8 Signs of a Truly Great Friend

Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

Yeah, you say. “I’ve got this. I’m a great friend.”

But how do you know for sure? Is there a queue forming for your mate-ship? Have you had the feedback? Or is it just a feeling?

Friendship is an art form. No-one is a brilliant friend consistently. That’s because we’re often busy, forgetful or just too absorbed in our own sh*t.

But being a great friend is a top aspiration. Not just you make someone else’s life better, but because of the goodies you get from encouraging, helping, sharing, crying/laughing with, Being There for someone else.

https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access-pdfs/kyir/kvb/ncoo/New-Mexico-v-Utah-State-Ncb01.html
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https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access-pdfs/kyir/kvb/zxp/.com-Cowboys-v-Washington-l00.html
https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access-pdfs/kyir/kvb/zxp/.com-Cowboys-v-Washington-l01.html
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https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access-pdfs/kyir/kvb/zxp/.com-Cowboys-v-Washington-l06.html
https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access-pdfs/kyir/kvb/zxp/.com-Cowboys-v-Washington-l07.html
https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access-pdfs/kyir/kvb/zxp/.com-Cowboys-v-Washington-l08.html
https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access-pdfs/kyir/kvb/zxp/.com-Cowboys-v-Washington-l09.html
https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access-pdfs/kyir/kvb/zxp/.com-Cowboys-v-Washington-l10.html
https://cymaticaudio.com/ticaudio/zxp/.com-Cowboys-v-Washington-l00.html
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https://cymaticaudio.com/ticaudio/zxp/.com-Cowboys-v-Washington-l09.html
https://cymaticaudio.com/ticaudio/zxp/.com-Cowboys-v-Washington-l10.html
https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access-pdfs/kyir/kvb/zxp/GM-Cowboys-v-Washington00.html
https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access-pdfs/kyir/kvb/zxp/GM-Cowboys-v-Washington01.html
https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access-pdfs/kyir/kvb/zxp/GM-Cowboys-v-Washington02.html
https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access-pdfs/kyir/kvb/zxp/GM-Cowboys-v-Washington03.html
https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access-pdfs/kyir/kvb/zxp/GM-Cowboys-v-Washington04.html
https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access-pdfs/kyir/kvb/zxp/GM-Cowboys-v-Washington05.html
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https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access-pdfs/kyir/kvb/ncoo/college-New-Mexico-v-Utah-State.html
https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access-pdfs/kyir/kvb/ncoo/college-New-Mexico-v-Utah-State1.html
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https://cymaticaudio.com/ticaudio/ncoo/college-New-Mexico-v-Utah-State.html
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https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access-pdfs/kyir/kvb/zxp/Cowboys-v-Washington-v-NFL-Game-O1.html
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For good reason, social connection is widely touted as one of the pillars of sound mental health. But there are even more benefits from having a person, or people, in your corner who really “get you”. People with whom you can breathe out.

When life gets busy it’s easy to let friendship slip. That’s kind of normal. Most of us fall into the Could Do Better category. But it’s worth reminding ourselves of the value of good mates and, when we can, shovelling some serious effort into maintaining those ties.

Here’s how the people who (consistently) nail it do it.

8 Signs of a Truly Great Friend

“Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow
Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead
Walk beside me… just be my friend.” ― Albert Camus

1. You remember their stuff.

Their birthdays, their important dates, their kids’ names, how they like their coffee, that they’re GF or vegan, that they’ll have fries-with-that, that their mother’s sick, the little things that matter to them. You remember not just the events and activities from your shared past — but where they’re at in the world right now.

2. You don’t talk behind their back.

Sounds obvious, but it’s not. We’re all say things behind others’ backs occasionally but hopefully we’re sticking to the positives. If you’re talking negatively about someone when they’re not there, you’re breaking your friendship bond. A great friend is loyal. You don’t gossip about them, nor do you stand by and quietly listen to rumours about them. You’re honest with them when you need to be. As Oscar Wilde said “a good friend will always stab you in the front.”

3. You check in for no particular reason.

If you haven’t heard from them for a while, you check in to see how they’re doing, you make an effort just because you value them — and you care.

4. You make it safe for others to drop their guard.

It’s easy for people to laugh together — but it’s not so easy to cry and express worry, guilt and shame. You make it safe for them to say whatever they need to say and be whatever they need to be in the moment. They can be open-hearted with you. They trust you.

5. You don’t judge or (try to) to control.

You don’t judge their choices — of career, or how they spend their time or their other friends or their partner (unless it’s compromising their health/safety). You don’t try to monopolise them or try to control their time either. You know that even good people make mistakes. You let people be who they are. You help them when they fall and you let go of judgments. You love them anyway.

6. You love it when they do well.

As Robert Louis Stevenson said: “of what shall a man be proud, if he is not proud of his friends?” You take pride in your friends. You enjoy their success. Even if you feel a flicker of the green-eyed monster surging up, you close the lid on it, and leap wholly into the celebrations. If you’re in the gold star camp, you’ll want them to be even better at what they do and you’ll do all you can to help.

7. You have ridiculous amounts of fun together.

You have fun. You laugh insanely. Often, over nothing much. You always feel better — lighter — when you walk away from them — not in need of headache drugs or therapy!

8. You’re there.

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.” ― Linda Grayson

You’re one of those people they can call up when they’re in trouble or struggling or in the middle of the night (although not every night) for help. They know they can count on you. And, without anticipating or expecting it, the good vibes come back to you.

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