These are our suggestions on how to be a supportive and true friend that builds up those around her.
1) Ask if she’s okay – twice
It natural for us all to assume roles in life – whether it be within our families, workplaces or friendship groups.
For this reason, many of us often put up fronts and facades, and feel we constantly have to have our ‘stuff’ together. Whether we are the mother hen, the supporter, the cheer leader, or the sensitive soul who needs that support from her peers,
often we want the very best for our friends.
But how often do we genuinely check in and ask if they are okay?
Habitually, the first time we ask, ‘are you okay?’ we will get a brush off response or an assurance of the fact that they’re fine. But by asking a second time, we allow our friends to ask for help if required. Asking a second time shows we are there to support, and we are genuinely asking because we care, not just because it’s socially expected.
Check in on your friends and remind them it’s okay not to be okay. Be that support they can turn to when they feel completely alone or that it’s all too much.
2) Celebrate her wins
A good friend is not just someone who is there to eat ice cream with and cry to when things go bad. A good friend also celebrates her friend’s wins without jealousy, spite, or judgement.
Whether it’s celebrating the fact that she made a great dessert, her new job, or the fact she finally kicked that no-good partner to the curb, celebrating your friend’s wins will bring you closer together.
Celebrating the good times will not only reinforce your friend’s feelings of self-worth and gratitude, but will also make you feel good in the process… we promise!
3) Accept her for being a peach
When we work with teen girls we share our Peach Theory.
The Peach Theory suggests that you can be the ripest, juiciest peach that ever existed; but there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches.
We encourage our girls to focus on being true to themselves, and surrounding themselves with people who love them for who they are; people who love peaches!
So as a good friend, accept your friends as they are. Recognise that none of us as perfect, and we are all unique, just trying our best to fit in and belong.
Don’t make your friends feel they have to act, behave or think a certain way. Accept her for who she is, quirks and all.
4) Practice gratitude for people and for moments
The benefits of practising gratitude have been long recognised, but now, the scientific research and proof is finally catching up, showing us that the mental health benefits of practising gratitude can be plentiful and life changing.
Spending a few minutes identifying the things in each day that you are grateful for is a powerful practice that has the ability to retrain your brain to focus on the good instead of the bad or the ‘lack’.
Use this as a bonding opportunity with your friends. Set up a group message to encourage each other to get into this routine and share your ‘best bits’ from each day with each other.
The majority of things that fill up your lists should be moments and people, shifting the focus away from material things and onto the magical and irreplaceable aspects of each day.
5) Embrace the sisterhood
Girls support girls. It’s really as simple as that. No girl gets left out, no girl gets left behind, no girl should be shamed or judged or put down by anyone… especially another girl!
Life is tough enough fighting for equality and our rights in the workplace, in the home, and amongst society… don’t make defending yourself against other women another pressure added to the list.
Support your sisters, raise them up instead of tearing them down, be kind to them, and always tell her when she has toilet paper stuck to her shoe.
Us females are so emotionally intelligent, compassionate and resourceful – imagine if we stuck together, supported one another without judgement and criticism, and continued to raise each other up… we would be absolutely unstoppable.