How to Be a Good Friend

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By: Vered DeLeeuw

how_to_be_a_good_friendHow to be a good friend? I can probably sum it up in two words. “Be supportive.” I don’t think there’s anything more important than being there for a friend, supporting her and providing unconditional love. This is what friendship is all about.

Of course, there are more aspects to being a good friend. A few that come to mind:

1. Listen. REALLY listen. I read somewhere that most of us begin forming our response in our heads while the other side is still talking! But a good friend should be able to truly listen when his friend talks.

2. Treat your friend as you would want to be treated. Another basic answer to “how to be a good friend.” Whatever you do, always ask yourself, “how would I feel if someone said or did this to me?”

3. Be yourself. There’s no point in friendship is it’s fake. Of course, there are lots of fake relationships – relationships that are based on someone’s looks or social status or finances. But a true friendship is based on two people liking each other and enjoying each other because of their personalities.

4. Be honest and loyal. Avoid lying to your friend and avoid gossiping about her with others at all costs. Of course, honesty does not equal cruelty – there are ways to tell the truth that are not painful. But one of the characteristics of a good friend is telling the truth – thoughtfully and gently.

5. Be helpful. Regardless of how strong and independent your friend appears to be, everyone needs help from time to time, but not everyone feels comfortable asking for help. One way to be a good friend is to offer help when you can see your friend needs it. Be straightforward about it – make it clear that it’s not a big deal and that you see it as part of being friends.

How to be a good friend? Be loyal, respectful and supportive. Oscar Wilde is known for saying, “Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.” How true!

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