#Lifespo: 7 lessons we can learn from Zoe Tay on how to be a better friend
Who doesn’t want to be in the good books of someone as famous as Zoe?
But what is about the reigning Queen of Caldecott that makes her such a good friend?
When asked how she manages to maintain lasting friendships in the entertainment industry in an interview with local media, the veteran actress had this to say: “(Over the years), I’ve learnt that not all friendships are lasting. And that you cannot force people to be friends with you. Chemistry and communication between friends are very important. Because of my job, I don’t really have time to make a lot of friends, so most of them are from the industry. And I’m very lucky to make a lot of friends here. I find that to keep friendships strong and lasting, respect and confidentiality are most important.”
As we celebrate the artiste’s 51st birthday on Jan 10 and her three-decade long acting career, let’s take a look at Zoe’s famous friendships and learn how to be a better pal like her.
Trust is a base and core quality of every kind of relationship, and this is also true when it comes to good friends. A good friend is someone you can trust to keep the personal information you shared with them private and not share it with anyone or gossip about it.
Even though Zoe Tay and fellow actress Huang Bi Ren bicker endlessly on screen in the drama “The Dream Makers 2” (2015), it is often reported that there is hardly any rivalry or competition between them off-screen. In fact, the dynamic duo is great friends in real life and often invites each other’s family to their kids’ birthday bashes.
“Our long-time friendship is built on trust and understanding. If it (quarreling off-screen) really happens, it’d just show that we are extremely immature,” said Zoe when asked in an interview with the local press about how she keeps her friendship with Bi Ren so strong.
People don’t always want to hear the brutal and honest truth. But that’s what a great friend does. She tells it like it is – even when it might be hard to speak the truth.
A great friend will be especially honest about the important things like whether or not you should keep doing something that’s dragging you down. Even if the words are hard to say, Zoe always tells the truth (with a dash a humour).
In a candid interview with the local press to promote her drama “A Million Dollar Dream” in 2017, Zoe gleefully exposed her long-time pal and actor Chen Hanwei’s over-the-top spending habits.
She shared that he practically donates money to hospitals thanks to his overly frequent checkups. She added that: “he goes to the doctor when he gets a pimple. And he sees a specialist for an ordinary stomachache.” An honest friend is hard to find.
These days we are time crunched, so to take the time to arrange a birthday celebration with a bestie (instead of sending them a “Happy Birthday” message on Facebook) is an awfully thoughtful gesture.
Getting and staying closer to people takes putting in a little extra effort. One case in point, this birthday celebration Zoe and friends Hong Hui Fang and Chen Xiu Huan threw for actor Hanwei. So follow “Ah Jie’s” lead and take the relationship offline and actually be present for a friend this year. Talk about #friendshipgoals!
Most people tend to be defensive when they first come into contact with someone new, so be patient and really take the time to get to know someone.
In an Instagram post, Zoe revealed that initially, she didn’t have the best impression of her friend Chen Han Wei.
She thought that Han Wei was arrogant while he said that she gave off supermodel vibes. However, the actress said that as time passed, she saw: “the real Chen Hanwei (who) is kind, sincere, and gives her a sense of security, like the roots of a tree. I’ve always said that he is like an angel to me.”
We often think that sharing commonalities is necessary to making good friends. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Sure, while having a whole lot of similarities is nice – but major differences, especially in terms of mindset and experiences, can bring a whole lot to your life.
Making friends with different beliefs and a different way of seeing the world can change your life immensely. After all, opposites attract so embrace the quirks and things that make your friend unique.
Don’t just take it from us. In an interview with the local press, Zoe’s bestie and celebrity hairstylist David Gan shared that they are so close precisely because they so different.
He said: “She’s humble and I’m not humble at all (laughs). She is someone who doesn’t have an evil bone in her body. I always tell people, if Zoe Tay were calculating and scheming, she would be more than what she is today. She doesn’t like to go out. I love to party every night. She hates to gossip while I love gossip. I’m also very loud and she’s not.”
The two first became friends in 1986 on a Go magazine cover shoot in Mauritius and since then, there’s been no looking back.
You are probably comfortable around your good friends because you don’t have to be someone you’re not. A good friend should accept you unconditionally for who you are. In that same vein, a good friend shouldn’t be judgmental as well.
In an Instagram post, Zoe revealed that her and her bestie Hanwei are such good friends because they are both non-judgmental: “It’s hard to find such a genuine, supportive, understanding, supportive and respectful friend in the industry. We are respectful of each other’s lifestyle. We do not interfere or pass judgements. It doesn’t matter what the others say. Call it fate.”