You have to be a good friend to have good friends

Friendship. Such a simple concept yet so complicated

I spent the past weekend with very dear old friends celebrating a milestone birthday. And it got me to thinking and reflecting about friendships in general.

The nuances, the subtlety, the intricacies of making and keeping friends is something we start to learn as early as kindergarten. We continue to hone these skills through elementary school and our teenage years. Even so, way into adulthood some of us never quite get it right.

Why don’t we start with the new Oxford American dictionary definition of friendship. They define a friend as a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection typically exclusive of sexual or family relations. Well that’s a good definition but to me, it does not really describe all the sentiments and emotion that go along with that word.

My definition of a friend or friendship is that relationship which is definitely exclusive of sexual or family relations. A relationship that is built in mutual respect and trust. One of emotional support for each other. A friend has knowledge of most of your secrets and is fiercely protective of those secrets and you. A true friendship is easy. There is no very little drama, no jealousy and no competition. If there is any drama it is usually resolved quickly.

Unfortunately not everyone knows how to be a friend or how to maintain a friend. I consider myself someone who is a good friend and someone who also has maintained many good friendships over the years. I am very proud to say that I have friends from all stages of life that I stay in contact with. And it is not about talking daily or seeing them everyday. Without being boastful, I can honestly say that anyone that cannot be friends with me will likely not be able to be friends with anyone.

These 6 things are to me what makes a good friend:

1- Be there/make time. You and your friends are going to go through good times and bad times. Just be there when they need you to listen, to hold their hand, to wipe away tears or to laugh and celebrate good times. We are all very busy in our lives, but do make time for your friends. This will had a long way.

2- Just because. Again it’s not necessary to talk or see each other daily but do reach out from time to time to check in. Call when it’s not their birthday or a holiday and see what’s up. Drop by from time to time if you live close and see how they’re doing.

3- Be interested. What’s going on in their life at present. Was there a promotion? Did they start a new business? Did a kid graduate? Are they having personal, marital, children or career issues?

4- Know their family. Your friends immediate and if applicable some of their extended family should be like your family. Know their husbands, wives and kids names and birthdays – it helps to write this down somewhere especially if you have many friends and they have lots of kids and you have trouble keeping names straight.

5- The little things. If I’m out shopping and I see something that reminds me of my friend or something I think will look good on them, I buy it. Pick up the tab sometimes when you are out with your friend without keeping tabs on who paid the last time.

6- Be the vault. When your friend entrusts you with their innermost secrets, you are obligated to keep it to yourself

If you are able to keep these things in mind in your friend relationships, you will have no problems keeping your friends for life. If you are having problems keeping or maintaining good friends, there is a possibility you are the problem.

Try my suggestions. If you agree or disagree or have your own friend requirements, please comment below.

As always, thanks for reading

J

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4 thoughts on “You have to be a good friend to have good friends

  1. What a beautiful article. I am blessed with some long standing friends. One I’ve known and been friends with my entire life. Our mothers met while in hospital when our younger brothers were born. My mom and her mom were best friends and now we are. By the way, we are in our 60’s!!

    Your recommendations on how to make and keep friends are spot on. Thank you so much.

    Cheryl

  2. Never maintained friendships much. We moved every two and a half years when I was a kid. At this point, I have a couple of what I call friends but others might call acquaintances. Fortunately, I don’t know what I’m missing…

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