Are You a Good Friend?

Girl holding up a heart that says "I love my bestfriend"

“Friends! How many of us have them? Friends!”

If my mom were reading this, she would definitely ask “What do you know about that song?! That was before your time!” Hi mom.

Although that song was before my time, it still resonates with me because it makes me think about the friends that I have in my life currently. Friendships are so important to me and I value each one of mine. But, just like any other relationship, they take time to cultivate. I’ve learned that quality is so much better than quantity-having a few honest, trustworthy, caring reliable and genuine friends is ideal versus  trying to befriend everyone you come in contact with. I’ve learned that life becomes so much easier when you realize that everyone has a certain season and reason for being in your life. Throughout the past several years, I’ve gotten rid of toxic friends, gained new ones and even strengthened existing ones. Nonetheless, I try to always treat people how I want to be treated and so here are some things that I am learning along the way when it comes to being a good great friend:

Be supportive. Each of your friends is venturing off into different areas of their lives. That’s great! If we all wanted to do the same thing, the relationship could get pretty boring. The key is to support each other’s dreams and ambitions no matter how far fetched they seem. The reality is, most of us have doubts, worries, and fears when we are stepping into something new and we always look to our friends to give us the support and extra nudge that we need to move forward with our plans. Be that support system.

Don’t go MIA when you get in a relationship. More often than not, your friends were around before you met your dream guy- and in the event that things don’t work out with you and him-they will be the first ones that you call to vent to. So don’t bail out on them when things are going good. It’s important to continue to set aside some one-on-one girl time occasionally to go shopping, see a movie and just catch up on life. Don’t make a guy your end-all and be- all and don’t forget about your friends.

Listen. We all like to talk about the amazing things that are going on in our lives whether it be a new promotion we just got at work or an upcoming vacation that we have been excited about for months. Sometimes, we may be having a bad day and are in desperate need of some uplifting. As anxious as we are to share our news- whether good or bad, realize that your friend may have some things she wants to share as well- some times it can be good news and unfortunately there are times when she may want to share some disheartening information with you as well. Be ready to hold off on what you want to talk about to give her your undivided attention when she needs it more than you do.

Know when you need to apologize. Disagreements are a part of relationships. If your circle of friends is like mine, then you all are very assertive and like to speak your mind. Oftentimes two very strong minded friends will butt heads and that’s okay. But what’s not okay is not bouncing back from the disagreements and letting petty issues ruin something that has taken years to build. If you know that you may have said something that offended your friend, apologize. Don’t wait weeks to do it. The tension just grows more when you drag out the situation. Nip it in the bud, apologize and move on with life. People often think that apologizing shows a sign of weakness but it actually shows a sign of maturity and strength.

Be happy for your friends. Exciting things happen for people at different times in their lives. You get what you are meant to have when it’s your time and not a moment sooner. It’s so important to recognize that and learn to celebrate with your friends during joyous moments in their lives. It’s normal to wonder when what you desire will actually happen in your own life but never let this override your happiness for your friends. When your time comes to celebrate an exciting moment, you will want your friends to do the same for you.

Image via Creative Commons, Katie Ruthh’s  Flickr photostream. (source)

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  1. Good article Jai! $100 if u can quote the next line in that song without looking it up. ;-)

    1. “Friends! Ones we can depend on…FRIENDS!”…bops head….cash only sir!

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