There are dozens of little rules or sayings that I do my best to hold true to, but these are the ones that come to mind first.

24 Hour Rule

This doesn’t come into play often, but when it does, it keeps me level-headed, open-minded, and understanding. It’s this: if someone is going through a rough time or they’re upset or angry or regardless of the reason just flat out don’t want to talk to you, reach out and then give it 24 hours. Let them know you’re thinking of them, and then let them have the time. Sometimes people need the processing time and space before they can reply with something. 

In my experience, 9 times out of 10, they’ll get back to you in the 24 hour time span and will also in a better place to communicate

Do what you say and say what you mean.

I find it a huge dishonor to not stay true to my word. I guess I make bold claims sometimes – I’d do anything for youI’m here for you, I got your back – but these are things I mean. If anyone from my past were to pick up the phone and say they needed me, I’d be there because I once said I would. The loyalty remains; it never went away. You remain important to me.

I don’t make these bold claims unless I mean it.

I don’t compliment people for the sake of it; I don’t express gratitude without the feeling in my chest. No, I mean it every time because I want these things to count.

Even on a smaller scale, when it comes to my daily life, if I say I’m going to do something, I will. It breeds good habit and proves that I’m not just some all-talk shithead.

Be a yes man when you can.

I don’t think people ask for help unless they need it, and given that, I think it’s important to be willing to lend a hand when I can. It may be a small inconvenience for me but it might make the difference for them. What are we here for, if not for each other?

I also think you miss out on things if you’re always saying no. So I try to say yes to experiences too.

Wear your heart on your sleeve.

I try to be honest – about who I am, where I come from, who I love, who I want to be – because we spend so much of our time afraid to be vulnerable. I don’t want to be afraid, and I sure as hell don’t want to waste my time here, either.

They tell you when they’re ready.

I admit I generally know more than I let on, but I think the timing is everything when it comes to other people. I’m not particularly nosy; I don’t need to know the latest drama or gossip. I don’t push for answers; I don’t ask questions that I know will bring up the elephant in the room. There are exceptions to the rule, but overall, I let it be. It’s not my business. People are on their own timeline, working up to things, dealing with things themselves. When and if I need to know, it will get back to me.