Thought Catalog

The 10 Commandments Of Friendship

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1. Thou shalt fend off a friend’s embarrassment. In the event of a friend being incapacitated, take responsibility of preserving their dignity. That means deleting their computer history of any odd, inappropriate, abnormal website listings and trashing any shameful possessions that they own.

2. Thou shalt be understanding and considerate of a friend’s responsibilities and goals. If you want to hit the bars or clubs but the friend you invited has extra work for an important goal, or a relationship to tend to — don’t give them a hard time about it. Truth is they’d probably love to hang, but they’re obviously sacrificing for something important. A true friend is always considerate of another’s obligations and aspirations.

3. Thou shalt not allow a friend to unknowingly let go of his or herself. If you notice that a beer belly or a triple chin is developing, be a pal and let it be known. Just a little hint will do. Say something along the lines of, “Man, you haven’t been working out much lately and that’s a lot of Taco Bell.” We see ourselves constantly every day, so it’s not always easy to recognize physical changes. That’s what kind friends with good vision are for.

4. Thou shalt honor the ‘dibs’ rule… kind of. When you’re out and spot a physically attractive individual, the first person to call ‘dibs’ is expressing interest, and reserving the first access to approaching said beautiful creature. Here’s the thing: ‘Dibs’ can only be applied to one individual at a time. You can’t just shout ‘dibs’ on all of the pretty people in the joint.

5. Thou shalt not habitually bum off of a friend. There’s nothing wrong with borrowing things when necessary, but this norm in which only one person per circle of friends purchases gum has got to stop. Asking for the occasional stick of gum is completely acceptable, but never investing in some for yourself makes you a pest. Aside from gum, it goes for mooching food, drinks and whatnot from your pals. Don’t eat the fries off of my plate and a bit of everyone else’s meal until you’ve consumed a free sampler. Friends do lend or give each other stuff, but it’s mutual — not one-sided.

6. Thou shalt provide courtesy laughs when necessary. If we make an unfunny joke, nothing is worse than the punch line being followed by pure silence. Help a friend out and give a chuckle. Don’t go overboard to the point where you look foolish for laughing at such a bad joke — but make it audible. We’ve all seen that contestant on Family Feud who gives a terrible response, yet their family members applaud and say “good answer,” as if they don’t know that a red ‘X’ is looming. It’s just like that. A little support to knock complete mortification down to mild humiliation.

7. Thou shalt not have anything to do with a friend’s ex. That means no happy conversations, separate friendships or dating your friend’s former lover. You have to realize that they’re your friend’s ex for a reason — and now that they’re not together, you can’t have meaningful contact with them. It’s not high school so if you run into a friend’s ex, there’s nothing wrong with being cordial. However, anything more will probably been interpreted as excessive.

8. Thou shalt not replace a friend with an acquaintance met through the original friend. When you meet the friend of a friend, you might hit it off and be rather fond of each other. That’s all fine and dandy, but don’t begin neglecting the person who made your newfound friendship a possibility in the first place. Overlooking an old friend can make them feel expendable, and nobody likes the thought of being replaced.

9. Thou shalt be consistently reliable for a friend. Imagine how annoying flakes and undependability are. Those aren’t the qualities of someone you want to be associated with regularly. Obviously there are times where we’re truly unavailable, but if you make plans or are direly needed — you should come through. You’ll know when somebody considers you a friend because they’ll ask you to help ’em move… unless you own a truck. Then they probably just need your truck.

10. Thou shalt be a human vault. The ability to keep secrets is crucial in every friendship. When something epic happens — be it awesome, awful, awkward, shameful or whatever — we have to share it with someone. Sometimes knowing it occurred in our own mind isn’t enough, and the story is too juicy to not be shared. This is where a good friend is important. We should be able to withhold deep dark secrets without the possibility of someone spilling the beans. That doesn’t mean telling others, but making them swear to never repeat it. It means not a word. Secrets aren’t meant to be transferable, so keep the heavy stuff in your safe. TC Mark

image – ShutterStock

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    • http://gravatar.com/stringbeangreen stringbeangreen

      yeah. it takes a lot to have/be a friend like this
      make it a printout stick it on a fridge

    • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/08/the-10-commandments-of-friendship/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

      […] Thought Catalog » Life Add a comment […]

    • http://meryllsarco.wordpress.com Meryll Sarco

      Reblogged this on The Funnel.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jay.azo.9 Jay Azo

      So freaking tru and useful. U renew my faith in TC. Getting tired of “ironic” crap……

    • Jami

      I’m not so sure about the ‘dibs’ and ‘friend-of-a-friend’ commandments here. I’ve always thought that the idea of calling ‘dibs’ on someone assumes the actual compatibility/chemistry means nothing. Say my friend and I walk in a bar, she thinks a guy is super cute, and she indicates this to me. We all start talking and he’s into me and my personality more, and I’m supposed to feel bad that their nonexistent feelings might be crushed?

      Also, the idea that we shouldn’t become better friends with someone just because we met them through a mutual friend is questionable because, well, I guess I don’t want a rule out there about who I’m allowed to have a connection to. Maybe it’s the same beef as the one above. That said, I like your ideas, and I definitely think it’s useful to reflect on our [hopefully many] friendships, since they’re such an important part of us. Also, I’m not saying you’re wrong, just pointing out that good friendship is a value, but that doesn’t mean the wants/needs are the same for everyone (nor should they be). Did I just overly-un-politicize my response? And make up words?

    • Deer

      I love all of your articles. So poignant, so spot on.

    • Jen

      I disagree about telling your friend that they are letting themselves go – especially if its a female friend. A friend is supposed to be someone who you can be yourself – flaws and all – around, and that means acceptance no matter what you look like. Girls AND guys already have the world to impress, they don’t need to feel judged by people who are supposed to be their allies. We all have mirrors and see ourselves naked, it ain’t no mystery when our pants are tight.

      Be their cheerleader when they want to lose weight, help them in whatever way you can when they need it – but just because you can say ugly things to them and mean it doesn’t mean you should.

    • Amy

      Christopher Hudspeth, you are fast becoming my favorite writer on TC

    • http://gravatar.com/onyae onyae

      ooops I broke a few already :/ But love this

    • http://thememoriesarebeautiful.wordpress.com clarayuan

      Reblogged this on odyssey and commented:
      Worthy of a read :)

    • http://intheforgotten.wordpress.com kaitovillar

      Reblogged this on In the forgotten..

    • sorry

      this list is the worst. def do not want to be friends with someone who calls ‘dibs’ on people in bars.

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    • http://gravatar.com/gummyshark12 Stina Marie

      2. Thou shalt be understanding and considerate of a friend’s responsibilities and goals.

      What if this friend invited you over to hang out (it’s been forever since you’ve seen each other because you just moved to a different city), and then when you call them to set a time only for them to cancel the plans to meet up to hang out with other friends?

    • http://pennyplease.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/the-10-commandments-of-friendship-thought-catalog/ The 10 Commandments Of Friendship | Thought Catalog « A penny at a time.

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