Cultivating Your Support System and having relationships is pretty solid things we all want in life. For some it’s easier than for others. If you’ve found yourself having a hard time making supportive friends, it’s time to take a deep look into yourself and figure out why. After all, the biggest part of our lives is spent with our friends and family and these relationships are what make us who we are.

  • Be a Friend to Have a Friend

    Building supportive relationships takes a lot of time and effort. If you expect people to be supportive of you when you need it then it’s very important for you to do the same for them. The Golden Rule is a very good rule to follow when it comes to friendships and supportive relationships.
  • Be Who You Are from Day One

    Differences are the spice of life, so never try to be someone you’re not just to have certain friends or to attract a certain person into your life. The fact is, people rarely change, and you can’t keep it up. The more you trust others to be themselves, the more they’ll trust you to do the same.
  • Respect Others for Who They Are

    By contrast, it’s imperative to be very accepting of other people’s differences too. It doesn’t mean you have accept illegal behavior, but you should be willing to accept some minor moral differences or things that are superficial differences, like skin color or whether or not they choose to get a tattoo.
  • Avoid Taking Responsibility for Others

    There is a fine line between support and enabling behavior. When a friend has to suffer the consequences of their erroneous actions, you do not have to take any type of responsibility for your actions to be supportive. You can be supportive even when visiting someone in jail.
  • Believe in Your Friends to Be Better

    Sometimes part of being a supportive person and a good friend is to want more for them than they do. If, for example, one of your friends is in an abusive relationship, don’t stand by and support that idea. Do demand that they get help and get out of that situation.
  • Learn How to Listen Effectively

    We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. We should all seek to listen twice as much as we talk. But, there is a difference between just sitting there silently as opposed to truly listening. Try repeating back to people what you think they said in your own words until you get it right.
  • True Friendships are 100/100

    No one is keeping score in a real friendship that offers support, so that is why they are 100/100 instead of 50/50. If you’re focused on providing 100 percent of yourself, you will not be focused on resentments and misunderstandings.
  • Spend Real Time with Your Friends

    When you foster a friendship and a real relationship with someone, spend real time with them that counts. Most people don’t need that much time. Sometimes it’s just ten minutes on the phone, other times it’s meeting for coffee. Another time it might be bringing the double chocolate chip ice-cream and the movie Terms of Endearment with a box of tissues.
  • Learn to Accept Criticism (and Give It)

    True supportive relationships aren’t always completely positive. Sometimes friends need someone to be willing to call them on their BS. Truly supportive people can do that for each other and allow it to be done for them.
  • Ask for What You Need

    Some relationships can seem one-sided at times, which is why it’s important to learn how to draw boundaries and ask for what you need. If you ask people for what you need and they don’t, can’t or won’t provide it, it might be time to move on.

Cultivating your support system requires a lot of work, but it will pay off when you truly need the support. By setting the standard of what you expect in a relationship, you will be a good example to your friends and family of the type of support network that you need.

Petra Monaco

Petra Monaco

The Rebels Den

Author + Artist, a Goal Coach + Business Strategist. Petra helps freedom-seeking Rebels + Creatives to follow their intuition, embrace who they are while they taking action towards their dreams + goals - whether it’s writing a book, starting a business or just focusing on personal goals. Petra uses her personal story to inspire and motivate people into doing the work they need to do to create change because she believes that your excuses are just avoidance. You can have the cake and eat it too if you're willing to show up for it!
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