“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”

~Jane Austen

Being a good friend means various things to different people, however, there are a few key things that are universal in the language of friendship.

Friends are one of the most important, wonderful, sacred, and exciting parts of life.

They make you laugh, cry, love, and feel alive.

Each and every one of us should aspire to be the greatest friend that we can be.

Because being a better friend not only makes your friends happier, but it makes you happy too.

Here are the five key components that we believe can make anybody a better friend:

1. Accept people for who they are. 

Love your friends just the way they are.

You can’t change people, so don’t ruin your relationships by trying to fix somebody who is just being themselves.

Especially if they are different than you. Embrace your differences and see them as an opportunity to experience and learn something differently.

Accept their flaws, and recognize that they make up who they are.

Just like you, everything in their life has lead them to be the kind of person they are – the person that you love.

Next time you find yourself frustrated with a friend, instead of getting angry, try to understand why they are acting in such a way. What in their life has led them to have these kinds of reactions or opinions.

Instead of feeling angry with them, approach the situation with compassion. Chances are you will find some way to relate to their experience.

2. Be there, listen, and respond thoughtfully.

When your friends talk to you about their problems or something that happened to them, don’t use this as an opportunity to talk about yourself.

Listen to what they are saying.

And respond thoughtfully to what they were saying.

It’s ok to sometimes give examples from your own life, but don’t compare situations.

They are often extremely different, and it doesn’t help solve anything.

Listen to details, and only respond once you’ve carefully thought about your advice.

It’s nice to check up with a friend a day or two after the talk, to see how they are doing with whatever they were having an issue with.

It shows that not only were you truly listening to them, but that you care.

That their happiness affects your own, and you genuinely want to help.

This really is one of the most fundamental aspects of a good friend.

3. Support their goals.

It’s important to support your friends in their endeavors.

Be there for motivation, physically and mentally.

Be there when they need to talk or need a little inspiration.

And be there physically when they have an event, or need support.

Helping your friends achieve their goals doesn’t take you any further away from your own.

It just makes you a better friend.

Never be jealous of a friend for his or her success.

If anything, ask for their help! Ask them how they achieved their goals, and if they could help you in any way.

Be happy that you have friends who are excited about life, and want to achieve their dreams.

Those are the kind of people to surround yourself with. They will inspire you in your own journey to achieve your goals.

4. Don’t talk behind their back.

Loyalty is a fundamental part of a good friendship.

And nothing breaks loyalty more than talking smack behind a friends back.

Not only does it make you a bad friend, it also makes you look like one.

Nobody wants to be-friend somebody who constantly talks about their friends behind their backs, because one day it will be them you are taking about.

It also doesn’t solve anything, because you aren’t talking with somebody who can change the situation.

If you are having a problem with a friend, or have a certain opinion about them or their choices, tell them to their face.

Having your own opinion doesn’t make you a bad friend.

It’s when you talk about it for pleasure as opposed to trying to be helpful that makes it a not so nice thing to do.

There is a fine line between talking out of care for somebody and talking for no reason.

Be aware of those lines and try not to cross them.

5. Share your happiness with others.

Be the friend that is known for always being happy and being able to bring happiness to others.

There are a few things that are going to make people want to be your friend more than being a fun and positive person.

Happiness is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your friends.

Whether it’s in the form of a kind gesture, a good laugh, a gentle hug, or a big smile – sharing your positivity is one of the best things you can do to be a good friend.

Wish your friends happiness, and help them find it by sharing some of your own.

friends

“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”

~Bob Marley