Have you ever found it difficult to make friends? Do you even know what true friendship is, and which qualities you should look for when picking your friends?
In this article, I highlight seven founding stones upon which any relationship that will last will take its root course.
- Respect –
Mutual respect is one of the most powerful traits of a good friend and lack of it would spell or indicate a serious warning sign of venturing into an abusive one.
There are so many facets to respect one can accord a friend for instance, not talk negative words about your friends at their back, make them have you in good and reputable confidence with and about their secrets, value their time and opinion etc. More so, they should be able to derive and form opinions about you for themselves rather than leading the bandwagon of gossip. Always be mindful of people that always make other people’s life a creative topic whenever you are with them; you and your entire life story and secrets might likely also be their credible specimen when they are with other people.
- Loyalty – They are always there for you
Friends, who are always there for you, who you can confidently place at your beck and call, both in times of dare need and happiness, is a measurable sign of loyalty.
If you find yourself in a terrible situation, with no way out, a good friend will be one of the first people in your life to offer their backs for a ride and help towards securing temporal or lasting solution to your problem – even more than most family members can do in some cases.
Whether the problem is financial, emotional or otherwise, a true friend will put the state of your well-being above their own, purely because they love, cherish and care about you.
Finding people who are authentic can be a difficult feat, especially if you’ve always been let down by others.
Good friends are those who don’t live life purely for their own self-interest, but take pleasure in seeing you happy and well.
- They have common interests. There is usually something that draws us close to others called a common interest — a common hobby, be it sports, bible study, volunteer project, etc. In our busy society, it can be difficult to create times to get together with people. But if we take advantage of the common activities and interests we have with others, we can fit the time for friendship into our schedules. If you and a friend both like to exercise, work out together. If you both like to read, go to the bookstore together to pick out your next selection, go to club together, go to movie/cinema together, grab some coffee, and talk about the last book you read. The point is to allow your common interests to draw you together. Such common issues prevalent in most relationships with couples getting at loggerhead over their interests and what attracts them could have been nibbed at the bud if actually this was taken into consideration before sealing the relationship. We must try to sync with the person we have common interest with so that when the relationship would be progressing there would be always common things to share. It is on this premise that the formula for compatibility is derived.
Married couples need to practice this, too. Many couples tend to get focused on (and frustrated with) their differences while overlooking the common interests that brought them together in the first place. When that happens they need to go back to basics and begin to build again on their common interests, overlooking each other’s faults and appreciating the different qualities they bring into the marriage together. Marriages seem to be made in heaven when they start, but they most assuredly need to be maintained and continually tended here on earth. Mignon McLaughlin puts it this way, “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” This is the only way love can be renewed to last longer, grow larger and get stronger.
Beware of those kinds of people who only contact you when they have a favour to ask of you. A friendship based on a bribe, is not friendship worth your time and effort. It is only a facade, which will eat at you from your blind spot, leaving you helpless and angry when satisfied. In other words, you will be left taken for granted, time and over time again. They are the kinds of friends who always hover around you whenever they are in daring need and want something from you.
A good friend is a huge advocate and believer in ‘give and take’.
They’re not the type of persons who will only contact you when they have a problem and require assistance. Because they care about you as a person, they will always be wondering how you’re getting on, even if you spend loads of time apart due to work and certain other domestic responsibilities.
- They are of genuine characters and personalities
They don’t succumb to the idea that money, outward appearance etc are everything.They don’t choose their friends based on physical attraction or popularity either neither do they think they are better off than anyone.A genuine friend embraces his/her own flaws, as well as yours.Being with them feels like having weight off your shoulders; you can comfortably be yourself and speak your mind.
- Trust and Honesty
Good friends practice the three core values required for relationship growth and survival. The three most important qualities and values required for any relationship to survive are honesty, trust and respect.They are among the few people who you can trust completely. If you gave them your life in a plate, they will return it untampered with. In fact, you will notice that your life has been returned with some extra garnishes!
In addition to trust, honesty is a quality which, to a large extent matters a lot, especially amongst friends. Some people feel so intimidated and let-down by their friends that they seldom find the willingness to criticize them or tell them their flaws when it matters most. There should be a time good friends should be bold enough to tell each other the untainted, raw, and absolute truth no matter whose ox is gored. It is only hard truths like this that determine their individual characteristic habits and also journey as friends.
When we find ourselves being extremely rude or horrible to another individual, a good friend should be able to call you to order behind closed doors for a word rather than taking to the streets or social/news media to wash the dirty linen.
- Inspirational and Admirable – They are Present During Your Struggle and During Your Success
This is one of my favourite and most admired qualities of a good friend. They will always be there for you when you are struggling to improve any area of your life and will make sure they are present during your triumphs too. They may laugh with you when times are good but would never laugh at you when times get bad. They do not pick and choose which time to enter your life. They will motivate and inspire you and will hope that you will do the same for them.
Some people who have had bad experience with bad friends often times develop hard crust over making new ones. They might seem right in their choices not to go any further but to an extent I there are more to it than meet the eyes.
The case here was that they did not define well what friendship would mean to them, nor have they consciously sought out the kind of individuals they want to spend their time with. The truth is that those innocent ones who can easily trust whole-heartedly are easily fooled at first and they go chattered with so much bad experience and bad notion.
Further to this always make and keep few quality friends who will always make you smile, fulfilled and satisfied irrespective of however hard or unpleasant it might be either to you or to them. The closer/smaller a ‘circle’ is the more precision in drawing it.
Choose your friends wisely because quantity should always have less precedence over quality.