When times are tough, most of us turn to our friends and family to depend on. You can’t necessarily choose your family, but with your friends you have more flexibilty. Some friendships last for decades while others may be more temporary. In the end we’re all looking for a “good friend.” Often, we don’t define what a good friend is or hold ourselves to the good friend standard. Below is a list of what we think a good friend should do. Share this list with one of your close friends and see how you stack up.
1. Good friends are respectful
Respect is very important in any relationship, but especially in a friendship. If the two people in the friendship don’t respect each other, they won’t enjoy each other’s company and eventually will stop being friends. Regardless of age, financial status, or job title, good friends come together and enjoy each other’s company. Avoiding subjects like salaries would not only prevent a potentially awkward conversation, it would show your friend that you’re not concerned with how many much money they have in the bank. If your really curious about how much something costs, just google it — don’t ask your friend how were they able to afford it.
2. Good friends return the favor
Everyone has that “friend” that always needs something but is nowhere to be found when you need help. If you don’t have that friend, you might be that friend. Family and careers keep everyone busy, so you should never take anyone helping you out for granted. If someone takes the time to help you out, a good friend will have no problem returning the favor. If you’re uncomfortable returning favors, don’t accept any, and you should explain to your friends why so they know where you’re coming from. When a friend ask you to do a task that is to much of a commitment, offer to help in a way that is more manageable for you. That way it won’t seem like your not trying to help at all.
3. Good friends avoid beating around the bush
The cliché “Honesty is the best policy” rings true in friendships. It’s much better for someone to receive bad news from a friend than a stranger. Whatever the news, be kind and explain to your friend what the perceived problem is. If you’re able to help, offer your support and assistance. Sometimes all we need to get over a hump is a friend’s encouragement and honesty. To make your friend feel more comfortable, offer to talk about something you’re struggling with and ask for their advice.
4. Good friends try to avoid gossip
Gossiping about your friends makes you a bad friend. Your friends tell you their business in confidence, not expecting that you will go and share that information. Also, if your friends are gossiping with you, expect them to gossip about you to their other friends. You can’t control others from sharing your business, so it may be best that you keep your most personal information private. If you find out one of your friends is gossiping about you, it may lead you to reevaluate your friendship.
5. Good friends stand up for their friends
No one likes to be picked on, but even adults can find themselves making someone the butt of a joke. As good friend, you should always stop someone from slandering your friend in your presence. You should make it known to others that you don’t accept when people around you speak maliciously about your friends. In the case that your friend is there, let them stand up for themselves. Whenever they aren’t there, they should feel better knowing you’ve got their back.
When you have good friends it’s easier to making being a good friend a priority. Also, it’s powerful to be an example of a good friend to your friends, family and co-workers.
How do you maintain your friendships?