I know many of us have good friends. I, for one, am very thankful for my good friends. Yet, do we you know it takes a good friend to be a good friend?
What does it take to be a good friend?
Listen. I think to be a good friend you first and foremost need to be able to listen. Many times people just want to be heard and have their opinions and feeling validated - listen without judging. And it doesn't matter if you agree or not. A listening ear can be the most loving thing you can do for a person and you never know what you may be doing for their sense of self esteem in the process.
Kind words. Kind words never go out of style. Kind words can heal old wounds and be a salve for new ones. Kind words always build up the listener. A kind word at the right time can even save the life or your friend.
Honesty. If you can't be honest with someone and they can't be honest with you, there really is nothing there but shallow acquaintence. Honesty is the bedrock of any relationship, friendship or otherwise. Where there is honesty, there is trust. Where there is trust, there is good friendship.
Character. You may think many of the things I've already written about are part of character and they are, however, there is more to character than just honesty, kind words and the ability to listen. Character is about consistency over time. A person of character will always be a good friend. You don't have to worry about if they will be there one day and gone the next. You don't have to worry about whether they tell confidential things to others. Lying is not a part of who they are. A person of character doesn't act like two people or act one way around you and another way around someone else. A person of character can be trusted.
Be There. Be present. Be there to laugh and be there to cry. Be there to listen and be there to give advice. Be there when it's important and be there when it's just for fun. Just be there.
This is my short list of the traits of a good friend. These are the most important traits in my mind. I hope these are important to you as well for they will make or break a friendship, good or otherwise. I would encourage you to seek out people with these traits for not just your good friends but your close friends. These types of friendships will bring many good things into your life. Anything else is taking second best.
When you find a good friend, you find a good thing.
Until next time,