Being a friend
It’s nice to be friends. It is a treasure to be able to mean something to someone. Developing trust, such as learning that someone is HIV positive, can strengthen friendships. Most people can probably agree that one of the finest proofs of friendship is to be just such a friend. But how do you become that friend, and how do you manage such information?
Friendships develop all the time
Some would probably claim that strong friendships are built over a long period of time. That it is friends you have had for a long time who become the closest. But friendships can also happen in moments. The feeling when you speak the same language, and share values, the meeting that creates a strong bond. It is through our openness to others that we show who we are, what we say, what we joke about, and how we see other people.
No one is particularly keen to talk about their homosexuality to someone who judges others or makes gay jokes. No one wants to talk about their vulnerability to someone who talks shit about others. But with the one who shows respect to others, is humble and caring, we are ready to talk about the difficult.
Be an active listener
One of the best qualities of a good friend in a crisis is probably having the ability to listen. Nothing beats talking to someone who can really listen in an active way. This does not mean that the listener should constantly get involved, rather to put their own values aside, and try to move the conversation forward. The best way is to show interest, maybe ask a follow-up question now and then, but don’t be afraid if there will be silence sometimes. It is in the silence that one sorts one’s thoughts.
To be able to speak freely gives you the opportunity to put into words something you don’t fully understand, and when the words come out and are tested against someone else, the best thing of all happens; reflection. Sometimes that’s all it takes to be able to move on, to get through a feeling step by step, and to make, if only, a little bit of progress.
Your questions about HIV
Of course, you yourself will have a lot of questions about HIV. Feel free to talk to your friend about this, but don’t take your worries out on him or her. It can also be a good thing to be open and honest about wanting to know more about HIV. With more knowledge, it will be easier to be a good friend when questions about HIV pile up. You as a friend can also turn to Noaks Ark for support or knowledge. You too can remain anonymous and call Noaks Ark Direkt on +46 (0)20-78 44 40.
You as a friend are important. We are here for you too.