friends

How Good of a Friend Are You?

Would you say you are generous, dependable, loyal, honest and caring? Which of them is most important and which ones can your friends overlook?

By: Natasha Morgan

When we think about our friends and why we like being with them, what often comes to mind is “we have fun together” or “we have so much in common”. Although these things might be true, how long would you stay friends with someone who was dishonest or disloyal to you?

Basic characteristics that most of us admire in our friends go far deeper. Then, how would you describe your best friend? Would you say she is “generous”, “dependable” “loyal”, “honest”, “caring”? Which of them is most important and which ones can you overlook?

More importantly, how do YOU measure up as a friend? Most of us would like to think that those words aptly describe us but being very honest with yourself, are you sure?

Honesty:
How many of us haven’t told a “little white lie”, especially when it’s meant to avoid hurting someone? However, if you get caught in the lie, no matter how trivial it might seem to you, you have left a doubt in your friend’s mind and she might not believe everything you say in the future. We can avoid telling lies without being “brutally honest”? Next time you’re faced with such a situation, tell yourself that you will tell the truth and then figure out a nice way to word it.

Loyalty:
This means standing by your friend even when you have to disagree with others. Having the courage to defend a friend at the risk of alienating yourself from the group, is an admirable quality but if you consider yourself a friend, it is your duty.

Generosity:
Most people think it means “with money” but you can be generous with your time and actions. Sharing what you have, doesn’t go unnoticed. There are hundreds of little ways to show generosity: Plant a few herbs in a pretty pot and give it to someone who loves to cook. Offer to run an errand for a busy friend. Pick up junk mail from the doorstep of a vacationing friend. There are opportunities everywhere; you only need to look.

Dependability:
We’ve all had the experience of a friend promising to do something and she doesn’t follow through. We are disappointed and if it’s important, angry. Although you might have good intentions, it’s easy for any of us to forget. If you’re not able to write yourself a note at the time, ask your friend to phone or e-mail you to remind you. Finally, don’t promise anything you can’t or don’t intend to deliver.

Integrity:
This goes hand in hand with honesty. If you always conduct yourself in a way that you know is right, you have integrity. From time to time, life presents us with situations that test us. Don’t be tempted to go along with something, if your gut tells you it’s wrong.

Life without friends can be lonely and being someone’s friend is a choice. It is up to us to nurture our friendships or they’ll surely fall by the wayside.

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