12 Qualities Of A Good Friend

Top: Own design, Skirt: Zara, Clutch & Jewelry: Gifted, Shoes: Miss Selfridge.
Photos: Arif Feroze.

Someone recently asked me what I think are the qualities that make a good friend. Immediately a few things popped into my head- someone I can trust, someone who is loyal, someone I can rely on. And that set me thinking. What ARE the qualities of a good friend? I asked the same question on my facebook page, and got a few interesting answers. Joyce M. said, "Who stands by you through thick or thin. Who understands your silence and doesn't demand an explanation." Pascale D. G said, "Someone who respects you. Someone who is happy for you when you're happy and sad for you when you're sad and will try their best to get you going again... someone you can be truly yourself with, be silly with... who doesn't judge you .. who is honest with you..." and Grachel M. said, "Someone who is brutally honest with you no matter what . And someone who accepts that honesty with full gusto and doesn't take offense."

I completely agree with them, and here are 12 qualities I think make a great friend:

1. They disagree with you.
Anyone can agree with you. It takes courage to disagree with someone. A good friend will disagree with you if they think what you're doing or thinking isn't right. They're genuinely concerned about you and don't want to see you get hurt. Fake friends don't really care.

2.  They tell you the harsh truth, even if it hurts.
I was dating a guy who was all wrong for me. My best friend explained to me, very gently, why he was all wrong for me and that I deserved better. Sure, what she said hurt, but it was true. Good friends will tell you the truth, even though they know it'll cause you pain now, because they know you'll be happy in the long-term. They're not afraid of stopping you from doing the wrong thing, sometimes even at the risk of losing your friendship.

3. They're loyal.
A real friend will always have your back, no matter what. They don't go around saying untrue or mean things about you. Instead, they tell others what a lovely friend and amazing person you are, not because they want to indirectly flatter you, but because they genuinely believe it's true. When someone says something bad about you, they leap to your defense. They're fiercely loyal.

4. They want to listen to you.
Note that I didn't say "They listen to you". I said "They want to listen to you". A good friend wants to know what's happening in your life. They derive pleasure from simply sitting and listening to you talk. You know that they will always offer you an empathetic ear.

5. They make time for you, no matter how busy.
I have a friend who used to work as a sous-chef. Sometimes he'd work for 48 hours straight. But even though he was crazy-busy, he always found time to sneak in a short phone call just to ask how I'm doing. A true friend will always find time for you, no matter how busy they are.

6. They're always there for you.
You know for sure, when you're in a crisis, they'd drop everything just to be with you. They're the ones you can call at 3 a.m when you're overthinking a problem and need them to listen and offer advice. 

7. They're even there for you when you don't want them to.
Sometimes life puts you in situations where you can't or don't want to ask for help, but true friends are still there, knowing you're going through a tough time, and help you out- either by doing all they can or by silently being by your side for your support.

8. They make you a better version of yourself.
A good friend knows where your passion lies, and they wholeheartedly support you in pursuing it. They may not be interested in what you love doing, but they don't try to change you just for that reason. By doing this they help you become a better version of you.

9. They're not envious of you.
It's normal to feel jealous of your friend's good luck, looks, handsome husband, or wealth. Jealousy isn't harmful unless it makes you do something to hurt the one you're jealous of. Real friends may feel jealous, but they would never think of hurting their friends. Also, good friends don't feel jealous most of the time, they're happy for their friends. Tip: If you feel jealous of your friend, it's a good idea to tell him/her. This usually dissipates the jealousy.

10. They don’t judge you.
A good friend won’t judge you, no matter what. And because of this quality, you know you can tell them anything. They know you're not perfect and never expect perfection from you. They only expect the same love and trust you give them.

11. Distance doesn't matter.
A real friend will find ways to keep in touch and be there for you even when they're 3,000 miles away. And even after months or years of not talking, you realize that you can pick up where you left off.

12. They love you for you.
They love your idiosyncrasies and oddities, no matter how annoying you find them yourself. They usually love the things about you that you hate. Because of this, you're super-comfortable around them and can let your weird out.

Which is why I've always believed that family isn't just the ones connected to you by blood. It's also the friends who are proud of you, always by your side, cheering you on, loving you even when no one else does. So, cheers to friendship and good friends! 

P.S: What makes a bad friend? What should you look out for? Watch this space. xxx

Shabana Feroze

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