I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a good friend. It’s easy to go through the motions of daily life and forget to put any real effort into keeping friendships healthy and thriving. Recently I was telling a story to someone and they got visibly excited over my news (which wasn’t exciting for them, honestly) – but their face lit up simply because I was happy.
That’s when I realized: good friends celebrate your success. They take joy in your joy. They feel pain when you’re hurting. They’re invested in your emotions and feel them almost as if they are their own.
This realization sent me delving deeper into the important elements of healthy friendships. As we get older our time seems to thin. Careers, relationships, families, and distance shrink our circles, so it’s important to treat your friends like gold.
Here’s what I found. Good friends:
- Don’t just listen, they HEAR you. Yes, there’s a difference. A good friend will let you finish speaking, venting, etc. before even thinking about what they’re going to say next. They’ll relay back to you what they’ve heard just to make sure they’ve understood correctly. They won’t rush you, interrupt you, or speak over you.
- Put in the effort. To see you, speak with you, catch up, etc. You won’t ever feel like it’s a one-way street.
- Celebrate your success. They jump for joy when something goes right in your life and see every new success as a reason to celebrate.
- Check in on you: just because.
- Call you late at night to make a pizza/ice cream run, and when you say you’re already cozy in bed, they show up at your door – food in hand.
- Confront you when you’re being a beeyotch (because let’s face it, you will be). Instead of bottling it up until they burst, good friends will bring issues to your attention immediately.
- Laugh at you. Laugh with you. And sometimes both.
- Don’t make excuses. Everybody messes up, it’s inevitable. But a true friend won’t make up some lame excuse to explain their mistake — they’ll own it.
If you have a friend(s) like this ^^^ keep them around, because they’re hard to come by. And even more importantly – make a conscious effort to be this kind of friend and you’ll attract positive energy back.
The concept of friendship has changed drastically over the years, especially with the climb of social media. So I’m interested, what do you think makes a good friend?