How To Be a Good Friend

Friendship is a mutual relationship. It involves a lot of sacrifice so if you are wondering why you don't seem to have any good friends, you should probably look inside. I mean check yourself, ask certain questions; how much do you sacrifice to see that your friendship works? How much do you contribute? Now, I am not saying you must play the fool just to have a good friendship, but sacrifices are necessary sometimes. Being a good friend sometimes is determined by your level of understanding of each other, what you consider while picking your friend. This to a large extent depends on who you are, the things you like, etc., so when you find someone who has the same interests as you, you tend to bond easily. But choosing friends is only one half of it all; the other half is being a good friend. We will take a look at how you can accomplish this in a few easy steps:

  1. Understand who your friends are. I have a friend who is never around when I am going through major challenges in my life. He shows up when things begin to get rosy and introduces the "we" clause into all his sentences. "When you finish writing that book, we should think of how to invest the royalties..." "When do we start hiring staff for your new company?" We, we, we...he never stops until things get rough again, and then he's gone! But we have been friends for over five years and still going stronger.

    Did I hear you say, "How?" This is possible because I have come to understand the kind of person he is, so it bothers me no longer. Human beings are complex creatures and most times difficult to deal with, but one of the ways you can become a good friend is to understand the other person first. You are well on your way to becoming one.

  2. Add value. When you look for opportunities to impact your friends with positive things all the time, their faults hardly get to you. Instead, you are glad you see them because it is an opportunity to help them improve on their person. It is always pleasurable to leave people better than you found them. It makes them hold you in high esteem. When they think of friends and mentors, your name tops their list. It is indeed a great feeling, the feeling of being highly respected by those you value. This type of approach makes you a reliable friend. It makes you approachable -- a shoulder to cry on -- and that's what friendship is all about.
  3. Listen. There is wisdom in few words. For you to be able to add value to your friend's life, you must be able to hear the words unspoken. It takes a listener to do this. Yes you can be their mentor, but first they must feel safe and secure with you. When you are on the listening end, you can't miss anything. Now, I am not saying you must be quiet every time you are with them; of course there will be fun times, play times and even sorrowful or quiet times, but the key thing is to be there when they need companionship. You can't go wrong when you practice this.
  4. Help when you can. It is not the big things but the little things we do that count most in friendship. That offer to pick up your friend's kids from school because he has to work late, or that offer to do the garden with her...that financial help at that moment when he needs it most. Especially when it comes from the heart, these sorts of actions are investments in your friendship.
  5. Forgive quickly. Since we are all human, it is impossible for us to live together without hurting or offending one another at one point or the other. So when a friend hurts you, let him/her know about it immediately. Piled up grudges have a way of cultivating hatred, slowly. So, don't keep grudges! Trash them and get it over with. Put them out of your mind, for good!

You probably have heard this before, that no man is an island. Hence, friendship is an integral part of human existence. There is no way you can try to help another person without truly helping your own self, so get on with it... and watch yourself turn into someone's best friend or mentor!


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Another must for being a good friend is TRUST. You must be someone your friends can trust. You should NEVER let out their secrets, even if they haven't explicitly asked you to keep mum about something they said. Never gossip or backbite about your friend.

By Sadaf Farooqi

Right to the point. The variety of revelations coming from our friends makes friendship really interesting. Great article.

By Mary Norton