What Makes A Good Friend?

‘There are some people in life that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger and live just a little bit better…’

Hi all!

Today, I wish to discuss what makes a good friend & how to form solid, everlasting friendships.

Since discovering minimalism, I have truly begun to appreciate the mindset of ‘quality over quantity’ and viewing all of my relationships & possessions under a ‘Hall of Fame’ lens. In an earlier post, Decluttering My Book Collection!, I adopted Marie Kondo’s method of clearing my mountains of novels and retaining only those that had earned a spot in my Hall of Fame. Shortly afterwards, I used that process with my clothing, accessories, jewellery, shoes, beauty products and more. Before I knew it, our entire home held only the best of the best. I likened it to a gigantic trophy case filled with our most treasured and valuable awards. Recently, I shifted that focus to my friendships and asked myself the question: which of my friends belong in my own personal ‘Hall of Fame?’ Who deserves a place on my metaphorical shelf for all eternity? When I had completed my decluttering process, what was left were images of my closest, most loving, encouraging and positive friends. They were the people I knew would always be there for me and vice-versa. They were the ones that weren’t afraid to be vulnerable and share their beautiful selves. They were the ones that told me the truth no matter how difficult it was to hear and left me feeling light and incredibly grateful. Best of all, they knew me inside out and adored me anyway. I’m not going to list names out of respect but I will provide examples…

1.) A good friend wants to grow with you… 

I cannot remember where, but I read a quote about friendship recently that went along the lines of ‘a friendship cannot progress or deepen unless you’re both willing to be vulnerable with one another.’ This is so true. We can form surface-level friendships with others were we only talk about the basic goings-on of our lives but it will never evolve unless we’re willing to show each other the good, bad & the ugly. I don’t know about you but my closest friends have seen me cry, listened to my struggles and shared my pain. The result of this has been a strong, emotional bond that has tied us together. Just recently, one of my good friends reminded me of the week her mother passed away. She recalled having to move house at the same time and mentioned how myself and a few other girls packed up the entire place whilst she lay down grieving. She allowed me into her home (during the most difficult time in her entire life) and gave me permission to be there for her which took immense strength and courage. We have an unspeakable tie that grew from that experience and since then, she has supported me immensely during my darkest moments. The circumstances weren’t pretty but boy did we grow together. Don’t be afraid to reveal all sides of yourself to your friends. If they ridicule you, they are not worthy of your time and you will know not confide in them again. True friends will open their hearts and nurture you when you do the same. Is showing vulnerability a priority in your friendships? 

12006131_1679751265601201_349134103381134628_n

2.) A good friend wants the best for you…

Real friends share in your joys and your sorrows. They are not competitive, jealous or judgmental. They want you to have the best life possible and are at their happiest when you are. If they know you well, they will push you to chase your dreams and encourage you to do anything that makes your heart sing. You will see their face light up when you tell them of the course you enrolled in or the holiday you booked. Their responses to you will always be positive and reinforcing. I remember the day I got engaged and told my best friend the news over Messenger (as I was in Vietnam at the time) and she didn’t just write back, she sent me a photo of her happy/surprised face. That image was the very reason why she was my best friend. She could not contain her joy at my news. Recently, she scored the job of her dreams and I just wanted to dance I was so proud of her. These feelings come from the purest place of love. We want our friends to succeed and ultimately be content. How do your friends react when you share good news with them?

thumbnail_img_9962_1-copy
Photo Credit – Blogger: Mabel Kwong

3.) A good friend keeps in touch no matter the circumstances…

I understand that life gets hectic and things get in the way sometimes but it only take a minute to send a message to a friend saying ‘thinking of you.’ My closest friends, no matter how busy, have always remained consistently present. My best example is a friend I made in University. We would go on road trips together, dinners, sleep-overs, dancing, parties until one day, she moved to Townsville in Northern QLD to support her partner who was stationed there in the army. Sadly, I thought things would slowly die down between us but to my overjoyed surprise, she began writing letters to me! She lived in Townsville around 4 years and during that entire time we would mail handwritten letters back and forth. Sometimes we would slip teabags, buttons, stickers and tiny soaps into the envelopes as well. I still have all of her letters and a couple of months ago, she finally moved back to Melbourne. The evening we reunited, it felt like she had never left. I was so utterly grateful that distance hadn’t broken our friendship. Good friends will check in with you even if it’s a short email to say ‘how did your appointment go’ or ‘just saying hi!’ With true friends, you just know you’re in their thoughts. Do you keep in contact with all of your friends regularly and vice-versa?

10409197_1574798622763133_7158317210914069681_n

4.) A good friend can turn your day around…

Have you ever felt miserable, angry and altogether gloomy one moment until you call a friend and find yourself laughing hysterically? By the time the call ends, your mood is radically different and your troubles have vanished. One of my friends has the ability to make me laugh so hard I can’t breathe. They know just how to snap me out of my ‘funk’ and feel a hundred times better. We all need friends we can be silly with and giggle like we’re children again. All of my friends are unique and enhance my life in a different way. I have one that is a wonderful listener, one that makes me laugh, one that I swear knows me better than I know myself, one that inspires me constantly and one that protects me fiercely. I don’t love or value one more than the other, they are all special to me in different ways and know just how to turn my day around. Do you have friends like this? Which part do you play in your circle of friends?

thumbnail_img_9933
Photo Credit – Blogger: Mabel Kwong

5.) A good friend will inspire you to do more and be more…

When I didn’t love myself, I was surrounded by aimless, negative and soul-sucking ‘friends.’ Instead of motivating one another, we immersed ourselves in negativity and insecurity. They bought out the worst me and I was never happy after I left their company. The friends I surround myself with now are inspiring, positive beings that fill my life with light. I am constantly in awe of these beautiful, magnificent people. One of my friends, through her blog, gave me the push to start my own which I now love dearly. Another friend of mine is so bubbly, she taught me that everybody has a story we should learn. I channel her attitude now at social events and do my best to engage with new people. I have a friend who is quite famous on social media and she has opened my world to adventure and joyous expression. How do your friends enhance your life? Do they lift your spirits or bring you down?

1455835_1525171834392479_7878352906595234423_n
In Venice Beach, California with my best friend 🙂

6.) A good friend knows the real you…

If you have a close friend, then chances are you have taken the time to get to know each other really well. Knowing a person goes much deeper than how they like their coffee. It’s a genuine understanding of one another’s inner spirit. My best friend of over 16 years can rattle off how I’m thinking and feeling before I even get a chance to express it. It’s scary sometimes how much she knows me but I love it and it’s so comforting. I like to think I know her just as well. This weekend, she is taking me away for my ‘hens celebration’ and I recently learnt were we are going. She has organised a 3 day getaway to Halls Gap, just the two of us in the mountains. She has planned games and activities as well as secured a self-contained apartment so we can cook vegan food together. This plan could not be suited to me more. I am a massive introvert that loves nature and making special memories so I couldn’t love her more for what she’s organised. When has a friend shown that they know the real you?

149608_10151126043093802_437711062_n

7.) A good friend will tell it like it is…

We all make less than desirable choices in life at one point or another. If we have good friends, they won’t be afraid to guide us in the right direction or speak up about our decisions. A good friend will also word it in a patient and loving manner. If you’re in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t treat you well, a true friend won’t say ‘dump that loser’, they will sit you down, hold your hand and say ‘I love you and care about you. This relationship is clearly making you unhappy and (insert random name here) isn’t bringing out the best in you. Let’s talk about this.’ You may snarl back ‘well that’s none of your business’ but in time, you’ll appreciate that they cared enough to risk telling you the truth. Back when I was in a toxic relationship, my friends could tell I wasn’t myself and several times they would ask me if it was him. I would deny it black and blue but when we finally broke up, they told me they never liked him. One of my friends said he overpowered me and she could see I was shrinking in the background. I’m grateful that they knew me well enough to acknowledge I wasn’t projecting my true nature under his influence. Even if you think your friends will react badly, don’t be afraid to tell them you’re worried about them. It shows you give a damn which will come through once their emotions subside.

10014600_1429666977276299_1612487837_n
Me and my sister!

8.) A good friend will give and take…

All relationships require balance. You cannot expect a friend to listen to you if you constantly interrupt them whenever they speak. You both need to share the spotlight when you come together. The same goes for one-upping. If a friend tells you a story about their day and you immediately turn their experience into something that happened to you, that might get frustrating after a while. Let them speak, ask them questions and really acknowledge what you’ve heard. Then, if the situation calls for it, you can relay your own examples which may help them with their current predicament. I have two friends that I always see together. We only ever go out the three of us and when we do, we go around the table talking about our news. Nobody ever speaks on top of one another and we are always so fascinated by what the other has to say. I’m generally more of a listener so I don’t mind letting my friends do most of the talking but I know they will pay attention once it’s my turn. Do you have friends that talk over you or make your situations about them?

10151483933232114

9.) A good friend will stand by you through thick and thin…

You know you’ve found a true friend when no matter the circumstances, they’ve stood by your side, fiercely loyal and still your number one fan. I am not the first girl that ditched her friends when she got a boyfriend in highschool and probably won’t be the last. I barely saw my friends during my relationship and once it ended, I shamefully crawled back hoping they would greet me with open arms. They did. Good friends understand and they don’t hold grudges. They love you despite your choices and fight your battles with you. If they are truly special, they will weather all storms and still be standing once the clouds clear. Have your friends never left your side?

10151861147002114

10.) A good friend will never take you for granted…

Real friends appreciate and acknowledge regularly how lucky they are to have us in their lives. They cannot conceive of a world without their partners in crime and would never let us slip from their fingers. My best friend and I tell each other often how blessed we are to be so close and experiencing life together. There was a period of time in highschool where we drifted and hung out with other circles of friends. In Year 12, she moved to another school to complete her last year and we lost touch whilst we went onto University. I grieved the loss of our friendship for years until one day, I spontaneously called her on her birthday. She was so surprised and happy to hear from me. We organised to meet up and have not left each other’s side since then. We both agreed that we were inseparable in highschool and needed time apart to grow as individuals. As they say, ‘if you love someone, set them free and if they return, it was meant to be.’ Now she will be doing a reading at my wedding and I cannot imagine a world without her in it. Practicing gratitude is a wonderful way to remind yourself how fortunate you are to have the friends you do. Tell them and never let them go! Do your friends know how much they mean to you?

004

I really hope you enjoyed this post and could see your friends in these examples. Let me know what you think and what you believe makes a good friend!

Peace & Love xoxo

 

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “What Makes A Good Friend?

  1. I really like all this points on what makes a good friendship. It is nice that you can be yourself around with your friends and they won’t judge you for it 😀 I really like it too when friends check up on me. It could be a simple smiley over messenger or a message saying ‘are you home yet?’ when we hung out a couple of hours ago.

    I am very greatful to have you as a friend. You are very kind and very accomodating, not like one of those Hi-and-Bye friends who just want my company when they are bored. Wishing you well this hen’s weekend and have a good time 😊

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s