12 Attributes of a Good Friend


Just how many contacts do you have in your LinkedIn account?  How many friends on your FaceBook page?  How many followers on your Twitter account?  How many people are in your Google+ circles?  Are they all your friends?  Is what a friend has become or is this simply a competition to build a high number of connections, followers and friends started by each of these respective companies, to build their businesses?  I believe we may be degrading our personal friendships by spending so much time with friend quantity, rather than quality.

Has the meaning of the word friend taken on new meaning?

Dictionary.com defines Friend as “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard”, at least that is its first definition.  It also has, “a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter”, “a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile”, “A member of the same nation, party, etc”, “a person associated with another as a contact on a social-networking website”.  Accurate definitions, but which is your definition?  

If everyone you come into contact with in person or digitally is now a friend, what do you call those friend relationships really close to you?  Maybe they are still simply referred to as “a good friend” or “one of my best friends”?  After all, the Bible tells us to love they neighbor (that does not mean only the people living next to you), so we can probably say that everyone we come into contact with is our neighbor, our friend, or at least could/should be, at some level.  Any of which, at some time in the future, could become a good or best friend.

How much time do you spend working your friendships?  Why not spend time developing a relationship with a few quality friends rather than a high quantity of connections?  You only have so much time each day.  A while back, I wrote a blog on leisure time (http://lifelongu.com/2014/09/work-time-leisure-toil/) and how you choose to spend it.  If you use some of your discretionary leisure (free) time daily with a few friends, you more than likely will only have a few very close friends, because of a lack of time and that is ok.

To have “good friends” or “best friends”, you both need to spend time on your friendship together…and there are only so many hours in a day and so many days in the week.  Choose your time and the time spent with others wisely and then put in time towards building that friendship.

If you find a person and your friendship shows many of the following 12 attributes, you may have found yourself a very good friend, make sure you hold up your end of the friendship and be a “good friend”, maybe even a “best friend”:

  1. A person you feel some attachment or closeness to;
  2. A person you can trust and openly talk with;
  3. Someone who gives you good advice and tells you the honest truth from their perspective;
  4. They stick up for you when you’re not around;
  5. You mutually enjoy spending time together as companions;
  6. You  can usually count on them to help if you need it;
  7. Communication between you is frequent and comes in multiple forms (visits, phone calls, emails, texts and even letters);
  8. If you don’t communicate for some time, you can pick right up where you left off;
  9. Is someone that forgives you for doing dumb things, over & over again;
  10. They pick you up when you are down;
  11. They like you for who you truly are and know who you really are;
  12. Your relationship with them is very rare compared to your other acquaintances;

If you are very lucky, you may have found all these in one very special someone to you and you can spend most of your time with that person, and they may be all the friends you need.

What does “friend” mean to you?

Gary Kiecker



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