Are You a Good Friend?
You’ve likely analyzed if other people are good friends to you, but when was the last time you looked in the mirror and asked yourself if you’re a good friend? Friendships come in all shapes and sizes, but there are a few core traits that are almost always present in a good friendship. Here are some of the most important traits of a good friend. Read them and objectively consider if you are showing up the best you can in your relationships.
A good friend does not place judgements. They accept their friends for who they innately are, without wanting to change their personalities. This lack of judgement and knowing that the other person will accept you leads to complete comfortability. Comfort is important because it enables some of the greatest pleasures in friendships. For example, consider long moments where there is no pressure to fill the silence or simply saying whatever is on your mind. These beautiful moments are not possible if there is an underlying risk of judgement.
A good friend is a trustworthy person, hands down. You know that they mean what they say, and say what they mean - with complete genuineness and no hidden agenda. Trust creates a safe space for friends to share and know that their feelings will be kept in confidence.
A good friend supports their friends, even when it’s difficult. Support can come in many different forms, but should always come from a place where you keep their mental, physical, and emotional best interest in mind. This could mean even supporting their tough decisions, like moving away for a job opportunity. Support creates a bond where friends can lean on each other if needed, and continue to be the best version of themselves without worrying about approval.
Sometimes the most meaningful display of friendship is consistently showing up. This could mean showing up to the event you said you’d be at, or simply checking in on your friend when they are going through a tough time. A good friend doesn’t just reach out when they need something, they value dependability and steadfastness. This cements down an underlying safety in the friendship because, no matter what, you can rely on each other to be there.
Friendships are give and take, and a good friend knows how to not let things get one-sided. For example, if your friend frequently asks you to go to dinner, why not be the one to initiate next time? It’s clear that your friend values this quality time, so reciprocate their show of affection. All this to say, a good friend values balance in the relationship and will put effort into intuiting and maintaining it.
A good friend is empathetic to their friends. This doesn’t just mean listening to and understanding their feelings, but also opening up and being emotionally available in return. This empathy is nurturing to all areas of friendship. People crave being understood by their tribe, and showing that you empathize with their struggles will make them feel seen and loved.
Graceful During Disagreements
A good friend knows how to lovingly handle disagreements and miscommunications. Instead of jumping to conclusions, they strive to understand the other person’s point of view and focus on finding a solution. It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean always agreeing - that’s impossible. It means recognizing where the other person is coming from and accepting their opinion while trying to find a way to respectfully coexist.
Last but not least, a good friend is able to spread happiness and enjoy themselves with their friends! Whether sharing a laugh or bonding over a common interest, a good friend knows the value of having fun. Life is full of ups and downs, and it’s important to capitalize on the ups when you have them.
So, are you a good friend? It’s okay if you’ve realized that you have room for improvement in one, or some, of these areas. Understanding what to aim for is the first step in making positive changes. Becoming a better friend is a worthy journey that can lead to constructive self-growth and exploration.