Having good friends in your life helps you reduce stress, find meaning in life, boost your self-esteem, and enables you to get over the hard times. A good friend also makes it easy for you to make healthy choices toward a better life.
Studies show that adults with a strong group of friends are less prone to develop mental health problems, obesity, and high blood pressure. Older adults surrounded by good friends also tend to live a long and happy life.
So how will you know if your friends bring out the best in you? Read on.
Qualities of A Great Friend
The Greek philosopher Aristotle has a specific belief about what makes a friend good, its importance in our lives, and many more. According to him, there is a particular type of love between friends. But friends with deeper relationships have mutual care and sympathy for each other. This can include sharing sensitive emotions and helping a friend in times of trouble.
In general, good friendships can look like:
Supporting One Another
In the events when a friend feels down and sad, a great friend will always know the right thing to do to support the other. This practice should go both ways. When you’re the one feeling blue, your friend should be right by your side helping you.
Great friends don’t put each other down. On the contrary, they say nice things to each other. They lift each other and give compliments to show appreciation. Doing this allows both of you to feel good about yourselves and boost your trust towards one another.
Appreciate the Differences
Our differences are what make us unique. And even though you belong to a specific group of friends, there is a possibility that you do not share the same interests and hobbies as them. If your and their interests do not line up, it’s essential to stay open. Give time to try out their hobbies and interests as you might like them too. On the other hand, ask your friends if they would like to hang out next time and do your favorite activity. Friendship is a give-and-take process. All parties should find acceptance and support from the group.
Give them Time
The most inexpensive yet valuable thing you can ever give to your friend is your time. Making your relationship with your friend stronger takes effort and time. It’s not just about having coffee over the weekend or shopping together. Try to be more involved in your friend’s life by giving them time when they need you the most. For instance, accompany your friend every time he visits his father staying in a hospice care center or when he needs to visit his doctor for a checkup.
Giving your friend time is crucial in strengthening your relationship and keeping it long-term.
Listening to Each Other
A good friend knows when it’s time to talk and when to listen. If your friend is talking about something important to them, do not interrupt and let them finish. This is a good way to show that you are interested in their lives and care about their feelings.
Trust plays a vital role in all relationships- from family, friends, and romantic ones. As a good friend, you need to ensure that you are trustworthy. This means that you have to practice honesty. When you tell your friends that their secret is safe with you, honor that promise.
Long-term relationships do face certain problems along the way. But that does not mean that you have to start disrespecting your friend. Remember that any word you say can affect them for a long time. Perhaps you say or do something that upsets your friend, take your time. Once you calm down, approach your friend and talk about the misunderstanding.
In friendships, no one should be dominant. It doesn’t matter if one of you has a strong personality and the other is timid. It’s about giving mutual love, respect, and care for each other. Both of you should feel good about the friendship as it helps you grow as a person.
Quality over Quantity
Many people feel pressured to have lots of friends, but always remember, “quality over quantity.” Don’t let society’s standards affect how you choose your friends and who you should be friends with. Create long-lasting and healthy relationships that you can rely on any time and until you get old.
While you may have taken the time to nurture the friendship and bloom it like a flower, people sometimes grow apart. That’s a harsh reality we need to face in our lives. In this case, you have to keep moving forward so you can find new friends that will bring out the best in you.
It may break your heart to let a friend go, but there are things in life that we can no longer control. So, appreciate them as much as you can, spend time with them, and grow together. When it’s time to go separate ways, you have lasting memories to cherish forever.