By: Jayla Fields
Friends are one of the most important relationships to have in life, and understanding how to be a good friend is crucial to having healthy bonds.
People tend to get too comfortable with their friends and this can lead to not treating them with the respect they deserve. It’s important to show compassion to the people you choose to surround yourself with. Learning how to become a better friend is the first step to becoming a great companion.
1. Become a trustworthy person
Trust is a crucial building block in friendship. When you have a good friend, your secrets are safe with them. Nobody wants to feel as though their business has a chance of getting out to other people.
Being a trustworthy person ensures your friendships will become stronger and last longer. “I feel like I’ve had some trustworthy friends I can really depend on and some that I feel I wasn’t able to trust. I’m not gonna stop being friends with them. I just won’t be as close to them,” freshman Delaney Dine said.
2. Show empathy
It’s a given. Empathy is one of the most important and best qualities to have. Put yourself in other people’s shoes to truly understand why they act and function how they do.
Becoming empathetic will prove to be most beneficial to creating a strong bond. “My best friend lost her stepbrother in a car accident and was very upset about it for a while, so I had to use empathy to be there for her, and I felt her pain myself,” sophomore Molly Laughlin said.
Listening is a key part of good communication. Everybody wants a friend who’ll listen carefully, while also showing interest. A good friend will validate their companion’s feelings, and offer their insight on the topic.
To become a good friend, one must listen with compassion and offer a new perspective. “I don’t think any of my friends don’t listen to my problems and that makes the friendship stronger,” Dine said.
4. Drop the judgment
Everyone has had a friend that is just a bit too judgemental. They are unwilling to show empathy and instead offer their unwanted negativity. It’s important to practice being less judgemental; this is something everyone should work on. “I would say I do have a few judgemental friends, but overall how it affects our friendship is it will make me or my peers feel like they can’t do or say certain things, wear certain things, it might make them feel uncomfortable about who they are on the inside,” senior Elijah Brooks said.
A great friend will make their friends feel like they are doing something right. This does not mean one cannot call out their friend for doing something harmful, but instead means when judgment is not needed, it will not be present.
5. Be dependable
A good friend will always keep their intentions clear and follow through with things like plans. A good friend is there for their friends whenever they can be. Keeping promises is crucial to a powerful, strong friendship. Show up. Be there for your friends and spend quality time with them.
Being present and reliable will only strengthen relationships. “I think a good friend is somebody that you can mess around with and joke with without them taking it too personally, and they also push you to do things that make you better. You can depend on a good friend,” junior Dylan Blanken said.