How to choose the right friends

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“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” Henry Ford


Good friends understand each other very well. They know each other’s lives and backgrounds very well. A true friend is someone you rely on when you need it the most. True friends treat each other with respect and being around them makes you feel good. They always have your best interest. You feel comfortable and trust each other every time you meet. 

What makes a good friend?

Good friends accept you for who you are, it doesn’t matter if it’s a good or bad situation. Also, good friends are honest to tell you when you’re not being a good friend yourself. While some people only want to have people who say what they want to hear rather than honest friends. 

Why is choosing good friends important?

Friends are the source of bringing more happiness into our lives than virtually anything else. Friendships have positive impacts on your mental health and happiness. Good friends can relieve stress, provide joy,  prevent loneliness and help you fight against all kinds of diseases. Developing close friendships has a powerful impact on health and well-being.

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What are the 5 most important things in a friendship?

The 5 most important things in a friendship are honesty, trust, compassion, non-judging, and loyalty.  Friends having these foundations have healthy friendships. Though honesty and trust is the main component of friendship, other qualities are equally important. 

Qualities of a good friend.
  • Loyal: Good friends are loyal even in bad situations.  Good friends will take up a stand for you even when the whole world has abandoned you. It is the time to test your friendship since a friend in need is a friend indeed. The loyal friends who stand for you will inspire you to achieve and get past the bad condition. Loyal friends will never let you feel low when you feel alone. When you think that you don’t deserve anyone, your good friend will never let you go down.  
  •  Accepting: A good friend will never judge you no matter the situation.  A good friend will respect your choice and accept how you want to deal with the situation in life – even if they don’t really understand it. They will help you celebrate the person who you want to become. Good friends will encourage you and understand your uniqueness and they will be there to help you without the fear of being judged or rejected.
  • Honest: Good friends will help you face reality as it is. Good friends won’t sugarcoat, since they know that letting you deny reality will eventually harm you. They will show you reality even if it’s a painful truth and it can hurt your feelings. They will be willing to play the role of a bad person to save you from a more devastating consequence.
  • Caring: Good friends are caring. A good friend will remind you to love yourself. This is more true if you’re in a bad romantic relationship. They will remind you to take care of yourself and be good to yourself first instead of slowly indulging in toxic relationships. 
  • Positive: Good friends bring positivity to life. Good friends are needed for your emotional well being. Friends will let you love life more, to be more optimistic, and live your life to fullest. They will remind you that life is an adventure and make your life more fun and exciting.
  • Inspiring: A good friend will inspire you to become a better person. Good friends are your guide to make you the best version of yourself. They will inspire you to be a more caring, loving and kind individual. With their example, they will help you realize so much needs to be done.
  • Patient: Good friends are patient to you even when you are not in a good situation. Even when you’re angry, trust your friends to be still around no matter how annoying you become. Good friend knows that not everyone is perfect and you may have a bad day. Just make sure to make it up later and thank them for being there.
  • Comforting: Good friends will comfort you in chaotic situations. A good friend can be your last refuge from the chaos and the mess of tough life. Since good friends can effortlessly make you feel safe and at ease with yourself. In the presence of good friends, you feel relaxed since you know that you’re with the people who genuinely like and care about you.
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What kind of people to select for friends?
  1. Choose friends who have good moral character. Choose friends with better moral character than their status in society. 
  2. Choose friends that are dependable. Choose friends who will stand by you when you need them. 
  3. Choose friends who give you wise counsel.
How to become a good friend.
  • Make your friends feel good by saying nice things to each other.
  • Support each other. 
  • Understand the differences. 
  • Become a good listener. 
  • Always be trustworthy. 
  • Maintain respectful boundaries.
  • Give them your time. 
  • Reciprocate the feeling.
What are the benefits of good friendship?

Good friends are necessary for your well-being. With good friends, you celebrate good times and they provide much-needed support during bad times. 

Friends help you:
  • Boost your sense of belonging.
  • Increase your happiness. 
  • Reduce stress.
  • Improve your self-confidence.
  • Help you cope with difficult situations like divorce, illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
  • Encourage you to avoid unhealthy lifestyle
  • Help you take up sports or exercise just be company for a walk.

Friends play a big role in promoting your overall health. People with strong social bonds have a reduced risk of diseases like depression, high blood pressure, and stress. Studies have found that older adults with good social bondings live longer than their peers with fewer connections.

Why is it sometimes hard to make friends or maintain friendships?

Many people find it difficult to make new friends or keep up with existing friendships. Since friendships take a back seat to other priorities, such as working, children, or aging parents. You may have grown apart due to a change in interests or moved to a new community.

Developing and keeping good friendships takes effort. The comfort and support friendship provides makes the investment worthwhile.

How many  friends do you need?

Quality counts more than quantity. While it may be good to have a diverse network of friends. You may feel a greater sense of belonging by nurturing a few close and meaningful friends that will support you through thick and thin.

Ways to meet new friends?

You may make new friends and nurture existing relationships by:

  • Remaining in touch with individuals with whom you’ve worked or taken classes.
  • Reconnecting with old friends.
  • Reaching out to new people you’ve enjoyed chatting in social gatherings.
  • Introduce yourself to neighbors.
  • Make time to connect with family members.

If anyone is noticeable in your memory and you’d like to know better, reach out. Ask mutual friends to share the person’s contact information, even better reintroduce the two of you with a text, email, or in-person visit. Extend an invitation to coffee or lunch. Don’t limit yourself to one strategy for meeting people. Take the initiative to meet new people rather than wait for invitations to come your way and keep trying. You may need to suggest plans a few times before you can tell if your interest in a new friend is mutual.

For example, try several of these ideas:

  • Attend community events. Look for groups or clubs that gather around an interest or hobby you like. These groups can be online or offline or you can join them to meet people of the community. 
  • Volunteer. Offer your time or talents where you can do good and meet people or groups. You can form strong bonds when you work with individuals who have shared interests.
  • Invite. Invite friends to join you for coffee or lunch. When you’re invited to a social gathering, say yes. Contact someone who invited you to an activity and return the favor.
  • Take up a new interest. Take a hobby education course to meet people who have similar interests. Join a class at a local gym, senior center or community fitness facility.
  • Take a walk. Go for a walk with kids or pets. Chat with neighbors or head to a popular park and strike up conversations.

Stay positive. You may not become friends with all those whom you meet but maintaining a friendly attitude and demeanor can help you improve the relationships in your life. It may also help you nurture new relationships. 

Social media and friendships?

Joining an online community might help you make connections and relieve loneliness. However, social networking sites don’t necessarily translate to larger closer offline relationships with network members. In addition, you need to be careful sharing personal information or arranging an activity with someone you’ve only met online.

How can you nurture friendships?

Developing and maintaining healthy friendships involves some form of give-and-take. Sometimes you’re the one receiving support while you also have to be ready to give support. Letting friends know you care about them strengthens the bond.

How to nurture your friendships:
  • Be kind. Kindness is the most-basic behavior that remains the core of any successful relationship.
  • Good listener. Ask what’s going on in your friends’ lives. Let the other person know you are paying close attention through eye contact, body language and occasional brief comments.
  • Open up. Build intimacy with your friends by opening up about yourself. Being willing to disclose personal experiences may deepen your connection.
  • Make yourself available. Building a close friendship takes time. Make an effort to see new friends regularly.

It’s never too late to develop new friendships or reconnect with old friends. Making time for new friends and nourishing your friendships can pay off in better health and a brighter outlook for many years to come. Always nurture good friends since they will support you when you need them the most.   

By John Gurung

A former software developer who is now a blogging enthusiast. A true digital nomad.

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