What Makes a Good Friendship?
What do you think of first when you read this?
Friendships are important to all of us. They can be a source of great support, they can teach us about ourselves as well as about others. We can live a longer and more fulfilling life when we have good friendships.
Whether you are a teenager or an adult, there are some common features of a good friendship.
They almost always get off to a positive start when you feel like the other person is taking their time to understand you and you give that opportunity back to them. Listening is a very important skill here as well as reflecting back what you have heard. Think about the last time you felt that someone really heard what you were saying and you will understand what I mean.
Something else that I have noticed about a healthy friendship is that difference is respected and we feel valued for who we are. We have the freedom to be ourselves around that person.
Another tip for a good friendship is the old adage, “treat others as you would like to be treated.” This one holds true in all types of relationships, and old or new. I think this is particularly useful when trying to resolve conflict or when you need to tell someone something that may be hard to hear. Your message is always better received when you think about how you would like to hear it.
I would also like to add that being thoughtful is such a clear and easy way to show how much you care about your friend. It can be as simple as remembering that they have a really tough exam coming up and that they are worried about it. It can be recalling their favourite food and cooking that meal for their birthday. Our acts of thoughtfulness can be very small, however their effect on a friendship can be huge.
May you enjoy your friendships!