Your social circle is a good place to start if you’d like to make some positive changes to the world and stand up against some of the things you feel strongly about. Here’s how you can do that.

Speak up

Your friends need to know how you feel about social issues. It’s important for them to know your stance so that there are boundaries that can be created if your circle isn’t the kind to speak up. Friends won’t always agree on everything, but if you’re passionate about something, share that with your friends because they may support you and get behind your cause. It also helps to listen to their opinions as this will give you access to a different point of view.

Call them out

Sometimes our friends are part of the problem. A big part of being a good friend is being able to tell your friends the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. If you’re trying to effect social change and your friends are part of the problem or make excuses for people who are, it’s important to let them know. Remember to be tactful and honest in your approach.

Educate them

Your friends may say things or feel a certain way about particular social issues because they don’t have enough knowledge, which is why you need to have conversations with them about the facts. Be sincere, honest and calm – you don’t want this to erupt into an argument or make your friends feel like you’re trying to belittle them.

Live out the change

To effect social change in your circle and beyond, you’re going to have to consistently live out the things you’d like to see. This means looking more at your own behaviour and biases rather than focusing so much on other people. After all, you can’t make anyone change but you can always improve yourself. Chances are, once your friends see the change in you, they may want to do the same for themselves. Be consistent without being hard on yourself when mistakes do happen (which they will); being a champion for change is no easy task, you’re going to have to work at it.

One of the most important things in friendship is the ability to be honest and authentic at all times. If who you are is someone who’s passionate about bringing change, then your friends ought to support that and find ways to help you. Just remember that they have the right to an opinion, too, so if you’re having more clashes than agreements, you may want to put those friendships on ice for a bit. For more advice on this, you can get in touch with us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

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