How to Be a Good Friend
Bert and Ernie. Laverne and Shirley. Thelma and Louise. These duos knew what it took to create a lasting bond. Here, expert suggestions for creating your own enduring relationships (none of which involve driving off a cliff).
If you always tell your friend how to fix her problems, the relationship will be unbalanced. You become the One Who Knows All, and she becomes the One Who Is Troubled. Eventually you’re both going to tire of those roles. Instead, let her bounce ideas off of you. Ask, “What are you planning to do about this tricky situation?” Or just give a supportive comment: “That sounds difficult. How do you feel about it?” Offer your opinion only if she asks for it. Otherwise you’re not having a dialogue; you’re giving a lecture.
Frank M. Lachmannm Ph.D., is a New York City-based psychologist and the author of Transforming Narcissism ($40, amazon.com).