Being a 'Good Friend' Is Not That Hard

At this stage in life, most of us are going through a major shift in our daily lives. We’re making new friends, we’re getting acclimated to new places and we’re making ourselves a new home. Almost everyone can find comfort in a good group of friends that essentially become your family while you are away. Every relationship comes with issues, some inevitable. At such a critical point in our lives, having great friendships that are reciprocated is crucial to personal development. I’m here to tell you that allowing yourself to be mistreated by that ‘friend’ that always seems to stick around might not be worth it because, trust me, being a good friend is not that hard.

#1: Show Up

Do you remember in elementary school when a pinky swear was the representation of the ultimate promise? As far as I’m concerned, you still have pinkies to swear on. Keep up with your commitments. You being one of the only people that showed up to your friend’s birthday dinner is something that she’ll never forget. Your loyalty is valued and you shouldn’t be afraid to display it. Be there. Be that person. Be that shoulder to cry on. Be that person to celebrate wins with. Be that person to work through losses with. I would consider this one of the most important aspects of being a good friend. Knowing that you’re there for someone and they’re there for you is a feeling like no other.

#2: Communicate

I don’t think that there is anything worse than obvious tension. Here is where the token phrase, “communication is key” comes into play. There is absolutely no sense in feeling things that could easily be bypassed by having a conversation. I think that it is safe to say that someone who is not willing to have a conversation is not someone worth your time. Talk. Tell them how you feel. I promise it’s not as scary as you think. In the long run, it will only benefit you both to know how the other is truly feeling. As they say, honesty is the best policy. And if you don’t agree with those feelings, don’t necessarily write them off. Validation is your hidden gem in that pile of rocks. Being understanding and thoughtful are key components of a successful conversation. During that conversation, be mindful. Of course, it’s okay to blow off some steam but don’t let your problems be the only problems. Keep those conversations balanced and present.

Courtesy: Katie Treadway

#3: Compromise

Relationships, no matter what kind, come with compromise. Sacrifices have to be made. Egos have to be set aside. Sometimes to have things run smoothly, they won’t necessarily go your way. Being okay with that is where people seem to have issues. Here’s a reality check: life will not always go your way. Plans will change, people will move on and the earth will continue to turn with or without you on board. Don’t let those stubborn ways hold you back from considering others when making a decision. With compromise also comes prioritizing. If the friendship is that important, they will make time, no matter what walk of life they are on. Becoming friends with someone is something that requires effort. That effort should remain constant throughout. Trust me, if they want to, they will.

#4: Agree to Disagree

As Hannah Montana once said, nobody’s perfect. Personality flaws are something that everyone possesses. Acknowledge those flaws and respect them. At the end of the day, you do not become friends with a person for their flaws. Always keep that in mind as things may get a little rough. This also goes for your separate viewpoints. It is more than okay to share your thoughts and feelings on certain subjects and you will not always agree. But in these moments, do not let emotions get the best of you. It is one thing to share your feelings and attempt to get the other to understand your logic. But trying to convince someone to change their viewpoint for your own selfish reasons is a battle in itself. You never want to come across as your opinion being the end-all-be-all of a conversation. Agreeing to disagree is one of the best parts of friendships.

Courtesy: Brooke Cagle

#5: Boundaries

I think this is an area that we all struggle to keep up with. You are your own person. Having a super close friendship with someone does not bind your lives together. You are allowed to make your own decisions and not feel guilty about them. I often hear that this point in our lives is crucial to self-discovery. Having those boundaries allows for less obligation. When the line between the lives of two separate people becomes blurred, unnecessary problems begin, all with the root of crossing those boundaries. Establish those boundaries and stick to them. In my opinion, being attached at the hip is not a good thing. Allow yourself to grow as your own person and live original experiences. With this in mind, I can almost guarantee that you will feel reassured and confident in your friendships.

Of course, not every aspect of friendship was covered but I believe that these five major components of a valuable friendship are something to hold onto for a lifetime. I believe that you possess qualities that make you patient, considerate and respectful, allowing you to apply this to a friendship. I may not be an expert in this area but I can speak from experience. Take it from me, these major points can really help a friendship prosper. Go be a good friend to someone!

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