showing gratitude and letting others know how much you appreciate them.
Think of your own friends, or even coworkers, and you’ll likely be able to quickly identify the one who is always giving – or going above and beyond. Everyone loves the guy who goes out of his way to do things that aren’t required of him.
Be that guy – and be the best at it.
4) Rejoice in the Achievements of Others – Don’t just give a pat on the back and a “way da’ go” when a friend accomplishes something. People spend a lot of time in their efforts to reach a goal. They spend even more time envisioning the finish line and they feel damn good when they cross it.
Don’t diminish the efforts of others by failing to show anything less than a great amount of enthusiasm and excitement over what they’ve achieved. No matter how big or small an achievement, reward your friend – shower him with sincere flattery, a card and a public proclamation. He deserves it.
5) Start Today – If you want to get good at giving, you have to start today. The most common problem with planning to give is that it never gets beyond the planning phase. The big setback is that giving takes practice. You can want to be the giver – you can think about it every day – but until you are the giver, it’s just good intentions that are worth nothing.
Decide how you’re going to start adding value to your friendships. What’s the best way that you could show your friends you care and appreciate them? That’s a different answer for everyone but it’s a question every person needs to ask – and answer.
Adding value to your friendships is giving more love – and that’s adding far more value to a life well lived.