In our lifetime we meet so many people, online as well as offline. But we keep in contact with very few people, and these people are known as friends. Simply, isn’t it?
You might have hundreds and thousands of friends on Facebook, etc, but just s small fraction of these people are the friends whom you might have met in real life. Even then, just 2-4-7 people are there whom we call good friends. But are they really good? Let’s discuss it…
Having hundreds of followers on Instagram or a huge friend list on Facebook does not mean that you are friends with them in real life. At one time I had about 1000+ friends on Facebook and about 2000+ followers. I deleted that account and now have a new one with just about 90 friends. Most of them I have never met or even talked with ever! The same goes for Instagram. I have about 3700 followers, but it is kind of a different ‘game’ there.
What I am trying to say here is that it doesn’t mean anything to have a great list of friends online. What makes a major difference is that how many people you know, and can call them your friends. That is more important.
We all want a good and a true friend. But are we a good friend? Have we done anything, something, anything, to be called a good friend? God has sent us in this world to spread love, to help each other, to care for others, love and appreciate the nature around us. But are we doing that in a proper manner? You need to ask yourself.
What makes a Good Friend?
Every person wants to have good friends in his life. It is being said that relatives are the people who are given to us by our parents, and friends are the relatives that we make ourselves. If you want a good and true friend then you must learn to be a good friend yourself too. It is a give-and-take situation here. Be good, get good. But that doesn’t happen at all times, but that also does not mean that it can’t happen.
A Good Friend Listens
Like me, you too love to talk to your friends. I am sure about this. But are you a good listener?
Whenever someone speaks to you, especially a dear friend, listen to them patiently and wholeheartedly. Most of us start thinking about the response, that we have to give when he stops speaking, midway. Let the person speak his mind then you can think about what you have to say. When you start thinking in between his lines, it will show that you aren’t interested or not listening at all. Do you want that?
Listening takes a lot of humility and humbleness. It is nothing short of an art where you give undivided attention to your friend, listen to him, understand him, make him feel special that he means a lot to you. When your friend feels that he is being loved and is safe in your company, then is the point when he can speak without the fear of being judged.
Sometimes there isn’t a need to talk at all. Your friend might be in such a situation that all he wants is that there is someone to listen to him, someone who he can trust, and that is you. Never interrupt in between. Let him say what he wants, then… if need be… reply. He will himself ask you to speak. It not… stay quiet.
A Good Friend Always Tells The Truth
A lie can make someone happy. But is that the correct thing to do? Will there be any benefit in doing so? If a lie can save someone’s life then yes go ahead and tell a lie, otherwise not.
When your friend asks you to say something or give a reply to his talks with you, then always tell what is the truth. You can lie once but that lie will always stay between the two of you and might haunt you for years and years. Good relationships, like friendship, do not last long if we tell lies to each other.
God does not want us to lie to our people – friends, and relatives, no matter what. If in case you don’t know what to say or don’t know what reply will be the best, it is better to stay quiet or just say that I don’t know what I should speak to you about this matter. It is actually good to be silent instead of making things worse.
If the matter is very complicated then you can always refer to the ancient text of Gita as well as other religious books. You will find your answers there for sure.
A Good Friend Always Protects
By this, I don’t mean to protect your friend physically. Yes, you must do that too in the time of need. Here, by protection I mean to say if some other person is trying to harm the image of your friend by false accusations then you should protect him and take his side. There is no harm in defending your friend in such a situation.
Friends, me and you, hope that their best friends will stand up for them and will help protect them when the time comes. We must all keep this in mind.
A Good Friend Always Wants The Best
My best friend always wants the best for me and I always want the best for him too. No matter what. It doesn’t mean to give your belongings to your friends or start giving them lavish gifts. Always wants the best means to have good thoughts about your friend and to pray to God to give him everything his heart desires, all those things which bring joy to him. That is what a good friend does.
You may share your things with him, that too makes relationships stronger. Relationships are much more important than materialistic things. Always remember that.
A Good Friend Allows Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes in their lives. I don’t think that there is even 1 single person in the entire history of mankind who hasn’t made a single mistake. Impossible.
So the same thing applies here too. A friend can also make a mistake. You don’t lose a friend because of a mistake that he made due to any reason he might have. You must always remember that friends are the relatives that we pick for ourselves, but that doesn’t mean that they are our slaves or our private property. Every person makes mistakes, so can they (friends).
If you know that your friend is doing something wrong then you can tell him freely about it. Ask him to discontinue doing so, to stop, and think over it. But you simply can’t force him to do as you want.
But if he still doesn’t listen to you then there is actually nothing you can do about it. If they are not willing to listen to you and take your advice and start doing the correct thing, then they will have to go through the consequences that come with it.
If you stop them from doing what they want to do, they will think that you are not their friend and then will eventually start blaming you. This is the truth, hard truth I know. Let them learn from their mistakes. You did try to stop them but they did not listen.
Allowing for mistakes is the only true way to love others. Sounds a bit odd, but it’s true.
But… if the situation is rather tensed and you know that your friend is going to do something very wrong – take life or commit suicide, then you must stop them for sure. If need be, take the help of the police too.
A Good Friend Forgives
A person will always make mistakes, no matter how hard he tries not to do so. It’s quite natural. A friend can also hurt your heart too. But does that mean you end your friendship with him? No. Not at all.
Good friends are very rare. We have read about great friendships in the past and also about fake friends too. Now you have to decide in which category you want to be. If a friend makes a mistake and you feel hurt/cheated you straightforward go ahead and break bonds with him. Yes, I know that anger makes it happen, but good friends are not lost just because of some mistake.
First, try to be calm. Sit down with your friend for a cup of coffee or beer, talk to them, discuss the matter with him, and then make a decision. Fighting and ending relationships takes just a few minutes but building a friendship, nurturing it takes a whole lifetime. Think about it!
No matter how great the mistake is, I advise you to forgive your friend. Forgiveness is the biggest and the ONLY way to change the hearts of people. Remember… God forgives us for so many things that we do on a daily basis, then why can’t we forgive our own friends?
A Good Friend is Gentle Enough
Friendship is just like threads of silk – soft and delicate. A good friend should be gentle enough with his friend. Any person who is demanding or wants his friend to work according to his own liking is not a good friend. I know that this is a bit of a controversial statement, but that is true.
Friends should be gentle with each other. Making fun, having a lot of sarcasm in talks, etc is a normal thing. Good friends do that, but never to the extent that they start hurting them emotionally.
A good friend can become a great friend if he does not use force to make something happen. Remember, the gentleness of a person is not his weakness but rather it is the power that is under control. You can make things happen with gentle talk and behavior. Wouldn’t you do something for your friend if he asks you calmly and with kind words! I certainly would do.
A Good Friend Does Not Envy Ever
You bought a new car or the latest iPhone. If your friend starts feeling jealous of you then is he your friend? No. Same way if you too do the same then I am sorry to say you aren’t a good friend either. Jealousy makes and breaks a relationship.
Good friends are never envious of each other’s success. In fact, they feel much happier when they see the success of their friends. That is what a great friend feels. Which is the last time you felt like this for your friend? Just give it a thought.
We always want our loved ones to celebrate our victory, our success. But do we celebrate the same way that we want for us? A good friend always does that.
Friends do make mistakes, it’s natural. But that does not mean that things can’t be sorted out. Yes, they can. Two friends must trust each other, love each other, and believe each other. That is most important.
To be a great friend, you have to got to learn to love as God loves you. You need to invest your time, self-restraint, sharing things, and energy in loving others just like the way God loves you for sure.
So, are you willing to share the love of God and become a good… rather a… great friend?
Tell me what do you think about this in the comments below, Dear Friend!