What makes a good friend? | Friendships
Having good friends who love and support you for who you are is really important for your happiness. Figure out what makes a good friend, and learn how you can be there for your friends when they need you most.
Why good friends are so important
Research has shown that the better the quality of your relationships, the more likely you are to be happy. So, being a great friend to someone and having friends support your back is good for your wellbeing. But what, exactly, makes a good friend?
Signs of a good friend
Friends will come and go in your life. No matter how long your friendships last, the most important thing is your friends’ acceptance of you for who you are. A good friend walks the talk and shows that they care by their actions – big and small.
A good friend:
- is there for you, no matter what
- doesn’t judge you
- doesn’t put you down or deliberately hurt your feelings
- is kind and respectful to you
- is someone whose company you enjoy
- is loyal
- is trustworthy and willing to tell you the truth, even when it’s hard for you to hear
- laughs with you
- sticks around when things get tough
- makes you smile
- is there to listen
- comforts you when you cry.
How to be a good friend
If you treat the people around you in the ways described above, then you’re already a good friend to them. But it’s not always easy to know how to be there for your friends.
Listen to them
Try to understand a situation from your friend’s point of view. Ask questions to get a sense of the problem or issue, but the main thing is to listen to them. You don’t have to have all the answers, and don’t assume that your friend wants advice – they might just want to talk so that they can work it out for themselves.
Get the facts
If your friend has a medical or mental health issue, a good way to offer support is to learn about what they’ve been diagnosed with. Being interested in what they’re going through shows you care, and that you plan to stick around no matter what’s going on.
Ask them what they need
If you’re worried about someone and you want to be there for them, ask them what they need. You’ll then know what they find helpful during tough times, and you can offer them support in a way that’s genuinely helpful.
If you’re a hugger, ask your friend whether it’d be okay to hug them. Once you get the thumbs up, hug away! Hugging your friends can be a great way to show you care for them. Physical contact can be comforting, especially when someone feels alone.
Keep in touch
Even if you don’t live nearby, show your friends you’re there for them by making an effort to keep in regular touch through social media, texts or calls.
Tell them how you feel
You don’t have to make a big deal about it all the time, but you can make a real difference to how someone is feeling just by letting them know how important they are to you. So, go for it!
Be willing to make a tough call
If you think your friend’s safety is at risk, you might need to act without their consent and get help. It can be a tough call, particularly when you’re worried about how they’ll react, but remember that good friends care enough to step up, and that you’re doing it to protect them from harm.
What makes a good friend?
What makes a good friend?
Having good friends makes you happy, and being a good friend to others makes them happy, too. Think about your friendships – are you being a good friend? Are your friends being a good friend to you?
Good friends make you feel good
Good friends say and do things that make you feel good, giving compliments and congratulations and being happy for you.
Good friends support each other
If you’re feeling down, a good friend will support you. If you need help, a good friend will try to help you out.
Good friends don’t always have everything in common
Everyone is different, and has different hobbies and interests. Even if you’re not into the exact same things, a good friend will encourage you rather than making you feel bad for liking a different band, activity, TV show or animal! A good friend understands that sometimes you do your own thing, and enjoys doing the things you have in common together.
Good friends listen
A good friend allows you to talk and doesn’t interrupt you. They’re interested in what you have to say.
Good friends are trustworthy
If you tell a good friend something private, they won’t share it. You can trust a good friend not to be judgmental.
Good friends handle conflict respectfully and respect boundaries
Sometimes you and your friend might disagree on something. Sometimes you might have said or done something that upset your friend. A good friend will tell you if you’ve done something to hurt them. If you tell a good friend they’ve hurt you, they’ll be sorry and won’t do it again.
Good friendships go both ways
It’s not a good friendship if one of you is doing all the talking and the other is doing all the listening, all the time. Good friends make each other feel good, rather than one friend receiving all the compliments and the other giving them all the time. In a good friendship, you’re making each other feel great!
Having a group of friends
Don’t limit yourself by having just one “best friend”. Your friendship is something special which you can share with everyone who needs a friend! Sometimes friends drift apart or fall out. That’s a part of life. Having more than one friend means it’s more likely there will be someone who can help you when you need it. See our guide to making new friends to find new people in your life to share friendship with.
Friends not followers
In the digital world you can feel under pressure to have a lot of friends and followers. Remember that you only need a small circle of friends to be happy, and it’s a good idea to keep your most precious (and private) thoughts and moments for those that really care about you.
Help! I have a bad friend!
Sometimes you might realise that someone you considered a friend hasn’t been a good friend to you. Our friendships and frenemies page has advice for what you can do in this situation.
What Makes a True Friend
The Japanese have a term, kenzoku, which translated literally means “family.” The connotation suggests a bond between people who’ve made a similar commitment and who possibly, therefore, share a similar destiny. It implies the presence of the deepest connection of friendship, of lives lived as comrades from the distant past.
Many of us have people in our lives with whom we feel the bond described by the word kenzoku. They may be family members, a mother, a brother, a daughter, a cousin. Or a friend from grammar school with whom we haven’t talked in decades. Time and distance do nothing to diminish the bond we have with these kinds of friends.
The question then arises: why do we have the kind of chemistry encapsulated by the word kenzoku with only a few people we know and not scores of others? The closer we look for the answer, the more elusive it becomes. It may not, in fact, be possible to know, but the characteristics that define a kenzoku relationship most certainly are.
What draws people together as friends?
- Common interests. This probably ties us closer to our friends than many would like to admit. When our interests diverge and we can find nothing to enjoy jointly, time spent together tends to rapidly diminish. Not that we can’t still care deeply about friends with whom we no longer share common interests, but it’s probably uncommon for such friends to interact on a regular basis.
- History. Nothing ties people together, even people with little in common, than having gone through the same difficult experience. As the sole glue to keep friendships whole in the long run, however, it often dries, cracks, and ultimately fails.
- Common values. Though not necessarily enough to create a friendship, if values are too divergent, it’s difficult for a friendship to thrive.
- Equality. If one friend needs the support of the other on a consistent basis such that the person depended upon receives no benefit other than the opportunity to support and encourage, while the relationship may be significant and valuable, it can’t be said to define a true friendship.
What makes a friend worthy of the name?
- A commitment to your happiness. A true friend is consistently willing to put your happiness before your friendship. It’s said that “good advice grates on the ear,” but a true friend won’t refrain from telling you something you don’t want to hear, something that may even risk fracturing the friendship, if hearing it lies in your best interest. A true friend will not lack the mercy to correct you when you’re wrong. A true friend will confront you with your drinking problem as quickly as inform you about a malignant-looking skin lesion on your back that you can’t see yourself.
- Not asking you to place the friendship before your principles. A true friend won’t ask you to compromise your principles in the name of your friendship or anything else. Ever.
- A good influence. A true friend inspires you to live up to your best potential, not to indulge your basest drives.
Of course, we may have friends who fit all these criteria and still don’t quite feel kenzoku. There still seems to be an extra factor, an attraction similar to that which draws people together romantically, that cements friends together irrevocably, often immediately, for no reason either person can identify. But when you find these people, these kenzoku, they’re like priceless gems. They’re like finding home.
How to attract true friends
This one is easy, at least on paper: become a true friend yourself. One of my favorite quotations comes from Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Be the friend you want to have. We all tend to attract people into our lives whose character mirrors our own. You don’t have to make yourself into what you think others would find attractive. No matter what your areas of interest, others share them somewhere. Simply make yourself a big target. Join social clubs organized around activities you enjoy. Leverage the Internet to find people of like mind. Take action.
As I thought about it, there are four people in my life I consider kenzoku. How about you?
If you enjoyed this post, explore my home page, Happiness in This World.
11 Signs Of A Genuine Friendship
In 1967, The Beatles released a song that is still an anthem for all friendships today: I get by with a little help from my friends.
As we all know, these special relationships do more than just get us by. Friends are our concert buddies. They’re the people that come over to trap a mouse that’s in the apartment. They’re the ones who see us through relationship blunders and changes at work. Research has also found that friends help us live longer.
Aristotle once described a true friend as a “single soul dwelling in two bodies” — but what differentiates a true, lasting friendship from the other, temporary social bonds? According to Robert Rowney, D.O., a certified psychiatrist and the director of the Cleveland Clinic mood disorder unit, there are certain habits that genuine friends possess, which make them more like family. And it’s these characteristics — and sometimes even tough love — that create that indescribable bond.
Below, find the 11 qualities that set real friends apart from the other relationships in our lives.
1. They push us to be more accepting of ourselves.
One of our greatest faults can be our negative self-criticism, but as Rowney points out, true friends lift us up when we’re down. “People feel better about themselves when they have close, supportive and encouraging people in their lives,” he explains.
Whether it’s feeling inadequate in a job interview or just not liking what’s staring back at us in the mirror, our closest friends are the ones who beg to differ when our self-opinion starts getting low. “Real friends naturally boost your self-esteem,” he says. “And in turn, helping out a good friend [in this way] can help you feel better about yourself as well.”
2. They call us out when we’re in the wrong.
No, not just for argument’s sake, but when we’re actually wrong. We all have flaws. Real friends identify them in a mindful manner not to be spiteful, but for accountability’s sake. “They’re able to point out some of the negative things you’re doing in addition to the positive,” Rowney says. “They really support you on both sides.”
This gentle honesty, Rowney elaborates, is what really sets genuine friendships apart from the weaker ones. “If it’s a superficial friend or a new friend, they’re not going to say anything that may be off-putting,” Rowney says. “But if it’s a real friend — someone you truly trust — they know they can tell you exactly what’s on their mind. People who are open and straightforward are some of the most important types of friends to have.”
3. They’re present.
The greatest gift any friend could ever give is full attention and awareness — and true friends make their presence a priority. “A real friend stays present in the moment by paying attention to your needs along with theirs,” Rowney says.
One of the ways good friends live in the now? They stash their phones when they’re with you. A 2012 study out of the United Kingdom found that even just the presence of a phone has the ability to take away from personal connections — something your BFF wouldn’t let happen.
4. They really listen.
How many times have you tried to have a conversation with someone, only for that person to turn the topic back to him or herself? Somehow the venting moments and the catch-up sessions aren’t quite as fulfilling. Conversations with real friends aren’t one-sided.
Being able to have an open, two-way dialogue with someone improves the chances that the relationship is going to be stronger. According to listening expert Paul Sacco, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, the basic key to a balanced conversation is actively paying attention to the other person. “People who are good listeners validate other people’s feelings,” he previously told HuffPost Healthy Living. “It shows that what they’re saying makes sense.”
5. They support us through adversity.
It’s one thing to have friends who provide support during times of success. But genuine friends are there through all of our peaks and valleys — the grief, the joy, the failures and everything in between. “To be able to know someone enough and to trust them enough to even allow them to support you through tough times is a sign of real friendships,” Rowney says. “The people who are in your life like that are about as close to family as you can get.”
6. They keep our stress in check.
One of the hallmarks of a long-lasting friendship is knowing what makes the other person tick. Genuine friends can sense duress — and thereby assist in making better decisions, Rowney says. And even when we’re not looking for advice, their presence alone can calm us. One 2011 study found that just spending time with a best friend can help beat stress.
7. They keep us humble.
Rowney says that while genuine friends celebrate our every accomplishment, they also remind us of our roots. “Good friends will keep you in check to some degree and not let your head get oversized,” he explains. “They knew you before you made it big or achieved any accolades. They know the deep-down, base version of you. So not only will they support you when you succeed, but they remind you [of] where you came from.”
8. They have our backs, even when life gets tricky.
It can be a stomach-churning scenario: You’re out with a few co-workers when you see your good friend’s significant other flirting with someone else. And while reporting this information may be uncomfortable, Rowney says close friends always step up and take the initiative — even if it’s something the other person may not want to hear. “Supportiveness is crucial in friendships,” Rowney explains. “Honesty isn’t always an easy thing, but it’s important to your bond. Swallowing that pill and being the best friend you can by being open with them always works out better.”
9. They make the friendship a priority.
Marriage, work, kids … as time goes on, our days start to become more jam-packed, and by extension, we become more unavailable. But real friends don’t let life interrupt the relationship. Whether it’s carving out some time for a catch-up call or planning a visit, genuine friends make each other a priority.
“One thing that really gets in the way of these bonds is when people don’t make time to truly be with their friends,” Rowney says. “If you don’t purposefully make time to see them, it can really hinder the friendships overall and it’s one of the main reasons why friendships fall by the wayside.”
10. They practice forgiveness.
We all make judgment errors from time to time when it comes to our relationships. But as Randy Taran, author and producer of Project Happiness, writes, genuine friendships know how to weather the storm. “When conflicts come up, real friends have the courage to reach out directly rather than gossiping and letting irritations grow,” she explained in a HuffPost blog. “Real friends understand, and because they understand they are capable of forgiving. “
11. They make us want to be better people.
Rowney says real friends not only stick with us as we grow, but they also make us want to be better versions of ourselves. Friends aren’t just confidants, but role models. Through their example, their kindness and other attributes, genuine friends bring out the best in us — which is one of the greatest gifts they could ever give.
What Is Friendship, Define Friend: A Good Understanding Of The Friend Definition
By: Marie Miguel
Updated March 18, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Rashonda Douthit , LCSW
Friendship should be something easy to define and understand…but, we’re human, and humans are complicated! The base definition of a friend for most of us is someone who is there for us, and whom we’re there for in return. Sometimes, though, friendship has ups and downs; sometimes friendships are formed in the most unlikely of people and circumstances; and sometimes, friendships don’t really wind up being that at all, and we get hurt.
So we are here to make sense of it all. What makes a good friend? What makes a bad friend? Friendship is one of those concepts you think would get easier as you grow older, but sometimes it seems to get even more complex. We’re here to solve this puzzle. Let’s first look at the definition of a friend.
Friendship Is Essential Part Of Life. How Do Friends Impact Happiness?
Platonic Friendships Are Real And Have A Significant Impact On Our Lives.This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.
What Is A Friend?
A friend is someone other than your family or partner that you share close affection with. You share kindness, sympathy, empathy, compassion, loyalty, fun, and probably some common beliefs and values with them. They can be in person or online, your next door neighbor or 1,000 miles away.
There are different degrees of friendship. Some friends are casual; you may share a couple of interests with them, and you may talk sometimes, but you’re not as deep as you could be, and that’s just how the friendship is. Other friends you’re more close to. You spend time whenever you can, and you’ve been through it all. You may have had a childhood with them and have experienced ups and downs, and yet they’re still good friends of yours. The two of you can go for a long time without talking, but once you start talking again, it’s like no time has passed. The relationship just feels secure.
Then there is the social media definition of a friend, in which the two of you have your accounts linked together on social media, but maybe you don’t actually talk at all. You should not confuse social media ‘friends’ with real-life friends.
Think about it. If you have 500 friends on Facebook, could you see yourself becoming deep friends with all 500? Probably not. They are just numbers on social media. When it comes to friendship, less is often more. Many of those friends on Facebook are more acquaintances than anything else, but that doesn’t have the same ring to it. “I acquaintanced someone on Facebook today,” just doesn’t sound right.
Friend Vs Acquaintance
What is the difference between a friend and an acquaintance? An acquaintance is a person who you talk to on occasion, but the friendship bond is just not there. Maybe it would be there if the two of you talked more, but odds are, the person is someone who is nice and good to talk to on occasion, but it just doesn’t feel as though there’s a bond. They likely won’t be the person you talk to when problems are happening. They aren’t going to be the person you see yourself spending a lot of time with. Alternatively, some friendships blossom from acquaintanceships, if we only give them a chance.
Look at your social media, as well as the people you know in real life. How many of them would you say are friends? How many are just acquaintances? Perhaps the biggest problem with friendship today is mixing the two up. Odds are, only a handful of people in your life are worthy to be your friend, while the others are actually acquaintances.
Signs Of A Good Friend
Here are some ways to know that you have a quality, healthy friendship:
Always There For You
A good friend will always be there for you, no matter what your situation is. They aren’t going to run away because you lost money, or because you moved further away. Friends know that life throws many trials, and they will stick through those trials to the end.
Listens And Keeps Secrets
A good friend is someone you can be vulnerable and open with, and you know they won’t gossip about whatever you tell them. When you say, “please don’t tell anyone,” they won’t tell anyone.
You Feel Good With Them
A good friend will be one who you enjoy spending time with. Pay attention to your energy; while we all have good days and bad days, if your energy around someone is consistently good, that’s saying something. Conversely, if being around someone consistently generates negative feelings and brings your energy down, that’s a clear sign that something is off in the relationship.
You’re Empathetic With Them
If something bad happens to your friend, you feel bad as well, even if you were not directly affected. Friendship needs empathy for it to work. A friendship where friends are not taking into consideration each other’s feelings is not a good friendship, but is one that either is or will become one-sided.
Friendship Is Essential Part Of Life. How Do Friends Impact Happiness?
Platonic Friendships Are Real And Have A Significant Impact On Our Lives.
The Hatchet Burier
A long term friendship isn’t going to be perfect. There are likely to be arguments and times when the two of you won’t talk to each other – this is actually healthy, and important for the two of you to learn how to better understand one another and resolve conflict. A good friend knows that this is part of life, and they are willing to bury the hatchet and try again. Most arguments are not grounds for ending friendships. Good friends can forgive each other, not hold the past against the other friend, learn from their mistakes, and move on.
Signs Of A Bad Friend
If you’ve been questioning your friendship with someone, think about what they’re doing. Here are some signs that your friendship with someone might not be so great:
The User Friend
Some so-called friends only want you when they need something. Be it a ride, money, or any other need. They became friends conveniently around the time when you had good fortune, and once life goes down the drain for you, they are nowhere to be found.
Don’t get us wrong – friends should be helping one another, the key words being “one another.” If the help is one-sided, this may be a sign that you’re being used.
The Trash Talker Friend
If your friend is always talking trash about their other friends to you, then don’t think you’re an exception. Once you’re not within earshot, they are probably talking trash about you.
Everyone has said something about someone else they won’t say to their face. Sometimes, the truth hurts, and we’re afraid to hurt our friends. However, if this friend is always talking trash, and not even making any good criticisms, they may be a bad friend. Speaking of criticisms…
The Friend Who Can’t Take Criticism
As friends, the two of you should help each other. And one of the ways you should help someone is sometimes to give them a pill that’s hard to swallow. A good friend will take the criticism to heart and realize it as a well-meaning tool for growth, while a bad friend may feel attacked, become aggressive, and perhaps cut you out of their life when you say something they don’t want to hear.
The Friend Who Can’t Tolerate Differences
Friends get along because of their similarities. It’s not incredibly often that people bond over their differences (though it does, of course, happen!). With that said, the two of you are going to have some differences, be it hobbies, outlooks on life, or perhaps even some values. If your friend is always harping on you for what you believe and even stops talking to you because of the difference, they weren’t much of a good friend, now were they? For example, if one of you is religious while the other is not, you should both be able to be open to those different viewpoints and respectful of them even if you don’t necessarily agree with one another.
The Flakey Friend
The flaky friend is one who is difficult to be friends with because they often have a reason to avoid you. There is a big difference between having real reasons to cancel plans and always making excuses. If you’re the one who is always making plans and they’re the one who never hangs with you despite always saying how much they miss you, they may not be a good friend. Some friends may have social anxiety and find it difficult to commit to plans. This one is certainly situational, so try not to completely discount someone just based on this – if it seems they’re having trouble committing to plans, try talking with them about it. Let them know you’re not trying to judge or guilt them, but just want to better understand what might be going on.
The Pushy Friend
On the other hand, if you have obligations such as work, school, or family, and your friend gets angry whenever you have to say no, then this can be a sign of a bad friendship as well. A good friend knows that life, especially adult life, is busy, and sometimes the two of you can’t see each other. Be patient, and wait for a good chance to hang out.
Many friends may have a problematic tendency or two, but if these tendencies happen often, it may be a sign that you should part ways.
Look at your friends and see who is a friend, who is an acquaintance, and who may be a bad friend. Don’t be afraid to have open and candid conversations with them to help figure this out.
If you’re having trouble with your friendships, want to figure out who your real friends are, or need help making friends, there is no shame in visiting a professional for help. Seeking counseling can help improve your interpersonal relationships and strengthen your friendships. You only have one life, so fill it with people who will care about you.
Online therapy has been found to be just as effective as in-person therapy in treating a variety of issues, including communication skills, relationship troubles, anxiety, depression, and more. Specifically, 98% of BetterHelp users have experienced significant improvement in their mental health and personal growth journeys, 94% prefer it to in-person therapy, and 100% find it to be convenient.
Additionally, online counseling has the added benefit of being accessible anytime, anywhere – you’ll just need an internet connection to get started! You don’t have to commit to commuting to sessions at a particular day and time each week. Sessions are fully customizable, with many of our therapists operating at non-traditional hours and offering sessions via video chat, phone call, instant messaging/texting, and live voice recording. This is especially useful if you have a busy schedule, and/or live rurally where going to traditional in-person counseling isn’t really a feasible option for you. Continue reading below to find reviews of some of our board-certified therapists from people seeking help in their relationships.
“I’ve been talking with Rebecca since February and she has helped me immensely! A lot has changed in my life and she’s helped me create a positive mindset and space to navigate the changes and pursue the type of life and relationships I want. Along with this, she’s provided me with resources I can use outside our sessions.”
“Danielle is amazing! She’s helping me grapple with incredibly difficult challenges in one of my most important relationships. She listens well, synthesizes my scattered thoughts & feelings, and offers helpful tools, activities & resources to work on outside of our sessions. Danielle provides honest feedback and creates a safe space. I can feel that she genuinely cares.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Friends
- What Is The True Definition Of A Friend?
This is going to vary slightly from person to person, but the basic definition of a friend is someone whom you can always rely on and vice versa. Even though you may have lots of friends, best friends are those special friends who really make you feel heard, accepted, and secure in your relationship with one another.
A family friend is someone who you consider to be a close friend, like a childhood friend or family friend whom you’ve known longer than your other friends and acquaintances. A family friend is someone who has been friends with your family for an extended period of time. People often invite their family friends to important family gatherings and events as a display of friendship.
- What Is Friendship In Simple Words?
In simple words, friendship is two or more people who support each other through life. Friends and acquaintances support each other through the challenges of life and share their life experiences. The definition of a friend is someone who has your best interest at heart. True family and friends always have your back.
- What Makes Someone A Friend?
The difference between family and friends is that while you are born into a family, you get to choose your friends. A friend is someone we can be ourselves with, confide in, and share some common interests with like hobbies.
- Why Do Some People Have No Friends?
While some people have lots of friends, others have few friends or none at all. This lack of friends and acquaintances in someone’s life can be by choice or by circumstances. To some, the definition of a friend means spending all of your free time with others. On the other hand when it comes to social interaction, some people prefer to spend more time alone than with others. Another reason why someone may not have many friends is that they act as the friend who no one can trust, otherwise called “frenemy.” These people end up pushing people away with toxic and negative behaviors.
- What Are Three Qualities Of A Good Friend?
When it comes to understanding the definition of friend, three important qualities for a true friend to have are loyalty, honesty, and respect. If these aren’t present in your friendship, you may want to consider more closely examining the relationship and if it’s a healthy one to have. People who don’t have these qualities in their friendship often have at least a somewhat toxic or unhealthy relationship.
- What Are The 3 Types Of Friendship?
There are many definitions related to friend. There are casual friendships, or friendships in name only. For example, friends of the library is a kind way to say we support the local library and what it stands for. When someone says “meet my friend,” they are normally introducing you to someone who they have a close relationship with that’s more than casual. When it comes to the third definition of friend, these are generally acquaintances or coworkers who you become familiar with by association.
- What Makes A Good Friend?
When we use the words “good friend” in a sentence, we are usually describing the full definition of a friend who has the three positive qualities of loyalty, honesty, and respect. Antonyms for friend have opposite qualities. Examples of friend relationships that show good friendships always involve loyalty, honesty, and mutual respect.
- How Do You Describe A Friend?
The definition of friend is a person who always has your back in good times and bad. It means support and that you never have to be alone. According to the dictionary, “friend” refers to people who share mutual affections and interests.
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What Makes a Good Friend? 6 Inspiring Qualities
Sharing is caring!
The saying ‘a good friend is hard to find’ doesn’t seem true when we are surrounded by good friends. But during seasons of life where our friendships feel hollow or nonexistent, the saying feels especially painful and true.
I had to grow and change to become the kind of person that could find and keep good friends. I am always learning what makes a good friend and am fortunate to have good friends in my life that help me grow and become a better person.
The proverb, ‘to make a good friend, be a good friend’ has been a reality for me. I am able to be a good friend, when I view friendships through the love and freedom I have as an accepted, beloved child of God instead of through the lens of my personal needs.
Why is it Important to Have Friends?
It is indisputable that friends serve a vital role in our lives. We crave fellowship with people who love and admire us just the way we are and want to spend time with us. Friends offer mutual esteem, affection, and respect.
Why is it important to have friends? Many studies have shown that our life is much richer and joyful when we walk beside a friend.
“Some people have an easier time establishing and maintaining friendships than others. And some of us long for closer friendships or try to figure out why an existing or promising relationship fizzled out. In these cases, we may jump first to judge a friend’s behavior, rather than our own. Perhaps we forget that relationships rely on mutual interactions.”
Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D.
Jesus came into the world to be our friend and demonstrate how our human relationships can work. Jesus had friends and spoke of their importance in His life. When we embrace our identity in Christ, we are able to live more like Jesus and become better friends.
Another reason why it is important to have friends is when we meet someone and a connection is formed, it is affirming and we feel loved and accepted. Forming deep connections, where we can laugh, build trust, share ideas and secrets, is an invigorating part of life.
What Qualities Make a Good Friend?
What qualities make a good friend? There are many character qualities that good friends demonstrate to each other. I believe factors such as personality, chemistry, and availability draw people together, but that is just the starting point of friendships.
When these 6 qualities exist between good friends, they are the glue that is vital in friendships whether they are friends for a lifetime or a season.
When we understand what makes a good friend and we develop loyalty, dependability, generosity, and forgiveness in ourselves, it is easier to attract others who exhibit these qualities that make a good friend.
Qualities of a Good Friend: Loyalty
The first quality of what makes a good friend is loyalty. When we are loyal, we support each other and are committed. Sometimes it is big acts of loyalty and other times it is the small acts that speak volumes about how loyal someone is; loyalty is truly measured in the trenches when no one is watching.
After we were finished negotiating for our new home, my husband called. Â “Hey, I think I want that mirror in the bedroom.” “Oh no, I said, “we just signed off on the deal.” “Ask Donna if she can ask the sellers anyway.” I dreaded calling my longtime friend and realtor.
She had done a great job house hunting for us and working with the sellers. She could have easily responded, “oh no, that deal is done, we can’t do that”; but when I asked her to jump back in, she said without hesitation, “of course I will help you. You are my friend and I am here beside you until the job is done”.
Good friends are loyal even when it is inconvenient and uncomfortable. Donna stood by us, and of course, we got the mirror!
Qualities of a Good Friend: Supportive
The second quality of what makes a good friend is when we are supported through the highs and lows of life. When we are supportive, we provide encouragement, emotional guidance, and physical help. Being supportive is loyalty in action. We may not always want to jump in, but because we value someone, we do it anyway.
When we moved to another state, I was apprehensive but excited. After a few weeks, I unpacked the last box and put my baby down for a nap. As I sat down the phone rang. My friend Teeny’s voice was just what I needed to hear.
As she asked me how I was doing, an avalanche of tears poured out and I could barely speak. “I don’t know anyone here:what have we done!” She gently encouraged me on the phone until I calmed down. 2 days later she jumped on a plane and was standing outside my door.
Good friends are supportive! Despite what she had on her calendar she rescheduled her plans to support a friend who needed some TLC. This is another important trait of what makes a good friend.
Qualities of a Good Friend: Dependable
The third quality of what makes a good friend is dependability. Good friends are dependable which means they are trustworthy, reliable, and can be counted on to stand beside you. Being trustworthy is a critical, stand-alone trait, but between good friends keeping confidences without dependability isn’t usually enough for a friendship to flourish.
After being in labor for hours, the Doctor told us our baby would have to be delivered via C-section. I was very disappointed but wanted what was best for our baby. As I was whisked away, the atmosphere changed from a sense of warm community to all business. My baby was born healthy and happy.
Weeks later as we watched a video of what I had missed, I was comforted by a small voice in the background. As the doctor answered numerous questions and spoke to our friends and family about the baby, my sister in law, Michelle, can be heard (off camera) quietly asking, “but how is Mary doing? Is she ok?”
Good friends are dependable even when we are not expecting it! Something about Michelle remembering me in a moment of celebration is a sweet memory and an example of what makes a good friend. Michelle acted as my advocate and stood for me without anyone asking or watching.
Qualities of a Good Friend: Generous
The fourth quality of what makes a good friend is generosity; showing a readiness to give to others. Deep generosity is expressed not from a place of abundance but from a heart filled with gratitude and appreciation.
As we tried to get in touch with friends and family, we were struggling to stay hopeful. We had just learned our home had been destroyed in a hurricane and we had no place to live. I miraculously reached my friend Heidi and she invited us to stay with her. When we arrived at her home, she took us in as family and helped us get back on our feet.
We then moved closer to home and stayed with my friend Laurie (& another friend Cheryl, helped us too!). She embraced us and helped us move back toward restoration. It was not convenient for either of these families to instantly take in a family of 5, but they did. Without the generosity of these 2 friends this tragedy would have been unbearable.
Good friends are generous! Good friends give to others for no other reason than we love and appreciate them.
Qualities of a Good Friend: Fun
The fifth quality of what makes a good friend is the ability to have fun together. We are all created uniquely, so our sense of humor and what fun looks like is different for different people. But finding others to enjoy spending time with and laughing together is life-giving.
After the devastating losses we experienced during Hurricane Katrina, several friends and I decided to book a girls’ Christian cruise to Mexico. It promised to be a few days to have fun and enjoy life. We didn’t realize until we got on the ship that the trip wasn’t exactly as we had read in the brochure. We decided to approach the trip with a sense of humor and just have fun.
We met new people, sang karaoke (quite badly) & laughed often. Kristi, Ann, Stacey and I were even featured in the next year’s brochure for the cruise.(which we did not take again!) The cruise was not as we expected, but since good friends are fun and share life’s joy, we still enjoy talking about our crazy vacation.
Good friends are fun because joy and laughter are an important part of life. Having fun together is also when we can be our truest selves in an accepting space. Finding friends we enjoy doing life with is truly a great treasure. As it says in Proverbs, “a cheerful heart is good medicine”.
Qualities of a Good Friend: Forgiving
The sixth quality of what makes a good friend is forgiveness. In many ways, this is the most important quality. Without a steady stream of forgiveness, the other traits will not matter. Love and forgiveness go hand in hand; to experience great love requires great forgiveness.
There are several people I admire that exhibit a spirit of overwhelming forgiveness. One is my friend Stacey who is very forgiving toward family and friends despite adversity. She demonstrates that good friends are forgiving even in painful situations.
But the greatest example of good friends are forgiving is our friend Jesus who died to demonstrate His level of forgiveness for us.
John 15:15 Â
“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant, does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
John 15:13 Â
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Because of the grace and forgiveness that Jesus shows us every day, we can strive to be forgiving people. When I let those who have hurt me off the hook, I truly understand that forgiveness is at the core of what makes a good friend.
Forgiveness is a choice that may take our feelings time to catch up with, but there is great freedom and joy in the decision to forgive.
Bible Verses about Friendship
If you are looking for a good friend or want to deepen a friendship, here are some Bible verses about friendship. These Bible verses along with praying for a good friend can help you focus on things that can help you understand what makes a good friend.
Also, after the loss of a friend or a disappointment, the Bible can provide extra encouragement and courage to reach out to someone and start a friendship.
- “There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 NLT
- “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” Proverbs 17:17 NLT
- How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! Psalm 133:1 NLT
- This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:12-13 NLT
- “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT
- Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. Â If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NLT
- Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. 1 Peter 4:8-9 NLT
- “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! Matthew 18:21-22 NLT
What makes a Good Friend?Â
My prayer is that you have one or two people in your life that demonstrate the qualities of what makes a good friend. If not, you can pray for God to bring you a good friend.
You can work on demonstrating these 6 qualities of what makes a good friend to those around you and it should serve as a friend boomerang.
Ultimately what makes a good friend is being a good friend. Don’t be tempted to give up too easily; it is worth persevering for the reward of a good friend.
Also, sometimes we must be willing to take a chance to make a good friend.
I recently asked some friends for feedback on what makes a good friend. The responses included all of the above, but a few others:
Yvette said (Be Real),
“I embrace friends that go beyond “weather talk” (because that is easy). Tackling difficult conversations is the sign of real, solid friendship.”
Bonnie & Jennifer said (Be Accepting),
“Accepts me where I am”
Laura & Susie said (Be Authentic),
“Authenticity; I can’t tell you about my hurts and struggles if you don’t share your own. Willing to journey the path of heart transformation with me in a real, honest & authentic way.
I enjoyed highlighting some of the people who have demonstrated what makes a good friend. I wish I could list everyone who has been a good friend by loving and supporting me along the way; I remember your kindness and one day you may appear in one of my stories!
What qualities do you find important in your good friends? Would love to hear from you!
What Really Makes Someone Your Best Friend
If life is war, then our friends are our best allies. They’re the ones we call up when there’s a battle ahead and we’re going to need some help. They’re the ones who come in when we’re weak and close to defeat. They’re the ones who have been there, supporting us, throughout numerous losses and gains.
Like allying nations, we’re friends because we trust each other. We need each other, for resources and support. We depend on each other; our strength and health are vital to each other’s wellbeing.
It’s a support system that’s necessary to our sovereignty. Because if you think about it, every great power would be nothing without its allies, and our strength is dependent on the strength of our friendships.
We take care of our friendships the same way we take care of our allies. We support them and advise them, go to them in times of need and rely on them for our own moments of weakness. They’ll be the first ones there when we’ve been attacked and the last ones to leave in recovery.
According to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, we choose our friends based on this unconscious notion that they will support us in times of need.
We choose people based on the notion that they will provide aid and care when we need these things most. They are a support system we need to create for those tough battles against all the assh*les of the world.
In findings consistent with a theory called the “Alliance Hypothesis for Human Friendship,” research leaders, Peter DeScioli and Robert Kurzban, say we choose friends based on “cognitive mechanisms aimed at creating a ready-made support group for potential conflicts.”
The Penn theory closely relates the relationships between friends to those of allies between nations. Relationships are born and forged without any necessary expectation that they will receive anything in return anytime soon, but knowing that support is there when they need it makes all the difference.
According to Kurzban, “We live in a world where conflict can arise and allies must be in position beforehand. This new hypothesis takes into account how we value those alliances. In a way, one of the main predictors of friendship is the value of the alliance.”
Because in life, we all have a few enemies and we’re all bound to fight a few battles. And we feel stronger going into life knowing someone has our back.
We can take the blows and the setbacks knowing someone is there to keep pushing us forward. They are our life lines to the outside world and provide aid in times of need. They are the people we trust most in life and the only ones who would take a metaphorical bullet for us.
Here are all the reasons your best friends are your greatest allies:
They’d go to war for you
Even if they’re averse to drama, they will throw themselves into battle to make sure you come out unscathed. As neutral as they claim to be, they will always risk going into battle for you.
They will never retreat or withdraw because the fight is too big or too much effort. A loss for you is also a loss for them.
They take attacks on you as personal attacks
Any threat or abuse toward you is a direct violation toward them. When people attack you, they are attacking you both.
It’s knowing that you’re not just one strong, but that you have a strong second fleet that will always be there to back you up. Because there’s no shame in needing that second brigade.
They always provide aid in times of need
They’ll let you borrow money from them without any questions. They know you will pay them back, even if it’s not for another few years.
They know you will still have a relationship and they won’t have to fight to get their money back. Whether it’s a big loan or $20 for the first round of drinks, they know you’re good for it.
They’ll cross state lines and oceans for you
They’ll travel hundreds of miles to see you. They’ll cross oceans and borders to aid you in times of need. They will make special trips, bringing you gifts and personal items.
They speak your language and appreciate your customs. They’re attuned to your special needs and personal history.
They’d never sneak attack you
In this threatening world where you don’t know who’s trying to be your friend and who is just trying to get something from you, your best friend is that one person you can trust.
They aren’t going to pretend to have your best interests just to get what they need from you.
They will never leave you struggling on your own, reaping your benefits and giving nothing in return. They are a support system, never a threat.
They concede battles to keep peace
Even if you’re not getting along, they’ll never start a war with you. Yes, you piss each other off at times and sometimes go back on your word, but there are few things either of you could do to warrant an attack from the other.
It’s a relationship of mutual understanding and small tiffs that are always worked out over some barrels of cheap liquor.
They share resources
What’s mine is yours, right? Friends, like dependent nations, have a strong import/export system. They share everything. If they’re hungry, you give them some of your food. If they need sweatpants, you loan them yours. That’s how it works.
You share because your friends’ health and wellbeing are directly related to your own. If they’re hungry and cranky, you’re not going to have the best time. But you also share because it’s just in your nature to worry about them.
They sneak behind enemy lines for you
They’ll do dirty work for you. Whether it’s helping you stalk your ex or researching an enemy (or ex-girlfriend), they’ll do those things you just don’t want to do.
They’ll show up on blind dates to check out whether your prospects are good or not worth it. They’ll make phone calls for you and pick you up when you’ve found yourself in compromising situations.
You understand each other
You’re very different people, but you understand each other completely. You know each other’s fears, desires and the things that make each of you tick.
You know what’s going to piss them off and what you can get away with. You share things with them you know they’d enjoy, like TV shows and music, and you even let them drive your car.
90,000 Joint business with friends. What are the risks and how to prevent them?
Friends start companies and many are successful. But disappointments also happen. Work problems can destroy friendships, and differences in the views of co-owner-friends can negatively affect business. No wonder they say that it is worth thinking a hundred times before starting a business with a friend. Any businessman starting a company with friends faces five main risks.
1. Financial losses.They can be higher than when starting a business with partners – strangers. You trust your friends, so you are less likely to intervene and control their actions. And one day it is discovered that excessive loyalty to friends has caused significant damage to the business.
2. Non-professionalism. Your friend is an active, cheerful, selfless person who will always help and never refuse. However, in business, this reliable companion can turn out to be an undisciplined lazy, irresponsible and familiar.And you will either have to cope with everything alone, or refuse to cooperate – and therefore from friendship.
3. Loss of friendship. The saying “Friendship is friendship, but money apart” has been tested for centuries. The very first profit will become a test of friendship: someone thinks that money should be spent on business development, while someone wants to distribute the profit among shareholders. And if the project does not go well, the friendship may end due to the fact that friends will blame each other for it.
4.Trust abuse. When starting a business with a friend and maintaining a friendly relationship with him during the partnership, you always run the risk of being loyal if the friend at some point finds business more important than friendship.
5. Lack of clear agreements on the business model. Friends often organize business on enthusiasm, without discussing in advance the views on the development of the company and the role of each in business processes. While the company is small, these questions usually do not come up, but once the organization goes up the hill, due to the lack of clear agreements, relations between partner friends become aggravated.You need to negotiate in advance.
What should be fixed in the agreement when setting up a company in order to avoid losses and conflicts in the future?
– Responsibilities of each partner. Friends usually do not agree in advance about the division of spheres of influence and responsibilities. They think that the comrades do not need bureaucracy and that they will replace each other if necessary. It is necessary to immediately determine the areas of responsibility of each partner, so that later you do not nod at each other: “I thought you should have done this.”
– The procedure for exiting the project. At first, you do not think that your life circumstances and priorities may change. Let’s say later you realize that the project has outlived its usefulness, and you want to open a new direction, but this time alone. It is better to have a contingency plan in advance – an agreed procedure for exiting the business and a procedure for assessing the value of your share. It is possible to provide for a preliminary assessment of the market value or valuation by net assets (the latter is relevant only for companies that account for their assets at market value).You can also specify in advance that the buyback price will depend on the annual rate of return or other economic factors.
– Rules for the distribution of profits. In commercial organizations based on equity participation in the authorized capital, the net profit in the form of dividends should be distributed in proportion to the shares in the authorized capital. This rule is defined in laws and the Tax Code. It is also better to immediately decide what share of the net profit will go to business development, and what will be distributed among the co-owners.
– Key issues of business management. The reorganization or liquidation of an organization, the distribution of profits, the appointment of an executive director are very significant events, and you do not need unpleasant surprises when, in your absence from a shareholders meeting, you make an important decision with which you disagree. The law determines the issues on which shareholders must agree on the procedure for voting at the general meeting.
– Procedure for depositing additional capital. The company may need more money if something goes wrong.It is better to agree on this in advance.
There are certain signs that warn against starting a business with a friend. Such a signal, in particular, is unprofessionalism. A friend is a good, understanding person and a sincere companion, but if he is not an expert in the area of business that you plan to do, unprofessionalism can become a serious problem. It’s also worth weighing things up well if you and your friend are both charismatic leaders. You will constantly measure who is more important, what is not good for the business.Finally, do not show friendships in front of employees. A more formal style of communication is better suited for team management. –
Friendzone: Is there a friendship between a man and a woman?
- William Park
- BBC Future
Photo by Moviestore collection Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
Why do we make friends of the opposite sex, is it always Is there a sexual connotation our friend is attractive, and can friendships turn into romantic ones?
“A man and a woman cannot be friends because sex will always interfere,” says Harry Burns in When Harry Met Sally.Sally has just informed him that with her he can only count on friendship.
She lists her male friends, relations with whom are exclusively platonic, and claims that friendship between a man and a woman is possible without sexual attraction. Harry disagrees.
Which one is right?
The “friend zone” problem and the reasons why men and women perceive it differently provide insight into how we assess sexual interest and what motivates us to form friendships.
Risk and reward
Trying to romanticize a relationship with a friend combines risk and reward. Men are more likely than women to be attracted to friends of the opposite sex, even if both define their relationship as platonic.
In one study, men and women were asked, after a short conversation, to rate how attracted they were to the other person and how much they thought they were attracted to.
Men tend to overestimate how much women liked them.Women, on the other hand, noticeably underestimated their attractiveness to a partner of the opposite sex.
People who find themselves very attractive also tend to overestimate the sexual interest of others in them.
Photo author, Getty Images
Signs to the photo,
People who think they are very attractive also tend to overestimate the sexual interest of others in them
“We usually see what we are convinced of,” says a social psychologist from Wayne University Antonia Abby.
“If you think you like someone, you start to find evidence of it,” she explains.
“When a person smiles or leans towards you, you will see signs of romantic interest in it. You may not even notice that when you approach this person, he is pulling away from you.”
In the next phase of the experiment, the researchers invited other people to observe the couple’s conversation, and then asked them to rate how much they thought they were attracted to each other.
Male observers agreed with the men and believed that the man in the pair really liked the woman more than she admitted.
Female observers agreed with the woman’s assessment that there is less sexual interest between interlocutors.
So Harry and Sally were both right in their own way.
This may be related to our gender stereotypes. Abby and other social psychologists are studying the behavior of people that initiates romantic interest.They call this behavior the dating “scenario.”
Such scripts help to figure out the sequence of actions that either leads to the beginning of the novel or not. It turns out that all roles are predefined.
“Context is important in this interaction,” explains Abby.
Author of the photo, Getty Images
Signs to the photo,
People always regret that they did not take the first step and missed their chance, no matter how painful the refusal was
“Men are more actively looking for signs of romantic interest in their person, because traditional gender roles assume that the initiative should come from them, “the psychologist notes.
“This sounds a little outdated in 2019, but many studies confirm that most people still have traditional ideas about who takes the first step, who pays for dinner, etc. Women are reserved, and men feel that we must take the initiative into our own hands. ”
How then does it happen in lesbian couples? Unlike gay men, lesbian romance scenarios are more focused on intimacy than sex.
Ironically, bisexual women behave in accordance with traditional expectations, despite the fact that their sexual interest is outside the heterosexual norm.
Thus, bisexual women, like heterosexuals, also avoid initiative in romantic relationships.
However, a slightly ambiguous friendship between a woman and a man has certain advantages.
Women report that they often receive help from their male friends.
Both men and women also find it helpful advice from friends of the opposite sex on how to please a potential romantic partner.
Expectations of protection and help from a man may seem archaic, but this behavior pattern is deeply rooted in our past.
Photo author, Getty Images
Signs to photo,
We usually look for attractive friends, subconsciously hoping that such a friendship can lead to romantic relationships
Our ancestors preferred serial monogamy. That is, during a certain period of their lives, they had sexual relations with only one partner, but couples did not form for life.
A woman could have several children from different men. Raising a child, she needed the protection and help of a man.Having children from several men and maintaining friendships with other men, a woman could receive protection from several men at the same time.
But the easiest way to make friends with a man is to send a subconscious signal that he is attracted to her sexually.
“In Western culture, once we get married, we must associate ourselves with one person once and for all,” says April Bleske-Rechek of the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire.
But we are more complicated.
“Both men and women want a lasting relationship with a partner, but they also need short-term sexual relationships that feel like an adventure.”
We subconsciously seek first of all attractive friends, hoping that such friendship can lead to a romantic relationship, because sympathy between us already exists.
“Physical attractiveness actually plays a significant role in the friendship between a man and a woman, especially for men,” explains Bleske-Rechek.
Heterosexual men choose female friends in the same way they choose romantic partners. Physical and emotional attractiveness is very important, regardless of whether a man has sexual intentions.
Photo author, Getty Images
Signs to the photo,
Women tend to think their close friends are more attractive than strangers
Women tend to think their close friends are more attractive than strangers. “Friendship with members of the opposite sex can complicate your romantic relationship,” adds Bleske-Rechek.
“Ten years ago, I woke up at night because I dreamed my husband was flirting with a very attractive mother from the school where our children study,” said the researcher.
“I told my husband about the dream, and he asked: do you want us not to have attractive friends?”
“His reproach is fair. We want to be friends with people of our level, who motivate and attract us, because such friendship is really beneficial,” explains the psychologist.
But this kind of friendship comes with a price.”If you know what motivates the opposite sex to such a relationship, this undoubtedly complicates the situation,” Bleske-Rechek sums up.
On the other hand, we rarely take drastic steps in such a relationship. And the reason is not at all the fear of rejection.
Research shows that people are far more likely to regret not asking someone out than they are about failing to take the first step.
In one study, participants were offered profiles of different people on dating sites and voiced their chances of success.
If the probability of agreeing to a date was 45%, 83% of the participants decided to take the first step. Even when the odds were 5%, a little less than half still wanted to take the risk.
Author of the photo, Alexis Brown on Unsplash
Signs to the photo,
Friendship with attractive people of the opposite sex has a price
So, we humans are inclined to take risks when it comes to romantic relationships.
“As painful as rejection is, love seems to offer a little more,” says Samantha Joel, assistant professor at the University of Western Ontario.
The same effect is observed in people with low self-esteem, less self-confidence, who are more difficult to experience rejection.
“This finding was very unexpected, because insecure people are very afraid of rejection and often expect it, even when it has no basis,” says Joel.
“But they really want to be loved. And, therefore, the threat of being alone is overpowering,” the researcher concludes.
Abby stresses that our attitude towards friends can easily change.”Very often, romantic interest develops over time,” she says.
“You may think that you have a very platonic relationship, but suddenly things can change, as happened in the movie” When Harry Met Sally. “
Evolutionary theory explains this situation perfectly. But, as Abby notes, if we want to challenge traditional gender roles in relationships, we better analyze our actions, not history.
“I like watching social scenarios and gender roles more, because that’s something we can change,” says the researcher.
“Whether technology will change our genes is unknown, but our behavior is absolutely certain,” she sums up.
You can read the original of this article in English on the BBC Future website.
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Are Your Friends Really Friends | Lifestyle
Research shows that we often misperceive friendship.
Think of all those with whom you have to communicate during the day, week, month, year. About those with whom you exchange fleeting greetings or the warmest hugs; chatting about nonsense or bringing up the deepest topics. About people who, by some whim of fate, inhabit your world. And then ask yourself which of them you can call your friends – your faithful friends.
Recent research shows that only about half of those we consider friends reciprocate.Someone you call a friend may actually be pretty cool towards you. Conversely, a person whom you barely know may think you are inseparable.
This startling discovery has sparked much debate among psychologists, neuroscientists, work environment experts, sociologists and philosophers.
Some say that this gap between real and perceived friendship is to blame for the ineradicable optimism, if not the self-centeredness inherent in all human beings.Others point to a misunderstanding of the very concept of friendship in an era when people from social networks are called friends, with whom we can never exchange a word in our life, and the transition between different social circles occurs with a wave of the hand on the smartphone screen. This cannot but be worrisome, as the quality of our relationship has a huge impact on our health and well-being.
Alex Pentland, a computer scientist in sociology at the University of Massachusetts of Technology, is one of the authors of a study published in PLoS One called “Are You a Friend to Your Friends? Distorted perception of friendships limits the ability to change behavior. “He says:
“People do not like the idea that those they perceive as friends do not consider themselves friends.”
The study analyzed the relationship between 84 subjects aged 23 to 38 years. They all belonged to the class of business managers. They were asked to rate each other on a five-point scale of intimacy, ranging from “I don’t know this person” to “This is one of my best friends.” It turned out that assessments were mutual only in 53% of the respondents, while they themselves assumed that their feelings were mutual, in 94% of cases.
This is consistent with a number of other studies on friendship conducted over the past decade: with a total sample of more than 92,000 respondents, the level of reciprocity in these studies ranged from 34% to 53%.
According to Pentland, “the likelihood that friendly feelings are not reciprocal challenges our self-image.” But perhaps the problem is primarily related to a vague understanding of friendship. Ask a person how he defines friendship, and even scientists like Pentland who study the topic will answer you with awkward silence or a thoughtful “um”.
Alexander Nehamas, professor of philosophy at Princeton University, in his latest book, On Friendship, devoted nearly 300 pages to finding such a definition – and even he says:
“Friendship is hard to describe. It’s easier to say what friendship is not – and, above all, it has nothing to do with using other people. ”
Friendship is not a way to get a higher status, to snatch an invitation to someone’s country house, or just to avoid boredom.Rather, according to Nehamas, friendship is more like beauty or art: it ignites something deep within us and is “valuable in itself.”
Yet one of the most famous treatises on friendship, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, is about exactly how to use others to your advantage. Pop stars like Taylor Swift and Drake are praised for their ability to “befriend” strategic, if not propaganda, goals. And, of course, social media has long been a platform where we show friendships to enhance our personal image.
Ronald Sharp, Professor of English at Vassar College, teaches a course on friendship in literature. He says:
“By treating friends as an investment or a commodity, we destroy the very idea of friendship. It’s not about what someone can do for you, it’s about who and what you two become in the presence of each other. ”
He recalls long hours spent in fascinating conversations with his friend Eudora Welty, who was known not only for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, but also for her ability to be friends.Together they have compiled an extensive anthology of work on this topic, The Norton Book of Friendship. Sharpe says:
“The ability to do nothing but spend time in each other’s company has become, in a sense, a lost art,” he was replaced by the volley fire of messages in instant messengers. “People are so eager to maximize the effectiveness of their relationships that they no longer understand what it means to be a friend.”
By his definition, friends are people whom you are ready to learn to understand and whom you allow to understand you.
Our time is not infinite, so the number of friends we can have is also limited, according to British evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar. He describes layers of friendship, where the top layer consists of one or two people – say, a spouse and best friend, with whom you interact every day and feel the most closeness.
The next layer can accommodate a maximum of four people: you have a lot in common, you are attached to them, you take care of them and try to keep in touch at least once a week.On each next layer, there are more and more casual friends to whom you are ready to devote less time and with whom, as a rule, you have a less deep and lasting connection. Without constant contact, they easily pass into the category of “acquaintances”. Perhaps you really like them, but they cannot be called friends. Dunbar says:
“The amount of time and emotional capital we have at our disposal is limited, so we only have five free spots for the most intense relationships.People often say they have more than five of their closest friends, but you can rest assured that this is not a genuine friendship. ”
By bragging about the number of friends, we try to show our popularity – after all, in our culture, it is believed that relying on someone is a sign of weakness, and strength is the ability to not allow others to influence us. But friendship requires a certain vulnerability through which caring is manifested. When we are with friends, we need to open up about ourselves and things that do not fit the carefully built image on Facebook or Instagram, says Nehamas.The belief that your connection will continue and may even grow stronger despite your shortcomings and inevitable failures, he believes, is a risk that many are not ready to accept.
Physicians argue that trying to protect ourselves with the help of shallow or non-reciprocal relationships, we can get physical consequences. The resulting feeling of loneliness and isolation increases the risk of premature death to about the same extent as smoking, alcoholism and obesity; moreover, it can adversely affect the state of one of the parts of the vagus nerve, which, according to some researchers, allows us, among other things, to maintain a sincere and mutual relationship.
Amy Banks, a psychiatrist at the Wellesley Centers for Women, specializes in the emerging field of interpersonal neuroscience. She has written Wired to Connect: The Surprising Link Between Brain Science and Strong, Healthy Relationships. Banks says:
“It is very important to maintain good condition of the vagus nerve, because it regulates our instinctive response ‘hit, run or freeze’.”
According to her, in the presence of a real friend, it is the vagus nerve that is responsible for the feeling of safety and comfort – unlike the heightened vigilance mode, which is turned on when we are alone with a stranger or someone whose judgment we fear. It is he who helps us at the right moments to expose the vulnerabilities of the psyche, and he also helps us feel the moment in the event of a conflict. If you’re unfamiliar with true friendship, your vagus nerve won’t work as it should. You will be constantly on edge, and as a result, it will be even more difficult for you to enter into deep relationships.
Therefore, it is worth determining which of all the people you come across in life can really be considered friends. Who always finds time for you? Who makes you livelier, better, and perhaps even more humble? Who would you miss? Who would miss you? While there is no simple, universally accepted definition of friendship, all friendships have one thing in common: they shape us and open up new ways for us to look at the world. This can manifest itself to a greater or lesser extent depending on who we choose as friends.As the saying goes, “tell me who your friend is, and I’ll tell you who you are.”
Money, walks, friends? What makes us happy | Psychology of Life | Health
What makes us happy
Rather, their recalculation. And it doesn’t matter at all whether you count your own or someone else’s bills. During the experiment, scientists from the United States, some volunteers rustled banknotes, while others “counted” ordinary paper. The mood of the participants from the first group improved considerably, while the rest remained at the same level.
Walks in new places
To feel happiness and fullness of life, a couple of walks a month in places that you have never visited before are enough. This is explained by the fact that a change in the usual picture evokes positive emotions.
Kisses and hugs
Scientists have calculated that eight kisses and seven minutes of passionate hugs a day are not enough for a person to be completely happy. During these enjoyable activities, the body produces the so-called happiness hormones endorphins, which make us happier.
People with at least ten friends feel much happier than those with fewer than five. Among those who have five friends or less, only 40% could call themselves happy. Having five to ten friends increases the chances of happiness by up to 50%. But the highest percentage of those who are satisfied with life is among those with more than ten friends.
Scrambled eggs for breakfast
Eggs contain the amino acid tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin in the body and has a beneficial effect on mood.For complete happiness, only 2 eggs are enough. But scrambled eggs work better in the morning than in the evening. After all, those who are used to ignoring the morning meal, the level of anxiety and the frequency of depressive disorders are much higher than those who are used to having breakfast in the morning.
What makes us unhappy
Fast food and sweets
People who often eat junk food have a 51% increased risk of depression. The more fast food in the diet, the higher the risk, doctors warn.Sweets work in a similar way. Sweet tooths feel unhappy much more often than those who do not like cakes and sweets.
Canadian scientists have come to the conclusion that upon contact with the skin, gold begins to negatively affect the nervous system: a deterioration in mood and the emergence of an unreasonable feeling of anxiety are noted. Experts do not call for completely abandoning gold, but just taking off gold jewelry at least for the night.
It turns out that frequent flipping through the pages of your Internet friends leads to the fact that your own life begins to seem less vivid, there is a feeling that others are living much better. Ultimately, this leads to depression, the manifestation of envy and latent hatred of one’s own friends.
Each smoked cigarette negatively affects the psycho-emotional state of a person, causing irritation and anxiety, which can develop into depression.The study, which was conducted on the basis of data from 6.5 thousand Britons aged 40 years and older, showed that anxiety and depression were observed in 19% of smokers, but in those who never smoked, this condition was noted only in 10% of cases.
Those who spend a lot of time in sedentary work are more at risk of developing stress and depression than those who are accustomed to moving during the working day. At the same time, sedentary work has a much more detrimental effect on the mental state of the weaker sex, scientists from Australia have found.
on the app Store: Tinder: meet new people and chat
Tinder® currently has 30 billion couples, making it the most popular dating app in the world. We are here to help you – wherever you are, we are always there. If you want to meet new people, expand your social circle, find friends while traveling or live in the moment, then you are in the right place. Tinder has been called one of the fastest growing apps for a reason: we help make more than 26 million new couples every day.What other applications are capable of this?
Meet. Communicate. Meet. Tinder is handy and easy – swipe right to like it, or left to go to the next profile. If someone you liked gave a response like, you will form a couple! We have developed a system of mutual consent, when it is possible to form a pair only if there is a mutual interest. No stress. No feeling of rejection. Just find a couple among the profiles you are interested in and start chatting.Then transfer your communication from a virtual plane to a real one – arrange a meeting that may become the beginning of something new.
Now … it’s time to get started. Remember: if in doubt, swipe right across the screen. The more options you have, the brighter your prospects.
Welcome to Tinder, the largest and most engaging community of singles in the world. Don’t be shy – join in!
MORE FUNCTIONS? THIS IS A PLUS!
Upgrade the application to the Tinder Plus® version and get access to premium features: “Unlimited Likes” – to express your sympathy to the people you like as much as you want; “Location” – to communicate with people looking for a couple around the world; “Cancel” – to give someone another opportunity to prove themselves; one-time use of the “Boost” function per month – to stay the leader of the top in the selected search zone for 30 minutes, as well as additional super likes – so that you will be noticed among thousands of others.
GOLD LEVEL SERVICE
Upgrade to Tinder Gold ™ to enjoy top-notch features like Location, Undo, Unlimited Likes, plus five Super Likes per day, one Boost per month and additional profile settings. And that is not all. You can save time and effort with Liked You, which lets you see who has liked you. Think of this feature as your personal Tinder assistant, ready to provide you with information on new potential couples at any time of the day or night.Sit back, relax, grab your favorite drink and enjoy browsing the profiles. Goodbye tiredness from a long search for pairs. Hello # life with TinderGold
If you decide to buy Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold, you can do this through your iTunes account. The same account will receive a new invoice for using the program 24 hours before the end of the current paid period. You can turn off auto-renewal in your iTunes Store settings at any time after purchase.Tinder Plus is currently priced at $ 9.99 per month, and Tinder Gold starts at $ 14.99 per month. Available subscription terms: 1, 6 and 12 months. Prices are in US dollars and may vary depending on your country of residence and may change without prior notice. Cancellation of the current subscription during its validity period is not possible. If you decide not to buy Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold, you can continue to use Tinder for free.
All photos are models and are used for illustrative purposes only.
90,000 How to subscribe to friends and artists
How to subscribe to an artist
Subscribe to artists so that their new releases appear in the News Feed at the top of of the Main page of the application on a mobile device.
- Go to the artist profile.
- Select SUBSCRIBE .
Hint. Click this button again to unsubscribe.
Follow a friend, brand or celebrity
Follow your friends and follow what they are listening to in the Friends Actions section.
Note. To add friends to this list, link your Spotify account to Facebook.
- Scroll to the end of your friends feed.
- Press FIND FRIENDS . Select SUBSCRIBE .
Hint. If you want to unsubscribe, click this button again.
Phone or tablet
Note. To add friends to this list, link your Spotify account to Facebook.
- Press Home .
- Tap the Settings icon.
- Select My Profile .
- Press FIND FRIENDS .
- Press SUBSCRIBE ALL or the icon next to a specific person.
Hint. If you want to unsubscribe, click the icon or button again.
You can also ask a friend to share their profile with you.
I can’t find friends
To see your friends in the FIND FRIENDS list, link your Spotify account to Facebook .
If you still can’t find your friends, try updating your Facebook settings.
- Log into your Facebook account on your computer, click the down arrow in the upper right corner of the screen and select Settings .
- Click Apps and Sites and select Spotify .
- Verify that parameter Friends list is enabled.If so, try turning it off and on.
Not working? To renew Spotify’s access to Facebook data, please sign out and sign in again.
How do I know who is following me?
Find counter SUBSCRIBERS in profile:
Last update: January 27, 2021
VKontakte users will be able to recommend groups to their friends in a separate feed
The VKontakte social network has added a new function to the mobile application.Now users can recommend certain communities to their friends; a separate feed will be made for this. Thus, the company wants to help small business owners and content creators.