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What it means to be a good friend

good friend
Relationships can help improve well-being by satiating emotional and social wellness. (Photos: Shutterstock)
From the day we are born, we are constantly forming relationships, which may vary in function and significance. The bond between a parent and child is one of the strongest, and in most cases everlasting. Unfortunately, our parents will not be with us for the majority of our lives, and there are aspects of well-being that need to be fulfilled by other people, which often takes the form of friends.اضافة اعلان
 
Whether they are childhood friends or people you only just met, these people can have a profound impact on your life, as well as you on theirs. Finding a good friend can be difficult, but as is the case with most things, like attracts like. In order to find good friends, you must also be a good friend. Fortunately, being able to be so is relatively easy, and most people already fulfill the criterion of being a good friend. Nevertheless, no one is perfect, and improvements can always be made to make sure you are the best friend you can possibly be. 

Benefits of friendship

Forming relationships with strangers has numerous benefits. They can help improve well-being by satiating emotional and social wellness, but can also help in a more practical way, by helping go through life and all its complexities. 

Friends can help increase your sense of belonging and purpose. They also have the ability to boost happiness, self-confidence, and self-worth, while helping to lower stress, cope with trauma and encourage a healthier lifestyle.
 
Studies have shown that those with a strong social support in adulthood have fewer instances of significant health problems such as depression, high blood pressure, and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI). As a results, studies also found that those with strong relations are more likely to live longer than those lacking them. 

Why are friends important

Aside from the aforementioned benefits, there is another reason people need friends: not to be lonely.
 
Humans are social creatures. In fact, one of the cruelest practices one can inflict on another is solitary confinement. There are many negative effects of loneliness, most important anxiety and depression, but, more concerning is the decline in cognitive functions and even the risk of death. Friends can help fill the void that others, such as parents, cannot fill.

There are many traits that make a person good, and they are often easy enough to spot. When it comes to being a good friend, three aspects are important. And while we look for them in others, we, ourselves, must also exhibit them. One is vulnerability, or the ability to be open and honest about mistakes, regrets, and other feelings you may not generally share with others.

With acquaintances or surface-level friendships, showing vulnerability is difficult because there is the fear that it may not be reciprocated, or it may be used against you in some way. 

Showing vulnerability can be tricky as you may be waiting for the other to show it first. The easiest way to avoid this is to be honest from the start. Open dialogue and communication is important in starting deeper talks about your emotional state. It may be scary or intimidating at first, but in time it will become easier.

The second aspect of being a good friend is reliability. A good friend is dependable, reliable and, most importantly, consistent in doing so. Friendship thrives on a non-spoken mutualism. There are no tally marks, but the favor is constantly being returned. 

Being a good friend does not mean that we have to neglect our own priorities to tend to our friends’ but that there should be a balance and that the friend is somewhere on that list of priority. Someone who is reliable will be there when needed; he may even be there without being asked and show initiative.

The final aspect is positivity. A good friend helps improve situations by being a source of positivity in another person’s life. This can be done by sharing advice and giving advice that may help improve the other’s situation. 

In a broader sense, positivity can simply be the good times shared with one another. Whether it be by jokes told, going out and experiencing things together, or even simply being supportive, each simple act brings with it an aspect of positivity. 

At individual level, everyone should aspire to be a source of positivity. There will be people who may take advantage of your vulnerability, reliability or positivity, but in time you will find those who reciprocate and will learn to avoid those that only take advantage.

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