In 2018 I met this woman in her early 40s and she asked me to help her with a certain project she wanted to start. Out of humanity I agreed and started helping her out. It wasn’t long before her toxic behavior started affecting me. Then slowly I started distancing myself from her. One day when we were having a conversation she started telling me how lonely she felt and that her sister and other people didn’t want to be around her. I knew exactly why because I had tried to befriend her and realized the consequences. Her character was toxic. She was always complaining and gossiping about others. Always dishonest even with those she tried doing business with and worst of all, it was never her fault according to her.
This brought me to this article. Sometimes before you complain about everyone else, have a self-reflection session on why people may be repelled by you. Maybe it’s your character that is stopping people from being around you. Be the friend that you would like to have. Treat people as you want them to treat you. Be reliable, thoughtful, trustworthy, and respectful to other people. Who wants to share their secret with someone who goes preaching about it to the whole world anyway? Because I believe, the only way to have a friend is to be one yourself.
Although many people have negative emotions about friendship, which I quite understand because they probably trusted the wrong people, I believe we all need one or a couple of good friends in order for us to enjoy life to the fullest.
I am blessed to have a couple of good friends around me. Some of them have now even adopted the title of family.
What society teaches us
Our society tends to place an emphasis on romantic relationships. We think that just finding that right person will make us happy and fulfilled. But research shows that friends are actually even more important to our psychological welfare. Friends bring more happiness into our lives than virtually anything else. Friendships have a huge impact on your mental health and happiness. Good friends relieve stress, provide comfort and joy, and prevent loneliness and isolation.
Most of us have friends, or at least that one friend, someone we spend time with. The one who knows us better than others do and someone we can count on when the need arises. It’s been said that a friend is a gift that we give ourselves. Yet, how much time do we really spend thinking about those people who matter more to us then all the other people we meet and interact with throughout our life?
What a true friend does
There’s no doubt that a friend adds to the fullness of life. A good friend shows up no matter what. A true friend supports and encourages us, tolerates our shortcomings, accepts us unconditionally, and cares for us no matter what. Authenticity, honesty, and trust are all qualities we expect to find in a friend.
A real friend walks in when everyone else is walking out. With a true friend the walls come down and you can be who you are without fear. It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them. A friend is a person with whom you may be sincere. A good friend knows you well sometimes better than you do yourself and is not afraid to tell you things you don’t want to tell yourself. A friend is present for you no matter what time of the night or day it is.
A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.
What friendship requires
Friendship is a partnership. Two people come together on equal terms. They give their all. Friendship demands more than love. Friendship expects and endures the good, the bad, and the ugly. A best friend is someone who brings out the best in you. We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend. They share our joys and sorrows. Friendship makes prosperity more shining and lessens adversity by dividing and sharing it.
The gap that friends fill
Friends can be family. Sometimes our friends are the family we wished we had. Sometimes we have difficulty with our own family. We may feel misunderstood, judged, ridiculed, or even ignored. In that case, our friends often fill in for what is not provided by our own family. In the best-case scenario, however, family members can also be good friends.
A friend rekindles our light when it has gone out, ignites our excitement, and inspires us to do better and more. A real friend may even inspire you in a way you never imagined you could be. They may wake you up to all of the possibilities that live within you and help you to realize your full potential. Our dear friends are the gift that keeps on giving.
Friends give us emotional support, they help us during difficult times and make us feel special. Blessed are those who have true friends in life. Everyone needs good friends around to live life to the fullest. Friends form an essential part of our lives. Life becomes more enjoyable and bearable when we have good friends around. Even one real friend can bring about a positive change in our life.
The Importance of Friends
True friends are extremely supportive of each other. They help in bringing out the best in each other by extending help when it comes to studies and other activities. They also act as an emotional support. Whenever I am down emotionally, I turn to my best friend. She knows how to calm me and support me at such a time.
Good friends are also our best guides. They are there to guide us at every step and give advice. Whenever you break down emotionally they help you look at the positives in life and shun the negativity.
There is no denying the fact that having friends makes life more fun and enjoyable. Being around friends is extremely fun and exciting. I love going out on trips with my friends. While I enjoy family trips too, the enjoyment of trips planned with friends is simply unmatched. Partying with friends, engaging in petty talk for hours, going shopping and movies with them, and indulging in crazy activities that only your group can understand is all extremely fun. Simply put, good friendships are some of the best stuff of life.
One can never feel lonely in this world if he or she is surrounded by true friends. True friends are committed and stand by your side even in the rough phases of your life.
Qualities of a good friend
Having a single good friend helps an individual to overcome all the hurdles in his or her lifetime. Securing true friendship is extremely essential to become successful in all areas of life. I pray that everyone everywhere is surrounded by at least one or two good friends throughout their life.
If you treat the people around you well then you will be a good friend to them.
Try to understand a situation from your friend’s point of view. 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.
2. Is non-judgemental
People already have enough people judging them in the world. Don’t add on to their list, what they need in you is a friend, not a judge.
3. Cares and is considerate
Be there for them, ask them what they need. Offer them support in a way that’s genuinely helpful. Be considerate of their feelings.
4. Is there and helps
Be there physically and emotionally too. Hugging them, be compassionate and kind with them. Keep in touch with them even if you don’t live nearby through emails, calls, texts, etc. Be there even, actually when the whole world turns its back.
5. Is honest
In as much as you may comfort your friend but always be honest with them but express your honesty in a kind manner. Do not seek the admiration of your friends by dishonesty. Tell them the truth even when it’s hard, nobody else can.
6. Celebrates their successes with them
Friends are not only supposed to be there in cloudy weather but in good times too, to celebrate each other’s successes.
No one is perfect and every friend will make mistakes. No friendship develops smoothly so when there’s a bump in the road, try to find a way to overcome the problem and move on. It will often deepen the bond between you. Even good friends sometimes make mistakes. Never let petty quarrels and arguments ruin your awesome friendship because friends make life liveable.
8. Let’s his/her friends know their true value to him/her
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.
Throughout life, from young to old age friendship continues to confer benefits, both mental and physical. Although in the hierarchy of relationships, friendships may seem to be placed at the bottom after romantic partners, parents, and children but yet their importance cannot be ignored.
How special friendships are
Unlike family, we enter and leave friendships willingly and they have no formal structure. You can go for months without speaking or visiting each other yet the friendship remains, something that you can’t do with your partner. As we grow up friendships take a hit. With increased responsibilities, work, getting married, family, spouse, kids. Friendships become more complex but meaningful too. They move from just sharing fun to helping each other with important life decisions.
But we still need to make time, scheduling opportunities to spend or share some time together, it is essential. Don’t wait until you are retired and your kids are grown up to reconnect with friends again. Communicate more often and make time to meet whenever you can. Do not only rely on social media friends because even though they may seem more but most of them are very shallow. They are mainly relationships based on storytelling rather than really sharing experiences, it’s not the same.
The philosopher Aristotle said, “In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. They keep the young out of mischief; they comfort and aid the old in their weakness, and they incite those in the prime of life to noble deeds.” Friendships are vital for well-being,
Technology has made virtual connections much easier but widened the physical distances between people but in all our achievements, may we at least make one or more good friendships. That’s my hope for all.
I would love to hear from you about your thoughts regarding friendships so please, leave a comment for me below, and may you also remember to share the website with others.
If you need to speak to a professional counsellor, don’t forget to get in touch with Psyche and Beyond.
Whatsapp: +2761 853 0124
You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, and Tiktok for more mental health tips.