One Way to Be a Really Good Friend

10.28.2015

I am blessed to have some really good friends, some I've known since the awkward days of middle school, others since high school and college. When I moved to Oklahoma in the fall of 2008, I did not have a single friend in the entire state. I knew no one and had to make friends all on my own.

Seven years later, I look around me and find that I have surrounded myself with some wonderful people. Jordan and I switched classes at church last year, and the girls in that class are some of the kindest, most hospitable people I've ever known. I still keep in touch with my older friends as well, thanks to Skype dates and Google hangouts and group texts (all hail the smart phone!).
^^^Friends since high school! We met up for a girls' weekend in San Diego last fall. I was pregnant with R and didn't know it!

Not only are these people fun to hang out with, but we share honest feelings and struggles. I try to be a good friend, because having good friends means being a good friend. There are a lot of ways to be a good friend, but there is one way in particular that has stood out to me lately in how my friends are loving me. It's really simple but something often overlooked: Ask for updates about things they've mentioned in the past.

Here's an example:

At church on Sundays, our class goes around the room at the end of our lesson and asks for prayer requests. We write them down so we can remember to pray about them during the week, but often the request isn't mentioned again unless the person brings it up later to offer an update. One way to be a good friend and show you care about the other person is to ask them for an update before they offer it.

Did your friend mention a graduate school test on Wednesday they are worried about? Text them on Wednesday morning to say good luck or on Thursday afternoon to see how it went.

Is your friend's grandma in the hospital? Write them a message on Facebook later in the week and see if there's an update.

It doesn't have to be in church either, obviously. What about if you were talking with your out-of-town friend on the phone, and she mentioned being sick that day? Text her the next day and ask if she's feeling better.
This is not rocket science and is most likely something you've heard before and might already be doing, but (at least for me) this concept of checking in for updates on things they've mentioned in the past is something that's easily forgotten! It's easy enough to ask about how things are going today, but checking in to ask about something they talked about last week not only shows that you listened initially but that you remembered later and were thinking about them.

It feels so good when someone asks for an update about something you asked for prayer about. It makes me feel special and like they actually care about me. Over the past few months, I have been trying to be more intentional about doing this myself for other people, and I can tell by the responses that they appreciate it too.
Life is hard, and it's easy to feel like we're all just putting our heads down and focusing on our own problems. Asking a friend for an update about something she mentioned in a prior conversation doesn't take that much time and is an easy way to be a really good friend.

Who can you encourage today by asking for an update? 
How else do you show that you're a good friend?

19 comments:

  1. Enjoyed all the photos, and that is really good advice!

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  2. thanks for this post! i don't do this enough so i definitely need to be more intentional with it!

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  3. um yes! I love that we both shared on the same topic this morning! So so so important!!! Love that you are surrounded by such amazing people!

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  4. I love this! It's so important to be present and put "work" towards all relationships/friendships in your life. A lesson I am learning more the farther into adulthood I get ;)

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  5. Great post! I think this is something that is so easily overlooked as we are all busy and thinking about our own stuff. My hubby and I went to a new (to us) church this past Sunday that I think I'm really going to like, so I'm hoping to make some new friends there.

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  6. You are absolutely right! Doing those little things makes such a big difference!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  7. You are so right! I really need to take this to heart!

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  8. Wait, youre not supposed to constantly insult your friends? This posts creates many questions for me.

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    1. You guys try to pretend you don't love each other but you fool no one! Remember that time you were nice to each other and it was weird?

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    2. Haha, yes I remember that. It still gives me chills on occasion!

      P.S. I will never stop trolling your blog during work hours. I believe a concerned reader of your blog stated that you needed more JeffPeerman on the blog. I'm a man of the people so I must give them what they want one way or another.

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  9. I absolutely love this! When friends randomly check in with me either just because, or on a specific topic, it makes me so happy. They obviously care about us! :) good friends are amazing. I'm so glad you have so many!

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  10. Yes! It really does make my entire day when someone remembers what I asked for prayer for and genuinely wants an update!

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  11. Really great post and reminder! I know how awesome I feel when someone will ask about a problem/prayer request/issue I've been having- like you said, you can FEEL the love and that they really care. I need to continue reaching out to my friends more in return.

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  12. That's something that my grandma is so good at. I swear, she remembers every little thing people mention and will always ask how whatever it was turned out next time she sees them. That's a good skill to have--a poor memory is no excuse to not try to show you care about the news people share with you!

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  13. So simple, but so true! When people remember things about my life it makes me instantly feel better and want to do the same for them. Great advice.:)

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  14. love this post, it's so true. the other day i went running with a friend and i asked for an update on this crazy situation that she had with her boss.. she was like wow, i can't believe you remember that! i love when people ask me for updates, it makes me feel like they actually listen.

    i don't know if i'm a good friend exactly haha but i always try and remember treat others how you want to be treated. it's cliche, but it's true. i wouldn't want someone to talk about me behind my back, so i don't talk about others. i wouldn't want someone to bail on me, or let me down, so i don't do that to them.

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  15. Yes, yes, yes! I have learned this from being the recipient of it. I have a couple of friends who are really great at this and it has taught me how to be a better friend! Your advice is spot on!

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  16. This is such great advice. I know it makes me feels good when a friend checks in with me or asks me how an event went that they knew I was going to. i need to remember to check in more than I do. Always room for improvement.

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