Friendship is more ambiguous than we might think. What makes someone a good friend? After much introspection, I believe a good friend is someone who you feel positive around, someone you connect with on a deep and natural level, and someone who cares for you unconditionally. These three elements seem to be what comprises a good friend to me.
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If you usually feel negative around a certain person, then this person most likely is not your friend, let alone a good friend. A friend should give off positive vibrations when you are together, and you should reciprocate this positivity. A good friend should be a positive influence on your life, and not someone who you feel takes away your happiness when you are around him or her (Tips on Life and Love). This influence often extends into many areas of your life, so that you are enriched with the friendship at many angles.
Finding a deep and natural connection with someone is easier said than done. You might search your whole life for that special someone who you can connect with you on such a level. This connection is so unique that it is often described as if you have met them before in a previous life, or that you instantly understand each other, even on the first meeting. This instantaneous clicking of two people is often biological and psychological (Psychology Today). Sometimes inexplicable, friendships are formed at times spontaneously based on that shared connection. This connection is generally what keeps friends together for years and what allows them to understand each other at a greater depth than most people.
Another quality of a good friend is someone who cares for you unconditionally. This care can be expressed in small acts or big acts, but care is commonly apparent. People most often know the difference between sincere and insincere care (Thought Catalog). The most telling moments of care is when you are in a hard spot or have a lack of opportunities, and your friend does his or her best to give you a leap into fortune or a better situation. A good friend looks out for your well-being, and puts his or her concerns aside for your own. Care is often associated with attention: friends do not have to give obsessive attention to you, but it should be noticeable that your friend pays attention to your wants, needs, and problems. The most extreme example is someone saving the life of a friend while risking his or her own, but care does not need to be displayed in these types of momentous acts in order to be comprehended. Unconditional care can be demonstrated in phone calls, texts, or other forms of communication during difficult times. It can be shown by simple acts of remembrance, like remembering what a friend enjoyed in a shop a week ago, and buying it for him or her as a gift. These are only a few examples, however. Without this concerned care, friendship would lack depth and heart.
These three qualities have been present in all my good friendships—that is why I wrote about them here. Please reflect on your own ideas of what a good friend is, and see if they match up with these three elements: someone who is a positive influence on you, someone with which you have a deep connection, and someone who displays unconditional care for you. Maybe these characteristics will match up with your ideas of a good friend, or maybe not—the main concept is to introspect about what being a good friend truly means to you.
Ladd, Karol. “The 7 Qualities of a Good Friend.” Tips on Life and Love, 19 Oct. 2017, www.tipsonlifeandlove.com/self-help/the-7-qualities-of-a-good-friend.
Degges-White, Suzanne. “Why We Click With Our Best Friends Right From the Start.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 27 Sept. 2014, www.psychologytoday.com/blog/lifetime-connections/201409/why-we-click-our-best-friends-right-the-start.
Garcia, Nikki. “How You Know Someone Cares.” Thought Catalog, Thought Catalog, 1 Apr. 2013, thoughtcatalog.com/nikki-garcia/2013/04/how-you-know-when-someone-cares/.
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