We’ve all been hurt or offended by people we considered friends. You might have even had to let go of a few friendships because they no longer served you. But what exactly should you be looking for in friendships? Here's a list to give you a bit of guidance.
A good friend is always real with you, even when it’s not easy to be. Real friends won’t shy away from telling you the truth, but they’ll do it with the utmost care and sensitivity. They’ll make sure that you know when you’re wrong, and give you a high five when you’ve done good.
This is probably the most important part of any relationship. Ever had a friend who’d listen to all your problems but just never shared any of their issues? Did you continue to confide in them? Probably not, right? The thing about trust is that it kind of relies on reciprocity — we’re more likely to trust people who show that they have faith in us. So then, the best way to cultivate a solid friendship, with trust, is to not be afraid to be yourself and to be honest. Of course it’s built one step at a time, so start with the little things and move from there.
Good friends are reliable. This doesn’t mean they’re always available, it just means that they’ll communicate with you when they aren’t. It’s always good to have friends who consistently come through for you when they say they will. It’s just as important to make sure that you’re just as dependable to your friends.
What’s the point of having friends who don’t cheer you on or have your back when times are tough? Your real friends want what’s best for you and will always support you through situations, even if they can’t actively help you. Steer clear of fair weather friends who are only around when it’s a good time, but can’t hold your hand through the ugly cries.
Friends don’t always have to agree with your decisions, but they shouldn’t be judgmental. Your best friends will always give caution if they think you’re making a bad decision, but they won’t be the first to say “I told you so” if it blows up in your face. They also won’t be the ones discussing this bad decision with other people outside of your circle.
This is important in any friendship. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll choose friends whose company you don’t enjoy. You know what you consider fun and your besties usually have similar tastes. If you find yourself in a friendship where you’re not having fun then perhaps it’s time to make some changes. Good friends will also make the effort to do the things you find enjoyable, even if they don’t necessarily find them interesting. What’s the key word here? Yes, reciprocity.
Everyone needs at least one friend, it’s kind of how humans are wired. But it’s important to make sure that we maintain good friendships and that we give the standard of friendship we expect, in return.