I never thought I would be writing an article about what makes a good friend. It’s not rocket science, right? Well, you will be shocked at the number of people that have no idea or clue about being great friends. If anything what usually happens is that they have no idea whether they are being bad in the first place. You will be amazed at the number of people who search on google about it. That is why today on Love is All Colors, we have decided to tackle this simple yet complicated topic.
So scroll on and let us dive in…
What makes someone a good friend
What does it mean to be a good friend? What are some of the most common qualities of a good friend?
There are a lot of people who are out there and are very lonely and in serious search of an amazing fiend. Some of these people are lonely simply because they have no clue about what makes a good friend or best friend qualities. So subconsciously, they tend to push other people away who are nothing but genuine friends to them. The thing is we are all wired differently. That said though, we are also wired to search and yearn for meaningful relationships. Some studies have shown that people who have good friends in their lives tend to live healthier and longer.
There is this common adage: ‘In order to have a great friend, you must first be one’. I guess this is the reason why most people keep searching over and over again about finding good friends. Have you noticed the number of people who are committing suicide because of depression? This could all be because when they needed a true friend to talk to when struggling with depression, there was no one.
So how can one learn to be a good friend? What is the definition of a good friend? Well, let us dive in and take a look at some of the qualities and how you can turn to be one and how you can also teach others to be better friends.
Make time for your friends
Growing up, it was very easy to just spend time with friends. We had gangs and groups, and because we would go to the same schools, it was easy to just be there. The distance was never a limiting factor. We could practically see our friends on a daily basis.
In adulthood, the reality of the matter is that friendships require more effort. Our schedules are crazy. People have different lives. It is even harder now especially with the world on lockdown.
That doesn’t mean that our friendships also have to be on lockdown. You can always schedule time for a friend. Even if you can’t be physically there for them, what makes a good friend is one who can make a phone call or a video call. Apparently texting doesn’t count! But if you want more memorable and meaningful memorable conversations, a simple lunch date will do.
Time is one of the best things you can give a friend. So spend time with that person you treasure. Remember friendships take time to develop. They don’t happen overnight.
Be honest and real
Honesty is one of the absolutely necessary best friend qualities to be able to develop trusting relationships. No one wants a friend who keeps lying to them. When lies eventually come to light, they break relationships. Now, when it comes to being honest, sometimes we also have to tell a friend some things about them that they might not want to hear. A good friend will be candid but with their friend’s feelings in mind. They will express their concerns and opinions in a kind way.
Speaking of being real, you need to be your true self around your friend. That way, you will know that this person loves you for who you are. True friends accept each other for exactly who they are… even with all the flaws. So in order to be a great friend, you need to be comfortable in your own skin. Just be you. True friends are relaxed when they are around one another because they can stay true to themselves.
Be loyal and supportive in good and in bad times
Is it a crisis or is it a celebration? What makes a good friend is usually being loyal and supportive in good and in bad times. It is like the marriage vows phrase “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health…”. So always be loyal to your friend. Have they made some accomplishments worth throwing a party for? Celebrate with them. Are they going through some troubling times, then be there for them no matter what your circumstances are. Be genuinely happy for their successes.
Here are examples of loyalty in friendship. You can show your loyalty through your words. Sometimes, a lack of words is also one of the examples of loyalty in friendship. For instance, you can’t be talking behind your friend’s back or share their personal stuff behind their backs. At the same time being too judgmental is not what makes someone a good friend. So don’t tear your friends down. What does it mean to be a good friend? Whenever you get a judgy attitude, always remind yourself that your friend is doing the best they can.
Good friendships require unconditional acceptance no matter how you might feel sometimes. Be a shoulder to cry on… a pillar they can lean on. Use positive words of encouragement when talking to your friend. One of the qualities of a good friend is to be a builder to your friend instead of a demolisher.
Be willing to solve any issues you might be having as friends
People are brought up differently. That is why every relationship also hits some bumps every now and then. So if there is some conflict between the two of you, a good friend shows the other that they are willing to iron out things. Now, when a friend hurts you, it can be really difficult to be the bigger person amid misunderstandings and hurt feelings. But you know what? Some of the lasting relationships become even stronger after going through some difficult times. Don’t give up on friendship just because you are going through a rough patch. Try and work things out if this person is that special to you.
Keep their secrets
If there is one thing that can really mess up great friendships, it is being a loudmouth. True friends guard each other’s secrets. When a friend tells you something in confidence, please take it to the grave as you promised. Show them that you can be trusted even with their deepest secrets. True friends guard each other’s secrets with their lives.
That said, the opposite is true. You should be able to be vulnerable with them as well as allow them to show their vulnerability. So, you should be able to share with them your deepest secrets and allow them to do the same without fear that you will betray them someday.
When a friend opens up to you about their fears or their hopes, don’t judge. Make sure they know that you can be trusted with their vulnerability and that you will never take advantage of it. This way, they will always know that they can reach out to you, no matter what the situation is. Can you be such a friend?
Laugh out loud!
Another adage: “Laughter is the best medicine”. This could be the reason why people who have great friends tend to be healthier and live longer. Laughter always brings a friendship to life. Most of the best memories that friends have come from some inside jokes that they share. Inside jokes that no one else understands until the two friends explain them.
Life needs not to be that serious. So what makes a good friend is taking the time to relax and take some time out from the serious stuff. Do silly stuff that makes you laugh until you cry because the stomach hurts too much. Watch some funny movies. Share with each other funny video clips or memes. You can get through rough times together just by laughing.
It’s never just about you. So when a friend is telling you about their problems, listen. Don’t brush them off and talk about yourself. Sometimes, its never about the advice you give. It is about knowing that someone can listen. So, listen and ask them how they feel before giving advice. For the good and bad! That is the definition of a good friend.
In case you missed it, read this article about how to help a friend with anxiety.