WHAT IS FRIENDLINESS?
Friendliness is taking an interest in other people, being warm and courteous. When you are friendly, you happily share the things you have. You share your time, your ideas, and your feelings. You share yourself.
Friendliness is going out of your way to make others feel welcome or to make a stranger feel at home. Friendliness is sharing the good times and the bad times together.
Friendliness is caring without being asked to care. Friendliness is the best cure for loneliness.
WHY PRACTICE FRIENDLINESS?
When people practice friendliness, it gives strangers a welcome feeling. Being friendly keeps you and others from feeling too lonely. When something good happens to you, or something bad, it feels good to share those feelings with someone else. To do that requires a friend.
When we have a friend, we can still be alone if we want. Or we can be with someone who loves us and cares about us. Our friends can do things with us and share their thoughts and ideas. When we make it easy for others to be friends with us, we are being friendly. Friendliness means we do not have to be alone unless we want to be.
Friendships don’t just happen—they are made by people who are willing to be themselves with each other. Without friendliness we would find ourselves alone, without friends. Unless we are friendly, people believe we don’t like them or care about them.
Many people are shy and need a very friendly person to go out of their way before they feel comfortable. Friendliness attracts people and allows them to get to know you and you to know them. Without friendliness people keep to themselves and have no one to feel close to or to share with.
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE FRIENDLINESS?
Friendliness starts with liking yourself. If you do not feel good about yourself of believe you have things to share, you will stay away from others.
You can be friendly just by walking down the street, or the hall at school, looking into people’s faces, and smiling at them. They will probably smile back.
Pick someone that you would like to get to know. Smile and greet that person. Ask her something about herself and listen to what she has to say.
Do something together. Share what you have with her (including your other friends). Invite her into your home. Invite others along if you feel like it.
Next time you see a friend, show him you are happy to see him. Ask him what has happened to him since you were together, and then tell him what’s new with you.
When a friend is sad, don’t always try to cheer him up right away. He might need to be sad for a while. Sit with him and ask him to tell you what wrong.
If a person is shy it can be hard to show friendliness to strangers. That’s okay! Saying hello to people you know upon entering a room, or simply thinking friendly thoughts makes the world a better place!
What would Friendliness look like if…
- You see someone who is new at school looking lonely?
- You wish you could make friends with a popular student at school?
- Your parents invite a family to dinner whom you have never met?
- One of the friends look like she has been crying?
- You are walking past someone who looks strange and dresses differently?
- You wish you had more friends?
Congratulations! You are practicing Friendliness when you…
- Like yourself and realize you have a lot to offer
- Smile and greet someone you don’t know
- Get to know someone and let them get to know you
- Show an interest in others
- Show caring when a friend needs you
- Are friendly to people who look and act different
I am friendly. I smile and greet people. I show an interest in others. I like myself and know that my friendship is worth a lot.
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Special thanks to The Family Virtues Guide and The Virtues Project, a global grassroots initiative to inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life.
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