1. Respect People
Always talk to people with respect; speaking to them like you want to be spoken to. Be kind in your words and actions. Think before you speak, because once the words leave your mouth, they can't ever be taken back. Your words may be forgiven, but they will never be forgotten. When you speak harshly to someone, you put a small crack in that relationship. Too many small cracks and the relationship will crumble.
2. Be Loyal and Trustworthy
Be the kind of person that can always be counted on to do the right thing. Never do anything to betray that trust. Always be honest, and always temper your honesty with kindness. Let them know that they can always lean on you, and even their deepest secrets are safe. If you don't have trust in a relationship, you don't have anything to build on.
"A friend is one who walks in when others walk out" ~~ Walter Winchell
3. Put Others First – Be a Friend
I know it's not easy, but you need to put the needs of others first. By that very act you show how much you care, and how important that relationship is to you. When you enter a relationship with a heart that puts others first, you are blessed by the fruits that are grown from such an act. By showing a genuine interest in others, you show yourself a friend, and gain loyal, lifelong friends to yourself.
As Dale Carnegie said, "You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
"The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one." ~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
4. Don't Try and Be Someone You're not
Always strive to be your best self, but never try and be someone you're not. Relationships built upon lies and distortions will never stand. Real friends are honest and upfront with each other. If you want to have a real friend, then be a real friend. Part of being a real friend is being yourself. If you want to impress someone, impress them with your kindness and friendship.
5. Don't Take People For Granted
I think this act probably causes more hurt, resentment, or weakening of friendships than any other. We go from enjoying someone's company, really appreciating all the things they do for us, and thinking about how great they are for the things they do. Then, let a little time go by, and we stop acknowledging the good things about them. We come to expect certain things that we considered special at one time. Don't do it, it's a relationship breaker. No one wants to be taken for granted.
6. Be Forgiving
What if the one being taken for granted is you? It hurts to feel like you're not appreciated. If we aren't vigilant in caring for our relationships, these things can easily happen. That's why it is important for us to look at others like Christ looks at us, with compassion and forgiveness.
Be sure to talk to the person taking you for granted. Don't let it build inside until the relationship is destroyed and irreparable. If they're a true friend they should apologize and be willing to change that.
Another trick to great relationships is good communications, and not holding grudges. Be forgiving as Christ is forgiving.
7. Be Positive and Encouraging
I love being around people who are positive and encouraging. It brings out the best in me and causes me to want to be positive and encourage to others. Can you think of a better emotional boost than to help put a smile on someone's face?
Dwelling on and being discouraged over problems will do nothing to make them better. We need to acknowledge the problem, tell that problem it's not going to define us, and then get to working finding a solution.
When someone you care about is down and hurting, you getting depressed with them will do nothing to help. What you need to do is show them compassion, be empathetic, and let them know you're there for them.
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