How To Be A Good Friend (10 Tips); Friendships That Last

 

                              How to be a good friend

I was recently shocked when I realized I have only two good friends in the entire world – Liz and Jackie. This realization amazed me. I started wondering if there was something wrong with me. 


I decided to do some research and was happy when I found that most people have an average of 3 to 5 good friends. 

Who is a Good Friend?

As I have mentioned above, I have only two good friends. This is even though I have thousands of followers/friends on social media. Although I value my social media followers/friends, the majority aren't my true friends.

 

A good friend is someone who is part of your identity. You hold them dear within your heart and in the cradle of your memories. It's that person you can always rely on, you feel at your best when you're around them, and you don't have to fake anything. A good friend has your best interests at heart, and the friendship stands the test of time.

Why You Should Have Good Friends

Good friends are hard to come by. No wonder a recent survey found that you're likely to have 3 to 5 good friends on average. 

 

Interestingly, your good friends may decrease as you grow older. As you age, the quality of friendship becomes more important than the number of friends. 


So, don't be surprised if you have only one good friend!


It's essential to have good friends, even if it's one good friend. As a human being, you're a social being. This means you are inclined to live in a community or in companionship with others. You are not supposed to live alone or in isolation. 


Below are some benefits you get from having good friends:

  • Good friends bring you untold happiness and joy.
  • They make you feel loved.
  • They boost your self-confidence.
  • They decrease your loneliness.
  • They help you cope with stress.
  • They give you a sense of belonging.
  • They can contribute to longevity

In other words, a life without good friends can be unappealing, tasteless, and bland. 


How To Be a Good Friend


Do you have any true friend/friends? If you do, you are lucky, as good friends are rare. It's important to cherish your good friends and to nourish the friendships to keep the fire burning. 


Below are some 10 tips on how to be a good friend:


1. Be a Trustworthy Friend


One way of being a good friend is trustworthiness. When you have a good friend, she can share her rants, raves, and secrets with you because she trusts you. The big question is, are you trustworthy?


Being a trustworthy friend means that when your friend shares her secrets with you, you keep them to yourself. Your friend shares her secrets with you because she knows her secrets are safe with you. Why? Because she believes you're a trustworthy friend. 


For instance, if your friend tells you she is having issues with her partner, keep it to yourself. Don't betray your friend's trust. Nothing kills friendships faster than being an untrustworthy friend.


2. Be Vulnerable With Your Good Friend


As I mentioned earlier, I have two good friends, Liz and Jackie. Liz and I were classmates in High School (about 30 years ago), while Jackie was my childhood friend. One thing that makes me know that these two are my good friends is that I'm vulnerable with them.


To be vulnerable with your friend means expressing your pain, fears, thoughts, and feelings to her. You do so without fearing that she'll judge you. 


When you are vulnerable with your friend, it encourages her to be vulnerable with you. This is an incredible way of strengthening your friendship further.


If your friend is vulnerable with you and you aren't, or vice versa, the friendship may not last. 


It's good to note that you can only be vulnerable with your friend if you trust her. On the flip side, your friend can only be vulnerable with you if she trusts you. So, it's two-way traffic.


3. Be Real With Your Friend


To be real with your friend is closely connected with being vulnerable. There is no room for fakeness in true friendship. Let your good friend see the real you. Avoid always trying to impress him.  


For example, the other Saturday, my friend Liz called me at 7.00 am while I was still in bed. She told me she was at my gate – to bring something she'd borrowed from me. 


I woke up hurriedly and opened the gate. I didn't bother to wash my face or remove my pajamas; I just put on a dressing gown. 


If it was another friend coming to my house, I would have behaved differently. Most probably I'd have cleaned my face and put on some makeup. I'd also have worn something impressive. 


Liz is my good friend, and she loves me for whom I am. I don't have to impress her or appear to be perfect for our friendship to thrive.


4. Be Honest with Your Good Friend


One thing that amazes me about social media is that most of my friends/followers always like my photos. They like the pictures even when I don't look really nice. I'm sure you experience the same thing on social media. They do so because they want to please me.


A fake friend will always try to say things that please the other person. Instead of lying to your friend to make her happy, be honest with her. When you're honest with your friend, it's a mark of a good friendship.


This is what being honest with your good friend may look like. She has a weird hairdo, and she asks for your opinion. Instead of lying to her, give her your honest opinion – do it with love. 


As a good friend, tell your friend the truth, even if it's hard. You do so because you care for your friend.


5. Be a Good Listener 


Sometimes, your friend wants you to listen to them as they rant and rave. As a good friend, it's essential to be a good listener. Be genuinely interested in what your friend has to say. Listen to her keenly, even if what she says sounds silly or outrageous. 


It's best to listen to your friend keenly without interrupting. Maybe she just wants you to hear her out. Pouring her heart out to you is kind of therapeutic. 


After listening to your friend keenly, you can discern what she needs from you. 


For instance, if she needs advice, give it as truthfully as possible. If she needs your empathy, go ahead and be empathetic; that's what good friendship is about. 


6. Check in on Your Friend Regularly


Checking in on your good friend often is essential. It makes her know that you care and want to keep the friendship strong. You can check in on your friend through text messages and phone calls. 


If your friend checks in on you, ensure that you reciprocate. Maintaining good friendship requires extra effort from all parties. 


Suppose your friend checks in on you once or twice, and you don't reciprocate. In that case, they might feel like they are bothering you. That could be the beginning of the end of your friendship.


7. Remember the Important Days of Your Friend's Life


As a good friend, it's good to remember the important days of your friend's life. Such days could be sentimental to your friend. When you remember such days, your friend feels loved and cherished. 


Some of the important days of your friend's life could include the following:

  • Her birthday
  • Her anniversary
  • The day she got a clean bill of health
  • The day she lost a loved one

You can call, text, or visit your good friend on such important days to show her that you remember. 


You could also send her a gift or a card in memory of the day.


8. Be a Loyal Friend


Being a loyal friend means remaining faithful to your good friend in good and bad times. For example, if your friend is going through a difficult time, some people might abandon them. After all, some of us don't like stressing ourselves with other people's issues.


As a good friend, it's best to remain loyal even when your friend isn't lovable or has behaved like an idiot.


You thus commit to the friendship and stick it out through thick and thin.


9. Maintain Respectful Boundaries


Just because someone is your good friend doesn't mean that you can say or do whatever you wish to them. It's important to maintain respectful boundaries. Doing so can enable your friendship to last a lifetime. 


For example, it's essential to set boundaries on when your friend can visit you. For instance, you can inform them that Sunday is your family time day. So, your good friend should respectfully avoid visiting you on Sundays. 


When you borrow something from each other, you should clearly state when you expect the item back. Sometimes you might assume you can keep the borrowed item for as long as you wish. After all, this is your close friend. Doing so might gradually ruin your friendship.


10. Try to Meet and Bond Whenever Possible


Sometimes, you don't get the opportunity to spend a lot of time with your friend because of the rat race. Or, you might not get the chance to see your bosom friend as often as you'd like due to distance. It's good to create time to meet and bond whenever possible.


My bosom friend Jackie lives 1,000 miles away from me. We have made a conscious effort to maintain our friendship despite the distance. We agreed that we should try to meet every year to keep our friendship alive.


We always have a blast whenever we get to meet.


During the pandemic, we were unable to meet for three years. We kept our friendship going by having video calls where we'd catch up and laugh for hours.


Suppose you don't meet and bond regularly. In that case, your friendship could gradually fade. 


Final Thoughts


If you want to be a good friend to someone, you must be ready to give and take. As a good friend, try to enrich your friend's life by uplifting her during tough times. Also, it's good to celebrate with your friend when the need arises. 


It's better to have one good friend than many superficial friends. In other words, quality is better than quantity. Cheers!

 

How many good friends do you have? Kindly comment below. 

enna

I'm a life coach, teacher, mother, wife, writer, and blogger. I love writing about well-being, relationships, and family.

2 Comments

  1. Absolutely loovvee this article. I feel like many women need to read this

    ReplyDelete
  2. I used to struggle with this idea so much and just like you I thought I was the problem but like you mentioned, I realized at the end, that those stronger connections where the ones truthful and that added value to my days :)

    ReplyDelete
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