Good friends who love and support you for who you are is really important to your happiness. Figure out what makes a good friend, and learn how you can be there for your friends when they need you most.
Signs of a good friend
Friends will come and go in your life, but more important than how long your friendships last is your friends’ acceptance of you for who you are. A good friend walks the talk and shows that they care by their actions – big and small.
A good friend:
is there for you, no matter what doesn’t judge you doesn’t put you down or deliberately hurt your feelings is kind and respectful to you is someone whose company you enjoy is loyal is trustworthy and willing to tell you the truth, even when it’s hard for you to hear laughs with you sticks around when things get tough makes you smile is there to listen.
How to be a good friend
If you treat the people around you in the ways described above, then you’re already a good friend to them. But it’s not always easy to know how to be there for your friends.
Listen to them
Try to understand the situation from your friend’s point of view. Ask questions to get a sense of the problem or issue, but the main thing is to listen to them. You don’t have to have all the answers, and don’t assume that your friend wants advice – they might just want to talk so that they can work it out for themselves.
Get the facts
If your friend has a medical or mental health issue, a good way to offer supprt is to learn about what they’ve been diagnosed with. Being interested in what they’re going through shows you care, and that you plan to stick around no matter what’s going on.
Ask them what they need
If you’re worried about someone and you want to be there for them, ask them what they need. You’ll then know what they find helpful during tough times, and you can offer them support in a way that’s genuinely helpful.
Hugging your friends is a great way to show you care for them. Physical contact can be really comforting, especially when someone feels alone.
Keep in touch
Even if you don’t live nearby, show your friends you’re there for them by making an effort to keep in regular touch through social media, emails, texts and calls.
Tell them how you feel
You don’t have to make a big deal about it all the time, but you can make a real difference to how someone is feeling just by letting them know how important they are to you. So, go for it!