10 Things That Make A Great Friend And How To Choose Your Friends Wisely
Friendship is one of the most important things in life. But how do you choose a great friend?
At the end of the timeless Christmas movie It’s A Wonderful Life, the camera pans to a close-up of a book given as a gift to George Bailey. On the first page is the quote, “no man is a failure who has friends.”
We all need friends. They’re there for us when life gets tough. They keep us grounded when we’re in danger of getting too big for our boots. They encourage us, offer us constructive criticism, and tell us when we’re being total noobs.
Life is short, though, and none of us can afford to waste time on the wrong people. To make sure that you associate yourself with great friends who’ve got your back, here are 10 things to look out for and how to choose your friends wisely.
Great Friends Encourage You
In a world of negativity, great friends are encouragers. They encourage you to chase your dreams and to make of life what you can.
Tired of your job and think you could do better? A good friend will tell you that you can totally do better.
There is too much negativity in this world, and if a friend of yours is adding to that negativity, it means they’re just not worth your time. A friend shouldn’t criticise and tell you that you’re not good enough to do something. They should be your biggest cheerleaders, always pushing you on to achieve greatness.
They’re There During The Bad Times
“If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.”
– Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was right. If our friends are conspicuously absent during our darker days, they don’t deserve to be around us when we’re partying and winning.
A great friend is someone who is prepared to stick it out with you, through thick and thin. They don’t enjoy the bad stuff – nobody does. But you’re their friend, and they’re going to help you through it.
If you’ve got a friend who tells you to text them whenever you need them, and who pops round to check up on you, you need to treasure them. They’re one in a million.
Great Friends Accept That People Change
A true friend knows full well that people change. They might joke that you were more fun before you become a teetotal vegetarian. But they accept that change is the essence of the cosmos, and that you’re doing whatever is right for you at this stage in your life. You’re on your own journey and they’re going to respect your decisions.
Great Friends Take An Interest In You
We’ve all known that self-absorbed person who couldn’t really care less about us and our life. They might wait until we’ve finished talking about what’s going on with us, but as soon as we’ve finished, they change the subject straight back to them:
“Yeah, that’s great. But ANYWAY. Guess what happened to me yesterday?”
Great friends aren’t this selfish. They take a genuine interest in you. They want to know what you’ve been up to. They listen to you, ask questions and don’t just burden you with their issues.
They Don’t Make You Feel Uncomfortable
You know when things just feel right between the two of you? That’s awesome. When you turn up to meet them and their other friends, and they introduce you and make you feel welcome. We love that.
Great friends are those who make us feel comfortable. It’s natural to be around them. We look forward to seeing them.
Great Friends Tell You The Truth
Sycophants might seem like a good thing at first. After all, they’re telling us exactly what we want to hear.
“OMG you look amazing!!”
We know that we actually look terrible but hey ho!
Actually, not hey ho. When a friend fawns and gushes and basically lies to you just to make you feel good, they’re not really a true friend.
Would the same friend say that you look fantastic in a night club despite the fact that your mascara has just smudged and you now look like a gothic boy?
True friends are those who tell you the truth. Why? Because they’re looking out for you. They want to help you improve. And they know that the best way to make sure you make less mistakes and get more things right is to tell you how things really are.
Okay, so the truth hurts. But it wakes us up and instigates positive change.
They Share Things With You
If a great friend came across some information that would really benefit you both, they’re not going to keep it selfishly to themselves. They’re going to share it with you, because they know how much value it will bring you, too.
Great Friends Don’t Hold Grudges
Nothing can destroy a friendship quite like a grudge.
Some people find it hard to let go of a grudge. These tend to be mean-spirited, negative people who have their own issues going on. You did something to them once (unintentionally) and they won’t ever let you forget it. They make loose comments about it now and then, making you feel bad at the worst times.
Great friends don’t hold grudges. In fact, they never have grudges in the first place. They forgive as soon as possible and move on.
Great Friends Give You Space
They’ll call you at midnight to chat, but they’re not going to bombard you when they know you just want to be left alone.
They’re Happy For You
It’s hard to move on from friends. But sometimes, it has to be done if we’re to live the life we’ve dreamed about.
But while some friends try to hold you back and stop you from moving forward, true friends take pleasure in your successes – even if it means you’re moving on from them.
Being happy for us is what all great friends should be. Sure, our new job or our new relationship might mean we have to move away. But their happiness should not be dependent on us.