In the realm of interpersonal relationships, romantic relationships get all the attention. People want to know how to find a romantic relationship, how to keep one, or how to end one. So much so that the word “relationship” has become synonymous with romantic relationship.
However, I’ve found platonic relationships to be just as difficult as intimate relationship. In dating, there are a list of “dos” and “don’ts” if one wants to be successful, but lists on how to be a good friend are less common. But friendships are tough and true friends are hard to come by.
It is important, in my experience, to be as discriminating when forming a friendship as you would be with choosing a romantic partner. In some ways, a good friend is hard to define, but there are a few basic traits that I would say make a real friend:
Loyal – It sounds so simple, but a real friend will stand by you. Many so-called friends will not be faithful when the friendship is tested. On the other hand, a true friend in these times will show that they are concerned with your well-being as they are with the their own.
Sincere — A friend will tell you the truth, even when you don’t want to hear it, and will be genuine about themselves.
Positive – Never ignore the effect that a negative acquaintance can have on you. Whether your “friend” is negative about you and your hopes and dreams, or about life in general, negativity is toxic. A friend will make your day brighter by just being around.
Helpful -- Not only does a good friend offer helpful advice, but a friend will provide assistance, even if they can’t do much to help physically. True friends always try to help, and make your friendship one of their priorities.
Understanding — A true friend understands that everyone has flaws and is not overly judgmental of you. They understand your point of view and point of being, even when it may differ from their own.
How do you determine if someone is a friend or not? What qualities do you think make a good friend?