Our Common Humanity
We are all part of the human race. We share the resources of this world. We have so many things in common. One of the key steps to taking friendship to the next level is to treat your friends with great respect.

Treat them as human beings, not as a source of gain or advantage.

True friendship is not based on any ulterior motives we have concerning the other person.

Friends are friends.

They do not need to or try to take advantage of the relationship for any selfish personal gain.

Good friends admit their humanity and value the humanity of others. They see the other person as a fellow citizen in the journey of life.

Friends “link arms” and make the journey together, providing and offering assistance as needed, desired, or requested.

The Golden Rule
Do unto your friend as you would have your friend do unto you.

The Golden Rule is truly golden.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

To take your friendship to the next level, you may want to step it up even further.

Do more unto others than you would have them do unto you!

What a precious and valuable principle. How many ills of the world would be solved if everyone lived by it!

We certainly want to use the rule with our friends.

We want them to know that their interests are as important to us as they are to them.

Listen
People want to be deeply understood. When we deeply understand a friend, it shows how deeply we care. We don’t want to listen with only our ears to their words; we want to listen with our hearts. We want to feel as they feel and see as they see.

This is a deep level of empathy.

When we listen, we should listen not through our life experience but through theirs.

We place ourselves in their shoes and walk as they have walked.

We put aside our life to better understand theirs.

Real friends can walk a mile in each other’s moccasins.

Look Inward
Look inward to the feelings you may have about your friend. What are the pre-judgments (prejudices) that you may be holding in regard to them, their background, their ethnicity, their preferences?

What past history about them do you cling to that may not be true today?

Your prejudices and judgments will show up in your behavior towards that person, whether you are aware of it or not.

They will sense it.

They will see it.

If you hold on to these limiting beliefs and pre-judgments, they will block that friendship from growing.

You must accept them as they are. You must forgive and forget any past negative history you may have between you.

Truly put the past in the past.

Author's Bio: 

Mark Victor Hansen, best known as the co-creator of the ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ empire (which is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling non-fiction book series ever), is a walking success magnet! Between his books and speeches, Mark has helped countless millions of people become their very best. Visit Mark’s 101 E-Book Library at www.IdeasThatCanChangeYourLife.com.