This is really unfair. We’ve already established that there are no
Rules for your friends – you take them as they come. But there
are Rules for you. Oh yes. I expect you to be the best friend you
can to the people you choose to give your friendship to.
That can be hard work, I’ll warn you now. It means finding time
for your friends when they need you even though you’re busy,
exhausted, otherwise committed. It means juggling your life to
fit your friends in unexpectedly when they hit trouble. Of course
there’ll be long periods when they don’t need you, and you don’t
need them. Times when you’ll both understand that work and
life and kids and whatever else can get in the way, and you
hardly see each other. It won’t matter because when you finally
get the time for each other, you’ll just pick up where you left off.
That’s what good friendships are about.
But every so often your friend will call out of the blue, or turn
up on your doorstep, and they’ll need you. Really need you.
Something has gone wrong and they’re desperate for a shoulder
to cry on, someone to help, someone to listen. And you’ll be
there. Even it means staying up half the night when you’re
already tired, or getting someone to mind the kids for a couple
of hours, or taking a day’s holiday – or more – from work.
There are lots of qualities a good friend needs of course – you
need to be a good listener, to be positive and supportive, to be
loyal, thoughtful, kind, sympathetic, dependable. But you can’t
be any of those things unless you’re there. That’s why the most
important thing of all is to show your support by making the
time for your friend, however hard.
T H E R U L E S O F L O V E
If you’re going to be
a friend, be a
F R I E N D S H I P R U L E S
They may not need you to give them hours of time, of course.
Maybe they just need a few minutes, or a favour. Maybe they
need you to call for five minutes every couple of days to touch
base with them. Perhaps they need you to keep on asking how
they are, after everyone else has forgotten their troubles. Maybe
they need a card or an email to tell them you’re thinking of
them. On the other hand, maybe they do need your time.
This is one of the things that sets Rules Players apart. We learn
from what our greatest friends do for us, and we do the same for
others. We make sure we give our friends all the time and sup-
port they need when times are tough, even if it comes at some
hardship to ourselves. Because if you can’t be there when your
friends need you, what’s the point of being their friend?
THIS IS ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT SETS RULES