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What is a Friend?

Friends are special people. If you are a friend, it means you were chosen. You are not in someone's life by happenstance, or by accident of birth. You're in someone's life because he or she wants you there.

Every friend is a gift from God. Treat each of your friends as the gift he or she is.

Rose, Small

Are you a good friend? Read on and see!

A true friend knows how to keep a secret.

"I only told one other person" is NOT keeping a secret! Once anybody else knows it, it isn't a secret anymore. Think how you would feel if someone betrayed your confidence. A true friend also knows when information is confidential without being told.

A true friend keeps promises.

A true friend knows that a person is only as good as his word and will not make promises he cannot keep.

A true friend keeps appointments.

A true friend will not cancel out on someone (or, worse, be a no-show) except in an emergency situation.

A true friend will not say things she knows will hurt the other's feelings.

A true friend will not attempt to elevate herself by saying things like , "Mary was telling everybody at work that you're a slut, but don't worry, I told her off." How can this possibly have any effect other than to upset her? Would YOU like it if somebody said this to you? A true friend knows that blowing your own horn diminishes the deed. Stick up for someone because it's the right thing to do, not because you want "credit" for it.

A true friend will only give constructive criticism, and then only when asked.

"That dress makes you look fat" or "That was a stupid thing to say" are NOT examples of constructive criticism! And unless your friend's fly is open or he has spinach between his teeth, don't venture your opinion if you're not asked for it. If you must criticize, do it nicely, which means you don't use words like "fat" or "stupid." Give the other person useful feedback, not just negative words. ("That dress is a pretty design, but another color might look more becoming on you.")

A true friend will not force herself on you when you want to be alone.

We all need solitude from time to time. Or we may have other plans. The world does not revolve around you. If your friend cannot get together when you'd like, let it go. Don't become angry and start badgering her with a thousand questions. She owes you no explanation other than, "Sorry, it's not convenient for me right now." We all need our own space. Respect that.

A true friend will know when to listen without speaking.

If your friend is crying to you over a bad marriage or a broken romance, listen, be sympathetic, but say as little as possible. If she mends fences with her mate, she will always remember that you spoke disparagingly about him, whether it was in agreement to what she herself was saying or your own original thoughts on the subject. So unless your friend is being emotionally or physically abused, speak not. Just be there for her.

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Being a Friend

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