Friendship Day Special: How to Be a Good Friend

- | 77 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Love & Relationships

Two good friend girls happy together

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

Few good friends jumping and having fun

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.


Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos, rkramer62

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77 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Kalyan ghosh

    2017-08-12 at 2:16 pm

    Hi Harleena! Your post is really praise worthy.I have some good friends but had no detailed idea about how to become good friends.
    With all the elements in your post, I have made my tummy full and I need to read your post several times to absorb it.I now understand that making a reliable freindship is a critical process. I need some time to know about it fully and then I will come to you again. Thanks for making such a great post. Thanks again.

  2. Ajay Pai

    2015-08-02 at 7:03 pm

    Magic as always in your post.

    Being Non-Judgemental is my takeaway. This characteristic will eventually strengthen the bonding. Being non-judgemental is so difficult (may be an ideal state). At some point or the other, people do judge. Lucky are those who are non-judgemental in the bond termed friendship.

  3. Maelynn Cortez

    2015-06-01 at 7:20 pm

    Harleena this article is inspiring. I like the acronym Friend and of course the Ten Commandments. I can truly relate to this. Thanks keep inspiring people.

  4. Ashu Malik

    2015-05-21 at 1:24 am

    Friendship is one such relation that is quite different from the usual and blood ones ..You can feel free to express and share things that you would otherwise won’t with any member of your family and it is so selfless for me,,,quite touched by the way you have depicted it

  5. Ashish Jain

    2013-12-02 at 9:46 am

    Another Great post Harleena.

    This post truly answers the question of how to be a good friend. you always write great posts. The way you write your posts makes me think that how deep and good thinker your are. I hope i can write like you.

    Thanks, it was great reading

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-12-02 at 10:11 am

      Welcome to the blog Ashish!

      Glad you liked the post and could relate to it. Thank you for your kind words of appreciation. I guess I just am more of a ‘heart-writer’ and weave my thoughts into words. I’m sure you’d be good at your work too, and the more you write the better you become 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views. 🙂

      BTW – Do get yourself a Gravatar, so that others can see who we are talking to 🙂

  6. lisa thomson

    2013-10-11 at 9:02 pm

    I’m late to the party here, but I just had to comment. There should be more posts like this one! Thanks for the beautiful yet simple reminders. I have had some strange experiences with friends and am puzzled by their lack of compassion and…well all of the things on your list. I recently wrote a post expressing this frustration “When Friends Are Living Ghosts”.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-12-02 at 10:09 am

      Welcome to the blog Lisa!

      Sorry for getting back with this comment – seem to have missed out on this one 🙂

      Glad you liked the post, and yes, sometimes we do need such reminders, don’t we? I agree with you there, sometimes what we expect isn’t what we get. But I guess if we want to be good friend’s with anyone, no one can really stop us – but if the other side doesn’t reciprocate, it becomes tough. Heading over to your blog to catch up too!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts 🙂

  7. Rama

    2013-09-11 at 3:52 pm


    In my views friendship has different meanings which depends upon the type of person with whom you have friendship.
    We also have true friends for whom we don’t care about money so much, even our close family members, wife or gf thoughts. We keep our friendship above all these lines.

    We do have friends with whom our views don’t match on certain issues but we still like them may be they have some other quality which help us to ignore their thoughts on other issues…

    And to get a good friend you need to sacrifice first then he/she will do that. In simple ways you need to teach him/her or make him feel that you care about him/her above your own needs.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-12-02 at 10:05 am

      Welcome to the blog Rama!

      Sorry for having missed out on your comment, though I’m glad I’m catching up with it now 🙂

      I agree with you, the meaning of friendship would certainly differ from one person to another. Ideally, between true friendship, there is no question of money or ego problems, but sometimes it does come in.

      Yes indeed, sometimes friends with different views turn out to become very good friends too, and I think that hardly makes a difference. Any relationship demands a little sacrifice on your part and also your time, and I think you should do that without expecting anything in return, isn’t it? I guess if there is love, care, and trust in your friendship, it will only get better with time.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  8. Ferb

    2013-08-18 at 11:19 am

    Amazing how could you come up with so many great articles. I dont know why I can be a good friend with my boy friends but on the other hand, I think differently when I a girl friend is trying to be friends and I find really hard to be friend with them.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-08-18 at 2:32 pm

      Hi Ferb,

      Well, thank you for saying that! But I had to with Friendship Day being celebrated, and I’m I could share what I felt about how to be a good friend with everyone 🙂

      It is certainly easier to be friends with the same gender than the other gender because you can be more of you with them. With a girlfriend things become a lot different, don’t they? I’m sure you’d learn to be friends with them too, though it might take a little time.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us 🙂

  9. Mansi Padhya

    2013-08-12 at 2:13 pm

    Friendship is a great part of life. I must say there is nothing to compare Friendship! My friends are really such a like god for me & I love my friends. Thanks Webmaster for making remember my friends.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-08-18 at 2:26 pm

      Welcome to the blog Mansi!

      It sure is – as without friends, I wonder where we’d be…isn’t it? Nice to know that you love your friend’s and value their friendship too.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  10. Viola Tam

    2013-08-09 at 3:08 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Interesting blog discussion. I must admit that I do limit my time with friends whom I feel may have a negative impact on my own life. For example, as a married person, I value my ‘couples time’ during Saturdays and Sundays. I have no problem saying ‘No’ to my friends who are now single.

    From your list, I have picked ‘integrity’ as the most important requirement. When one feels that more intimate or sensitive information has been shared without first getting the consent from one’s friend, it is a formula for killing the existing friends.

    Thanks, Harleena, for your friendship and contribution!

    Viola Tam – The Business Mum

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-08-09 at 1:49 pm

      Hi Viola,

      Oh yes…most of the readers do leave their awesome comments and the discussion just gets better by the day 🙂

      That’s absolutely alright, or shall I say, such people aren’t friends in the real sense and are mere acquaintances that we meet along the way. It’s best to cut yourself away from such people and become friends with those who lift and boost your morale.

      I agree with you there, we have to see to our priorities in life and family always does come first, and in such cases we have to learn to say no to certain friends who might want our time too, or perhaps they can be given that time at a different set time period.

      Absolutely! Integrity or being transparent in a relationship is essential, and I think you can easily make out your real friends from the fake ones and simply let go of such people.

      Thanks for stopping by, and I appreciate and value our friendship too. 🙂

  11. raj

    2013-08-08 at 7:53 pm

    Friendship is the most beautiful relationship in someone’s life as it is the first relationship we understand by ourselves. A true friendship needs a lot of dedication, Loyalty, respect for others and many more things.

    You can find a good friend only if you are a good friend to others, its like give and take in a positive way. Give respect to your friendship & you will end up finding the best friend in the world, which will be even better than finding the best gf/bf in the world as true Friendship is the name of giving only without expecting something in return.

    I like the acronym you have used to describe FRIENDSHIP, it’s just superb. Thanks for writing about the best & the most beautiful relationship of the world. (y)

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-08-09 at 1:22 pm

      Welcome to the blog Raj!

      Yes indeed, friendship is a very treasured relationship though it requires you also to be a good person yourself first, before you can be a good friend to anyone.

      Trust, honesty, respect, care, understanding, love and the other things as mentioned in the acronym and commandments are essential if you really want to be a good friend to anyone. I agree, such friendships last long and go beyond the normal gf/bf relationships. I feel the more you give, the more you get – and that’s not about money or other materialistic things as most people think because there is much more to life than these things, isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us 🙂

  12. Kumar Chandan

    2013-08-04 at 9:30 pm

    Hi,Harleena mam,

    Thank for a great post once again. 🙂

    Well pointed, good friend is like true love, difficult to get. So, some time it brings love like problem. I mean, it is unfortunate that sometime we could not understand the true love of some people and same with friends. I think, recognizing a good friend as difficult as getting it. Isn’t it?
    On other hand, I just love the acronym of friendship. It consist true reality of good friend.

    Ten commandments are awesome and interesting indeed. We need to have always time for our friend, have to dilute our ego and try to listen them properly. I feel, lacking these three are main reasons of dying friendship.

    Thank You for a nice post.
    Happy friendship day! 🙂

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-08-05 at 11:26 am

      Hi Kumar,

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      It sure is – and hard to find true love and true friendship nowadays. Yes, sometimes we aren’t all that good in really making friends or some people don’t know how to be a good friend, which is again needed for making a good friend. It’s more about how good you are yourself, before anything else – isn’t it?

      Nice to know that you liked the acronym and commandments, which I thought might add a different touch to this post and make it a little special one for Friendship Day. Yes, we do need to make time to be with out friends, to listen to them, and share our side of the story with them too, and lack of this, can end friendships sometimes. However, if you are good friends, you will undertsand each other, but it still is required that you devote a little time for your friends 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Friendship Day to you as well 🙂

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Friendship Day Special: How to Be a Good Friend

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