Thought Catalog
January 22, 2015

7 Ways To Be A Truly Great Friend

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We meet a lot of people in life. Most of them come and go and don’t mean much to us. But a select few hang around. We get to know them more than anyone else and form bonds that last for years.

A good friend is a treasure. They’re someone you can depend on when things go wrong and someone to celebrate with when life’s good.

But the amount of good friends we get in our lives depends on our actions. If you want good friends, you should be a good friend yourself.

When you’re a good friend, people will want to be around you. Not only that, but you’ll strengthen a bond that could last a lifetime.

So if you want to make sure you’re a great friend, you’ll want to:

1. Speak honestly:

Honesty can make some people uncomfortable. It’s hard to be open and honest with another person because they often don’t want to hear what you have to say.

But good friends speak honestly because it relates trust.  They want to know that you’ll be the person who tells it straight.  It means they can count on you.

A good friend will especially be honest about important things.  They’ll tell you if you’re being treated unfairly or if you’re in a bad relationship.  They know that it’s important for you to hear what they have to say.

2. Make them feel valued:

When you’ve been hanging out with someone for a while, you might start taking them for granted. You don’t appreciate them as much as you should.

You can’t let that happen.

Good friends let each other know how important they are. Even simple displays of gratitude are great signs of appreciation.

Friendships can come and go. If you don’t want to make your friend think you’re drifting away, you should let them know just how much they mean to you.

3. Be their cheerleader:

A good friend is a positive influence. If you tell them about a dream or big goal, they’ll be encouraging. You can count on them to be in your corner to motivate you to success.

No matter what life throws at you, a good friend will be there to build you up. They want to see you become better and grow as a person.

If you ever doubt yourself, they’ll be there to say the right thing. Whenever you’re feeling down, they’ll be there to remind you how awesome you are.

4. Respect your friend’s choices:

No two people are exactly the same. Even if you and your friend see eye to eye on most things, you’re going to find a few distinct differences.

People evolve over time and friends will make choices you don’t like. As long as those choices aren’t self-destructive, you’ll just have to learn to accept them.

5. Make them feel that they can count on you:

A good friend will say, “I’ve got your back” and mean it. That’s because they know that strong relationships depend on being there for each other.

If you say you’ll do something for them, make sure you do it. Make sure they feel that they can rely on you.

Trust is the keystone to all great relationships. Losing trust can instantly kill even the longest of friendships.

Without trust, your friend might not feel that you’re always being truthful with them or believe that you’re going to do what you say.

Most importantly, trust is about respect. When you trust each other, you’re saying that you put them into a different category from other people.  That’s not something to take lightly.

6. Be there for them when times are tough

Everyone goes through tough times. That’s a part of life; we all go through them.

No matter how tough things get, good friends stick around. They’re there to pick you up when you’re down and smooth out the bad times so you can bounce back.

There will be moments when you want to throw in the towel. They’re will be moments when you feel depressed or uncertain about things going on in your life.

A good friend will guide you through those tough times. They’ll make you feel better about yourself so that you get back on track and onto a better path.

7. Love yourself

A good part of how you interact with the other people comes from how you interact with yourself. If you hate yourself and have bad feelings going on inside, those will manifest to the people in your social circle.

It’s simple: hate yourself and you’ll probably hate others too. If you love yourself, you’ll bring that love into your friendships.

When you love and accept yourself, you’ll spread that good cheer to those around you too. TC mark

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