What is a Friend? And How Can I Become a Better One?

  • SumoMe

Pal, sister, buddy, mate, bro, confidante – the list goes on. While the specific label can differ from place to place, the universal meaning of a “friend” is actually more involved than you may initially think.  Generally, a friend is someone you get along well with and enjoy spending time around. But, like more serious relationships, there are varying degrees of friendship, as well as varying degrees of commitment and devotion to the friendship.

A true friendship involves most of or all of the following – if not more:

  • Trust – Can you trust this individual with anything you share with them?
  • Honesty – Will this person tell you the truth, good or bad, and do so in a compassionate and tactful way?
  • Equality – Will there be just as much giving as receiving of good deeds, trust and loyalty from this special person?
  • Support – Will he or she be the least likely to chastise you for a mistake or lapse in judgment?
  • Comfort – Will this person be there in your most troubling times, to lean on, get reassurance from, or hold you as you let the pain out?
  • Empathy – Can this person easily see things from your point of view – and truly understand you?
  • Unwavering – Does this person want nothing but the best for you, no matter what?

If you answered yes to a majority of the above qualities, then congratulations – you have a friend…and a good one. If you answered yes to all of them, well, then say hello to your best friend. Someone who contains little to none of the attributes above is merely an acquaintance.

But do you wonder if you’re a good friend? Do you wonder how you can become a better friend? It’s simple, really. You take each and every trait listed above and strive to be every last one of them- consistently.

Take anything and everything your friend shares with you in confidence and keep it safe within you. Know when to listen instead of talk. Be willing to give as much as you get. Make all of these things your top priority when it comes to this person.

The best thing about friendship is once you have established a true friendship, you will have one of life’s greatest gifts.  Treasure your friendships and commit to being a better friend.