How many friends do you have? Lots? More than you can count on one hand? Less? Maybe just one? Don’t worry, this isn’t a popularity contest, I’m just curious. Because the truth is, it doesn’t really matter.
When it comes to friends, it’s definitely a case of quality over quantity. It’s more about how your friend/s make you feel, than the little blue likes on your social media posts. You could be in a room FULL of people you know, and still feel like you don’t truly know them.
They say you can count the number of real friends on one hand. Of all the people we will have met in our lives, it all boils down to less than 5. It’s true though. And those 5 can change over time. You may get the odd one or two that are constant, but I think that’s very rare.
That’s because we tend to put friends into categories. Work friends. Friends you go out with. Friends you call when you’re sad. Friends from school. Friends from clubs. And often, these friendships fizzle out when we move on.
More Than Just A Friend
The truth is, friends can challenge us, confuse us, and sometimes, we might wonder why we bother. But friendship is as important to our wellbeing as eating right and exercising. What’s more, friendships help us grow and have often helped us to become the people we are today.
The friends we meet in school teach us how to be patient, wait our turn, reach out, and try new hobbies. When we move into young adulthood we learn more about taking responsibility, finding a career path, and seeking out people as mentors. As we continue into our 40s and beyond, we learn to weather the ups and downs in life, and once again friends provide a sounding board and place for us to grow.
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.
- is there for you, no matter what
- doesn’t judge you
- is someone you can rely on
- 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
- comforts you
- is someone you don’t see often, but when you meet again, it’s like you’ve never been apart
Friendship is key to our success with all our relationships and it can create a sense of purpose in our lives. So in celebration of International Friendship Day 2019, what does a good friend actually look like?
“Mostly it is someone you don’t have to see day to day, don’t have to talk to day to day, but know they are will always be there for you when needed.”
“A good friend is someone I can always rely on, to be whatever I need at that time – a chat, to vent, a shoulder to cry on or even just a hug.”
“Someone who rings or texts you out the blue. They take time out of their busy days to see how you are and they must be a kind and lovely person too.”
“True friendship should always feel like you saw them yesterday even if it’s been years! I’ve been friends with Steve Shields for 30 years. He never judges me and has been with me through good and bad times. I also know we will still be very good friends when we are drawing out our pensions together ????”
“That one person you can rely on to be there for you when needed. We all go through difficulties and you need someone you can let off a bit of steam to. They are there for you and you can trust them. Its is also very important to remember, you are their friend too, and they may need to rely on you one day”
“I think friendship is someone you can trust to have your best interests at heart. I can go a few years without speaking to some of my closest friends and the time we next meet it just carries on as if we had never been apart.”
“Always being available and making time for friends when they need a shoulder to cry on or support. Even if times passes with no contact, a true friend will always sacrifice something to make you feel better in your time of need”
“It’s someone that you can have a laugh with. You can take the mickey out of each other constantly but when the time comes you know that they will be there for you and you for them no matter what.”
“A person you can talk to or rely on through thick and thin. You don’t have to live in each other’s pockets but if you need them they always make themselves available to meet or to pick up the phone and make time for you.”
“I would say it is someone that is trustworthy, respectful and just generally a nice person. And you must be the same back. It’s a two way thing.”
“Friendship is someone who will be there for you through the good and bad times and won’t ask anything in return. Someone you could not speak to for a while and when you next talk it’s like you had never stopped talking.”
“A good friend to me is not having to speak to somebody every day but when you need them you know they will be there. You should be able to tell them anything, good or bad, and they won’t judge you.”
There are many more qualities of good friends that we could discuss. Some qualities are more important to some people than they are to others. Each person must set his or her own criteria for what it means to be a good friend. And that means you, too, must possess those qualities in your interactions with your friends.
Be who you are, and seek out friends who allow you to be who you are and not someone else. Encourage one another and respect each other’s boundaries. Always seek the good in others and be respectful in your interactions. You never know when the good friend you make today might be a friend for life!