Are you a good friend? Of course, your answer will be largely dependent on your definition of what a good friend is.

Some people have an easier time making and maintaining friendships than others. When we work with people to build social skills and relationship skills, we don’t often talk about the friends they are making, rather we examine their own contribution to the dynamics of a friendship. After all, it is a person’s behaviour that is often the most important information we can gain from a person, simply because behaviour is observable and gives us an insight into a persons beliefs, attitudes, resources and self-concept.

If needed, once you learn NLP you can change any unresourceful behaviours, beliefs, capabilities and even our identity as a friend. This might be useful if you find you are too clingy or dependent as a friend. Or, if you are too distant, standoffish or if you don’t let yourself be vulnerable as a friend.

An article by Psychology Today identified a few traits they found essential for friendship. NLP will help you to identify these traits within yourself, enhance them or change how they come across to others. Some of these traits include: trustworthy/honest, caring/empathy, confident, supportive and loyal.

If a person is lacking any of these traits, they may find it challenging to keep long-term relationships. If there is a sense of distrust, a lack of honesty or a sense that the other person doesn’t care the friendship may seem very one sided.

Interestingly, by the age of 21 most of our abilities, beliefs and social skills have been developed. Specifically, developmental psychologist Morris Massey identified the ages of 13-21 to be the socialisation period. It was during this timeframe that you learned how to be a friend, developed empathy, matured your confidence and related a level of trustworthiness. If however, you didn’t have a good role model when you were younger, if trust was an issue within your family or you didn’t have an adequate socialisation period, this may account for some deficit in the friendship traits.

We’ve often found that people who care too much – give too much advice, enable their friend’s disruptive behaviours, or give too much of themselves away, have beliefs about being liked or desires of being wanted equalling what they can give others.

We’ve also found that people who are dependent on others tend to push friends away, and this sometimes stems into abandonment or other events that may have happened as a young child.

When you learn NLP, not only will you learn tools to build a stronger level of rapport, great skills to understand and communicate more effectively with your friends, you will gain a valuable set of skills that will help you to be truly you. Honesty, integrity, confidence, vulnerability – to just be you. This will also give the room and permission for our friends to simply be themselves too.

When you can take an honest look at the qualities you bring to your friendships, with NLP the only real possibility is to become an even better friend.