What is Friendship?
Friendship is a type of relationship between two people who care about each other. It is a relationship of mutual affection between people. Friendship is an interpersonal bond that is way stronger than just a plain association.
A friend is the first person you want to call when you have good news to share. A friend remembers what kind of food you can eat and you don’t like to eat. A friend will accompany you on the most boring of errands and or appointments and make them seem fun as much as possible. A friend is the one who knows first of your frustrations, mistakes, problems and life plans.
Simply put, friendship is wonderful! When it comes to finding friends, perhaps the most important thing to learn is what exactly friendship is all about. Too much research time spent and ink spilled just to cite what are the virtues of having friends. That’s not to say friendship is easy, though. Friendship needs sacrifice and compromise. It demands time and effort. It means that sometimes, it requires you to put others first before yourself. Friendship needs you to be selfless at times. As a reward for that effort, a friend can provide a colossal amount of support and comfort, may it be in good times or bad.
What are the Essential Qualities of a Good Friend?
There are many forms of friendship, some of which may vary from place to place. While there is no practical limit on what types of people can form a friendship, friends tend to share common interests, hobbies, backgrounds, occupations, and have similar demographics. Friendship does not have age bracket too. Certain characteristics are present in many types of this friendship bond. Such characteristics include affection; kindness; love; honesty; loyalty; trustworthiness; unconditional acceptance; virtue; sympathy; empathy; altruism; mutual understanding and compassion; enjoyment of each other’s company; humor; the ability to be oneself and express one’s feelings, and make mistakes without fear of judgment from each other.
A true friend may have many different good qualities, but the basic qualities that all good friends share with one another are the most important. Friendship can begin very quickly but it really needs time to build the bond into lasting and valuable one. We often hear people say that good friends are hard to find and even harder to keep, but everyone needs a good friend even if they are far from each other or just few of them around.
Listed here are some of the most essential qualities that a person needs to have in order to qualify as a true friend:
One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and be understood. You don’t have to be someone’s clone to understand them. Everybody understands that it’s common to be happy on payday, right?
Most of us are friends with someone because of how we feel when we are around them. How they make us feel is based on a lot of things.
You may have found a few people in your lifetime that you’ve just clicked. You instantly knew each other, and were finishing the sentences of the other that same day. People will think you know each other for a very long time simply because you understood each other.
Not everyone understands you at the same level. Some might understand you in the context of work, others might understand your approach and loyalties in sports or hobbies. Regardless of how much of you, or which parts of you, they understand, it is a wonderful thing to find in another person. And it is a quick way to make a friend.
Why is understanding between friends important?
Think about how most fights with a teenager end. In frustration they spit out the words common of teens across the planet, and across time itself. “You just don’t understand!” Then they walk away, slam a door, or simply cease communicating with you and drop you off.
Looking at it from the other side, how friendly can you get with someone who just doesn’t understand you? They don’t understand why you do what you do, why you think the way you think, and why you behave the way you behave. What can you have in common with them? What will be the basis of the friendship?
But what about someone with whom you wish to improve your friendship? Understanding them better would certainly help, as would helping them understand you better.
But how do you do that? The preferred method is communication. Specifically, listening. Ask them “gentle” questions about what they do in different situations, why they do it, and why they believe what they do. In short, try to understand them not change them. If it’s hard, now try to switch the situation and put your feet in their shoes, you will be amazed that you might find it hard to understand yourself too.
It will likely take some time to get to understand what is going on with them, and how they think, but if you are serious about becoming closer to someone, it is a vital thing to do.
Now you don’t have to know every detail of their every thought process. You don’t need to know all the details of how a clock works to understand the passage of time. You don’t need to pull back the curtain on everything, just the things which are most important to you.
Most people are willing to talk about themselves and what makes them tick. At least if you can keep it from feeling like an interrogation. And you can stick to the things they are comfortable with at that time. Eventually you can work into the more sensitive topics, as you build a friendship.
Because, in the end, that’s what this is all about, isn’t it? Building a stronger friendship by better understanding the other person. Go on trips with your friends and see how they react in different environment.
On the other side, if someone seems to be asking you some oddball questions, it might be that they are just killing time, or they might be trying to get to know a little more about you. Trying to find out if they can understand you, and if you understand them.
Most of us believe that opposites attract. It’s fun watching two opposite people trying to understand each other. And remember, understanding and agreeing are two different things.
Your friends may understand all your quirks, but that doesn’t mean that they agree with them. Understanding is not changing the other person, rather it is the act of accepting them for who they are. You can not go to the forest and expect to catch a fish. That is why people often get frustrated because they have the wrong expectations most of the time.
We are all human, we are all unique. We all are a little different, and finding and understanding those differences are part of becoming closer to another person. But that involves listening, and tactfully asking questions. That takes practice and some skill.
Or you can just take your chances with them not understanding your motives or your questions. But if they don’t understand, you have to ask yourself if you will put in the effort. Because friendship will be severed when either one stops to understand and willing to throw all the goods like they don’t give a fuck. Show them love anyway.
Honesty and Trust
This maybe the most important quality for friendship. Why? Because it is really difficult to befriend anyone who lies all the time in your face. Sometimes, we are consumed by the idea that we should lie in order for our friends not to get hurt. It is a big mistake! It can only lead to trust issues and friendship can be severed at any moment or with just one lie. While sometimes it can seem a bit harsh or they may even disagree with your choices, your good friend won’t hide their views – especially if they think it’s in your best interest.
Take for example: Your friend A had this conflict with your other friend B and that you are always with your friend A. But at some point you plan to hang-out with your friend B. You decided not to tell your friend A about it or the other way around to avoid something to happen. Do you think it could make things better? You just made your friend A doubt your honesty and he/she might get hurt about the gesture. It could send a message of betrayal and you might lose your friend A in the long run. Just be honest. Your friends will understand your actions that you have your own life and that you have your own set of friends that also needs your time. You are friends because you trust each other, right?
Being able to trust one another involves being comfortable with vulnerability. If you have difficulty sharing your authentic self with a friend, it is doubtful your friend will be easily willing to do this for you. So do me a favor; if you have that good friend, just be honest as much as possible. If you can’t be honest to each other, then you’re not meant to be good friends, nothing more.
Sensitivity and Empathy
Sensitive people make good friends because they often see life on their own terms which allows them to understand the thoughts and feeling of others. Being a good friend involves being aware of your needs and recognizing your values. When a person is ignorant and uncaring, it is hard to consider them as a good friend. It does not cost you a fortune by showing that you really care your friends, right? It is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign that you have a heart. It is a sign that the other person is important.
A sensitive and empathic friend can actually feel what you are going through – because they have been there before. Or, they simply relate to you on such a deep level that they can profoundly understand what you are experiencing. Friendship sometimes demand that you will compromise, bend some life principles or word of honor and even swallow your damn pride. Good friends are always there at your side even if they don’t really know what really just happened to you rather than distancing themselves because they are fed up of the situation! There is nothing worse than not being around with your friend that needed you the most.
Humor and Fun Factor
Rolling on the floor laughing till your stomach hurts doesn’t happen with just anyone. Your best of friends know exactly what will trigger a belly-aching laugh, and between the personal jokes and shared experiences, your bestie knows how to tickle your funny bone. A friendship should make both people in the relationship happy. Both people should have fun when they spend time together. Life is better when approached with a good sense of humor and people that are happy and outgoing are a lot more fun to be around than someone who is depressed, moody and sees the empty half of the glass all the time.
Most often than not, a group of friends that has a good sense of humor creates a wave of positive effects to the people around them. People will start to like the vibe the friendship has brought to the world. The fun and the good friendship radiated to the people outside your circle creates that feeling of wanting them to get in and experience it by themselves. But be extra careful as some people may want to break that good vibe you’re having – for some people always tend to destroy beautiful things and it’s inevitable most of the time.
Loyalty is a quality that everyone looks for in a friend. A loyal friend will stick with you no matter how frustrated or what the situation is and you can always count on them being on your side. Good friends doesn’t leave you because they grow tired of you, felt like they never learn from you, think that you’re the dumbest person on earth, and look for another friends to have fun.
If your friends keep on looking for greener pasture in most aspect of life, it could mean that your friend is always testing the waters, and may or may not be really a loyal type. That friend has the tendency to leave you when you are of no use for his/her personal gain. You might start to evaluate your friendship right away. Do yourself a favor and distance yourself as soon as possible or make some boundaries. You might get hurt in the long run for that friend will take you for granted anytime soon.
A Good Listener
If someone just doesn’t “hear” what you’re saying when you confide in them, they won’t make a very good friend. Communication is a two-way street and being a good listener is one half of the equation. If your friend doesn’t confide in you, or you might be wondering why your friend has opted to confide and rather tell everything to others, it maybe because you are not a good listener.
If you are not willing to listen to what your friends has to say, or show no interest during your talks, then don’t ask or be surprised why your friends will eventually not talk to you about anything important at all. Remember that good friends could make the most boring topic interesting when both of you are willing to listen. At the end of the day, we really need that good friend to talk to and listen to what we wanted to say, no matter how dumb the topic may seem.
A good friend is openly generous in personality and character. They will be generous with both their time and their money, and they won’t hesitate to help you when needed. Giving is something that comes naturally between good if not best friends, with each person willing to share what they have with the other. A true friendship has boundaries, but abundance is key – always remember that you could not give what you don’t have. No tabs are kept on who gives and who receives, creating a flow of sharing and caring between you both. But keep in mind that the most precious thing you can give is the gift of time.
Encouragement and Support
Your bestie or good friend thinks that you are awesome and is there to give you a boost when you are feeling low. As your personal cheerleader, your best friend reminds you of how many great things you have to offer the world, always focusing on your positive attributes that make you shine. A good friend will be supportive of you and your goals, and they will act accordingly. Being supportive of others in their bad times is a defining quality of a good friend, but being supportive of others in their good times is also essential. The saying goes, “Everybody loves a winner,” but for some of us, this just isn’t so. If you have trouble celebrating another’s good fortune and experience envy or even bitterness, this may limit the depth of your friendships.
A true friend will help you become the person you want to be and know how to help you handle problems. A good friend supports you in pursuing your dreams, even if it means letting you go, even it means they are hurting in the process of not seeing you.
Your best friend has your back! No matter the situation, you know that when you need your friend to be there for you, they are present without fail. Your friend will make time for you whenever you need them. Your good friend will leave work despite being busy and make excuses just to be with you. Always remember: friendship is a two-way street. If your friend needs you, don’t tell them things like “you are just hungry, go eat!”, “your just being lonely”, “just sleep it dude”, and other stuffs like that. If you can’t make it, tell them. And if your good friends ask you for help or want to spend time with you, avoid telling them to ask help or spend time to someone else. It sends a really bad message of pushing your friend away. In the first place, if they need the other person’s help or company, your friend won’t ask it from you.
To be perfectly frank, that’s a pretty hard list of characteristics. Human beings can clash very easily, which is why it’s hard for some people to maintain many friendships. It’s possible that friendship can exist between two people at one stage of life, but life changes and personal growth may make friendship impossible at another stage. It can be hard to meet the people who would make the perfect friend. It is really hard to realize that you have a lot in your mind that you want to talk about but at the end of the day, you have no one to talk to.
How to increase your Friendship Quotient?
Before you can increase your Friendship Quotient, you must first admit that the need exists. Remember, everyone brings a different level of essential traits to their relationships. For sometimes, we may jump first to judge a friend’s behavior, rather than our own. Perhaps we forget that relationships rely on mutual interactions.
It is important for all of us to examine our own contribution to the dynamics of any relationship we have. It is only our own behavior that we can change, and there are certain personal characteristics that are essential to cultivate to build a healthy and lasting friendships. Take an honest look at your own behaviors and see if you need to raise your “friendship quotient” to raise the likelihood of maintaining the close connections you desire.
What are the essential traits of a good friend for you? Comment it down below and let’s share thoughts.