Who doesn’t want a good friend in life, especially if it’s a friend you can fall back on. I’m sure like me, you too would want to enjoy the company of such a friend.
However, being a good friend isn’t always easy. A good or real friend is like true love in your life, because it’s so precious to you. Isn’t it?
Good friendship is a special interpersonal relationship. It is a treasure that you can possess, but you need to make efforts for that.
As they say, friendship is a two way street. So if you want a good friend, you first need to be a good friend.
Now, the question you might ask yourself is how to be a good friend?
Isn’t it ironic that you always try to look for good friends, but you rarely consider being a good friend yourself? Well, some of you perhaps do, but some of you don’t – isn’t it? So, I hope this post helps all of you become better friends.
I’d written a post about having loving and true friends in life, and in that I’d mentioned the general characteristics you should adopt to have good friends in life.
But, this post is about the specific things you can do to be a good friend.
With Friendship Day just round the corner, how could I not write about friends and friendship!
I remain ever so grateful to all the wonderful friends that I’ve made, offline and online. Though frankly speaking, now I have more friends online – so this is a tribute to all of you on this special day!
Well, for those who want to be good friends, just any day is a friendship day, isn’t it?
“One measure of friendship consists not in the number of things friends can discuss, but in the number of things they need no longer mention.” ~ Clifton Fadiman
Ways to Be a Good Friend
You can broadly divide your efforts to be a good friend into two components: internal and external.
First, you work on your own self and second, you work on your friendship.
As in all cases, your strategy should be to first work on yourself.
1) Work on your own self
You’ve to develop the qualities of a good friend within you.
You simply follow the great saying:
“Do to others what you expect others to do to you.”
So, if you want someone to become your good friend, you should try to become their good friend.
Still wondering – how to be a good friend?
Well, simply learn the acronym that I’ve created for you. Yes, yet another acronym! 😉 It’ll tell you the complete inside story of the making of a good friend.
FRIENDSHIP – To Make You A Good Friend
You need to prepare yourself to meet the requirements of your expectations.
Here’s FRIENDSHIP for you.
This acronym informs you about the qualities of a good friend that you need to adopt, and then make them an integral part of you to be good friends with just anybody.
F – Forgiveness: To be a good friend, you need to develop the ability to forgive your friend. You can only do that if you love your friend, as forgiveness comes out of compassion.
R – Respect: As a good friend, you should respect your friend. Learn to drop your ego, be humble, and honor your friend for what and how he or she is.
I – Indulgent: Tolerance is a mark of being a true friend. You need to be understanding, generous, as well as lenient with your friend, and accept personal differences.
E – Empathy: Good friends always put themselves in the shoes of others. They are always ready to listen to what their friend says, and are sensitive enough to their feelings and emotions.
N – Nonjudgmental: A real friend never passes judgment over the choice or decision of a friend. You don’t have to judge your friend, instead, pledge your unconditional love.
D – Dependability: If you want to be a good friend, then you have to be responsible and reliable. As a good friend, you’re expected to show loyalty, which is the backbone of a good friendship.
S – Sincerity: You know that honesty is the best policy, and that goes well for being a good friend too. You’ve to be authentic, genuine, and trustworthy with all seriousness in your friendship.
H – Humor: You don’t always have to be dead serious to be a good friend. On the contrary, you should be fun loving, enjoyable, and interesting. Good friends try to keep each other happy.
I – Integrity: As a good friend, you should have self control and patience. You need to uphold your goodness, principles, and be selflessly committed – irrespective of the circumstances.
P – Positivity: Negativity should find no place in a good friendship. Do away with backbiting or complaining. Instead, spend your energy to encourage and motivate your friend.
Conclusively, for being a good friend you need to be at least forgiving, respecting and indulgent. You should have empathy, sincerity, and a sense of humor.
Additionally, you must be non-judgmental, dependable, have integrity of character, and a personality with a positive attitude.
So, do you have these qualities of being a good friend? If not, you can still learn and imbibe them.
“A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.” ~ Douglas Pagels
2) Work on your friendship
As part of your external efforts to be good friends, you would want to do certain things that your friend considers as a good gesture from a friend.
The acts and behaviors you carry out should benefit your friend, or at least comfort him or her. But there are certain things that you shouldn’t do in your friendship too, if you two want to be good friends.
Want to know more about it? Then continue reading!
Guess what; I’ve created these Ten Commandments so that you know how to be a good friend, if you aren’t one already! I hope they help you
“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” ~ Walter Winchell
10 COMMANDMENTS – For Being a Good Friend
Let me share the ten general rules of friendship with you here. These are not hard and fast rules that you need to follow to be a good friend, but some of the very practical ones.
These can be changed as per your requirement and understanding, but you should try to use these suggestions to be good friends. Here they are –
1. Accept your friend as he or she is, though you can both make efforts to better each other. However, your friend need not be the same as you. Accept that you are different individuals.
2. Always trust your friend, keep your promises, and never lie or cheat. Never talk ill behind your friend’s back. Keep the secrets your friend entrusted you with, and never hide anything from each other.
3. Forgive your friend for mistakes committed, and apologize when you make them. Give your friend a special place in your heart, and express your feelings.
4. Never be jealous of your friend, instead, share their celebrations and happiness as your own. Always wish for your friend’s success. Remember, sharing is caring.
5. Always be there physically as far as possible when your friend needs help, and speak up in solidarity as and when required. However, don’t forget to guide righteously when your friend is wrong.
6. Let your friend talk uninterruptedly, even if it’s boring. Sometimes, friend’s need to vent out and they should be free to talk about anything they want with their good friend. You should rather be a good listener.
7. Advice and suggest your friend only when you’re asked to, decently and without hurting any sentiments. And don’t lecture, no body likes that!
8. Be thoughtful and do small things for each other. Don’t take your friend for granted, never insult your friend, and don’t tease without permission and beyond limits.
9. Make time for your friend, but be considerate about his or her obligations and duties if he or she can’t make it. Support and lift the spirits of your friend in time of need.
10. Don’t replace your friend with an acquaintance you might have met through your friend, and never mess and mix with your friend’s ex.
“A true friend laughs at your stories even when they’re not so good, and sympathizes with your troubles even when they’re not so bad.” ~ Anonymous
Do these guidelines match up with the ones you follow? Of course, you can change them to suit you, your way of life, values, and priorities.
I hope this friendship day special post, especially dedicated to every friend, helps you to become a better friend and takes your friendship to a higher level.
Remember that you don’t need money to be a good friend, nor should you measure your friendship with being rich or poor.
Good friends are made irrespective of your culture, religion, or the place where you live. It’s your personal values, thoughts, and actions that make you a good friend.
A good friendship takes time to evolve. So, don’t get frustrated if you don’t get instant results. Keep the faith and have patience – good thing comes to those who wait.
“A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.” ~ Leo Buscaglia
Wish you all a very Happy Friendship Day!
Over to you –
What are your suggestions on how to be a good friend? What are your ways of being a good friend? What additional qualities of a good friend would you add to the list? Share in the comments.
Posted on: July 31st, 2013
Last Updated on: February 2nd, 2015