Ella’s Tips to Being a Good Friend
Always be supportive
My best friend, Kayleigh, loves horses. When a horse pulls back his lips and shows you his teeth, Kayleigh thinks he’s giving you a horsey smile. I think it looks like he’s about to make a horsey snack of your head. But I still support Kayleigh’s riding. I listen to her chatting about mucking out, and sometimes I go and watch her do jumping. Kayleigh is important to me so I’m interested in the things that are important to her – even if they’re not my favourite things. BUT if someone is going on and on about their stuff and never listening to you, then it’s okay to tell them that’s not fair. I learnt that from my sister, Chloe; when her friend wouldn’t stop talking about his ferrets she sat on him and made him listen to her playing the recorder (which isn’t one of her hobbies, she’s terrible at playing the recorder, she just wanted him to suffer).
Always be kind to each other
There are lots of ways to be kind to your friends. Things like sharing chocolate, inviting them to your party, or telling them you like their new trainers are quite easy. Other things can be much more difficult. It’s hard to know what is a kind thing say or do when someone is really sad, or when they’re in trouble at school, or if they’ve had a haircut that makes them look like they’ve forgotten to take their cycle helmet off, but it’s really important to try to be kind because even though words can’t change things for your friend they can make them feel much better.
Sometimes it’s okay to have disagreements
I used to think that if I had a fight with my best friends that they wouldn’t want to be friends with me anymore, but a row isn’t the end of the world. A disagreement doesn’t have to get horrible if you stick to saying how you feel and don’t be like my little sister, Lucy, who forgets what an argument is even about and starts telling people what a big bottom they’ve got. And you need to listen hard and try to see the other person’s point of view because that’s how you work things out.
Sometimes you have to compromise
Some people think that being nice means always letting other people have their way. (I used to think that.) But actually my Step-mum showed me that if you want your friends and you to all be happy, then really you should share the decisions. Chloe, and her friend, Thunder, have burping competitions to see who gets to decide what computer game to play. If you’re less gross than that, you could just take it in turns to choose things.
Never pretend to be someone that you’re not
My sisters are quite exciting people. They do things and shout things and paint things purple in a way that quite often makes people stare at them. I’m not like that. But I did start to think that if I could be like my sisters that people at my new school might like me. (I also thought that maybe my dad would notice me more.) But it was a bad idea. Pretending to be someone else is a bit like wearing a dinosaur costume; it’s fun for a bit, but it gets really uncomfortable if you do it all the time. If you can be just be yourself then you will find friends who think you’re cool the way you are and those are the best friends to have.
Never let your friends make your decisions
It’s important to decide things together with your friends, but you shouldn’t ever let anyone else run your life. You don’t have to do things that make you unhappy or that you think are wrong just because someone tells you to. That’s why my mum won’t let Chloe blame it on Thunder every time she comes home with frogspawn in her hair.
Thank you to Candy Harper for writing such a fabulous blog post!