“Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.” Aristotle
Friendships are created in many ways. You meet them at school, work, church and the gym. You text, email, tweet, and befriend them on Facebook or other social media.
The dictionary describes a friend as one who is attached to another by affection or esteem; they are not hostile; they are a favored companion. Whatever your definition of friend is, a friend is a vital part of a happy life.
There are many types of friendships. Some are for a season and others are for a lifetime. Friends enrich your life and give meaning to your existence. They celebrate your victories, encourage you through difficult situations and stand with you in tragedy. It has been said that a friend is one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.
Casual friendships provide many social opportunities and pleasures. It is through these friendships that much of life takes place. These friends may know some of the details of your personal life, but most interactions are focused on business or the group that united them. A healthy individual will enjoy many friendships at this level.
Intimate friendships are few, requiring a larger investment and transparency. These friends know a great deal about you. Over time, trust is created. Here, each person feels safe to share the things that bring them joy, as well as pain.
The qualities of a friend are many, but the foundation is trust. A friend trusts you will treat them with kindness in all you say and do.
As a friend you will…
- Listen not only to their words, but to their heart.
- Be patient, not expecting them to do everything on your timetable.
- Be forgiving, knowing they are not perfect.
- Be loyal, even when they are not present.
- Be a confidant, not sharing their secrets.
- Empathize, doing your best to understand their feelings and point of view.
- Be a peacemaker, agreeing to disagree when needed.
- Be respectful, letting their no, be no.
- Be an encourager, speaking words of life that inspire.
- Always believe the best of your friend.
Choose your friends carefully, for you will become like them.
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Thank you for your word of wisdom! You hit on a point vital to being a good friend: Empathize, try to understand their feelings and point of view. I find it hard with this point but learning.
Thank you, Patrick.