The importance of having good friendships does not change, regardless of age. However, in order to benefit from a friendship, they need to be a “good” friend. What does it mean to be a “good” friend?
There are many qualities that make someone a good friend, but they all boil down to one word. Positive. It does not mean that they are always a positive person, but rather that they bring positive qualities, experiences, and feelings into your life. A good friend supports, respects, and builds you. They want the best for you, are honest and trustworthy, listen to and comfort you, and laugh and have fun with you. All of these things bring positive things into your life and make you feel cared about1.
When meeting new people and becoming friends with individuals, it is important to recognize how they treat you and how you feel around them. If they are disrespectful, do not listen to you, or belittle you, consider setting healthy boundaries for yourself. These can include physical, emotional, material, intellectual, and time boundaries2. Making sure the people you choose to spend your time with uplift and care about you is important to your wellbeing and setting needed boundaries can be very impactful.
Not only should we look for friends that have a positive impact in our lives, but we should also try to be that person for others. Again, not necessarily being a positive person, but trying to bring positive feelings, experiences, and qualities into another individual’s life. We can be a “good” friend to others by making time for them, being open and honest, and caring about them.
Having good friends and being a good friend to others is all about being a positive part of each other’s lives and enjoying being together.
“No one reaches out to you for compassion or empathy so you can teach them how to behave better. They reach out to us because they believe in our capacity to know our darkness well enough to sit in the dark with them.” Brené Brown
“A friend is a priceless possession because a true friend is one who is willing to take us the way we are but is able to leave us better than he found us. We are poor when we lose friends because generally they are willing to reprove, admonish, love, encourage, and guide for our best good. A friend lifts the heavy heart, says the encouraging word, and assists in supplying our daily needs. As friends we will make ourselves available without delay to those who need us.” Marvin J. Ashton