The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I consider myself to mostly be a positive person, which is why I sometimes feel that we think too much about the red flags in friendships and forget to see the green flags. We tend to try to avoid the red flags when instead, you should be seeking the green flags! After speaking to the rest of the society, here are some green flags to watch out for when making/maintaining friendships!
- Do not have to talk every day
With you both having your own lives, it is important you don’t feel pressured in having to speak every single day. Not speaking for a while doesn’t mean anything will change but will give you even more things to talk about once you meet up again! And it won’t be awkward either.
- Can create boundaries
Every individual is different and some people may need more space than others. Things happen and it’s crucial you know when not to cross a line. It’s important to respect boundaries and not get offended when they are being set. Don’t judge harshly because the other person will have a reason as to why they want this boundary. Trust me, it will be better in the long run.
- Respect your time
You don’t have to explain to anyone why you can’t make a certain plan. Everyone is busy, so don’t give anyone a hard time for not being able to meet you every week. If they want to, they will make the time eventually. Otherwise, they will only come for the sake of it and not have a good time, dampening your own mood.
Friends will find the time to make plans with you. A green flag is once you guys are making a plan, they are excited leading up to it, they enjoy their time during it and talk about how fun it was afterwards. They don’t force you into anything you aren’t comfortable with, and they reassure you that the option to leave is there if you want it, and are genuinely happy with the plan. And lastly, you allow your friends to recharge as opposed to draining them.
Sometimes, tough love can be extremely useful. You may not know it, but a third party that is not directly involved will probably have a better mindset than you do on your situation/problem. Whether you listen to them is another story, but hear them out, because it was probably hard for them to come out with the truth like that. It means they care, as it takes a lot more for your friends to give you the harsh truth/advice rather than making you feel better temporarily and it still being a problem you have to deal with later. Having said that, it’s also important your friends give you constructive criticism rather than destructive criticism. You want them to help you work at something, not beat you up for it with no solution.
- Supporting you behind your back
Let’s be real, someone out there will hate the way you dress, make fun of the way you speak and generally just pick up on the little things they don’t like. Real friends will stick up for you when you aren’t there and will defend you in your absence. I’m a pretty loyal person so if my friends get fucked over, you don’t know what’s coming for you.
- Be happy for your successes
I hate it when people compare my success to theirs. It’s completely unnecessary. If I’m celebrating a success, celebrate with me! Be happy with me! Support me! Your friends should be proud of your successes instead of becoming competitive about who’s more successful. And lastly, they don’t need to bring down your successes down to make themselves look/feel better.
- Being there for your family
Not everyone talks about their family, which is perfectly okay. But if you know about their family or have met them, be there for them too! Ask me how they are doing, be respectful when they are going through a hard time and listen.
- Lean into your chaos
Nothing is better than when you and your friends are on the same page. If you feel comfortable, go do fun and spontaneous things together! Make memories – dive into the sea together, go on a road trip, crash a party!
- Comfort in silence
True friends can sit in complete silence without feeling uncomfortable or the need to fill up the space with unnecessary words. You can just enjoy each other’s company and not need to do anything extravagant.
- No Judgement
It is always important to not judge your friends. Don’t judge their decisions, but support them and guide them towards the right one. Don’t judge their passions, but encourage them to continue and don’t shut them up when they talk crazily about them. Don’t judge the way they dress and remember everyone is a style icon in their own unique way. Allow your friends to be whoever you want, without judgement.
- They listen
Good friends are good listeners. They are caring and empathetic when you are having a rough time and you don’t have to explain why. They listen to you excitedly when you talk about something you are passionate about. They offer advice if you need it, rather than offering a temporary solution you may not have wished for. They are there when you need it the most. They shouldn’t overthink, judge or criticize how you are feeling but most importantly, you know they are genuinely there no matter what.