Rare as is true love, true friendship is rarer – Jean De La Fontane.
One of the best things that can happen to someone is to have a good friend. The value of a true friend is priceless. It cuts across all sectors of life. Whether you are a student, entrepreneur, married, politician, clergy etc, you need honest, loyal, and trustworthy friends as you journey through life.
The hallmark of friendship is loyalty, and one’s loyalty to another will always be tested. That is why it’s highly advisable to marry your friend with whom you can be vulnerable. It is noteworthy that vulnerability is one of the strongest tests of marriage, because one must trust the person he is vulnerable to when he lets his guards down.
We all want great friends, but most times, we don’t act like one. The best way to get a great friend is to be one, but unfortunately, some people don’t understand what the word friend really means. They just used it freely. In reality, your best friend is someone who brings out the best in you.
Good friends are medicinal. They help to increase one’s life span. They are very therapeutic. They help our mental health. They help to increase our happiness. It has been determined that people who value both their family and friendship enjoy greater health and higher happiness.
In our contemporary society, many people lose true friends because they are dressed like work. Yes, true friendship is earned. It’s easy to make an enemy, but it’s hard to make a friend. While poverty minds think a friend is someone who gives you money, rich means think a friend is someone who corrects you, looks out for you, and gives you an opportunity. The big questions we need to ask ourselves is, what are the traits of friendship? What are the characteristics of friendship? How do you know a true friend?
You cannot overestimate the value of friendship. Here are some characteristics and points to note before you confidently say someone is your friend.
Trust & confidentiality: You need to know the people you tell your secret.
Loyalty: This is the true test and hallmark of friendship because just like your marriage will be tested, your friendship must surely be tested.
A true friend is someone who accepts you the way you are. A friend is someone who respects you, especially when you disagree with them. Mutual respect is one of the most powerful traits of a good friendship, and a lack of it raises a red flag. A true friend is kind and shares with you. He plays with you, and is on hand to protect your interest.
It’s a well-established fact that nothing good comes easy. True friends take time to grow. Just like the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step in the right direction, true friends must be tested like a marriage to stand the test of time.
According to Beth Elkassih, there are four traits to look out for in a friend as follows:
Reliability: A true friend is a dependable ally as opposed to a fair-weather friend.
Listening: A true friend must have a listening ear without being judgmental. A friend is that person who knows all about you and still loves you.
Authenticity: There’s nothing that pleases a friend more than authenticity. The reason many friendships don’t last is because “supposed friends” are not authentic. They only speak what their colleagues want to hear.
Trust-worthy: This is one of the pillars of true friendship. In my calculated opinion, it is the foundation and cornerstone of all success because you can confide in someone without being afraid of betrayal.
Friendship does not mean absence of disagreement, or that everything will be rosy, no, great friends experience challenges in their friendship to come come out great just like gold must go through fire to become gold. What’s important to note is that a true friend will be your cheerleader as opposed to being a critic. If you are not getting it right, a friend can be your third eye, and constructively criticise you with love.
To put it in perspective, fans are critics who can woo or cheer you up depending on your performance, but a coach will always cheer you up regardless of your performance. A coach sees your potential and helps you become a better version of yourself.
Just like a critic sees your weaknesses and attacks your worst self, a cheerleader sees your strengths and celebrates your best self. Would you rather be a critic or a cheerleader?
The following are some of the rewards of true friendship – It helps to kill loneliness and social isolation.
Friendship helps to reduce stress. It provides emotional support, and helps us in the race of personal development. It also gives us a sense of belonging when we know people are always there for us when we need them.
If you really want to know whether someone is a friend, just ask yourself if the person is adding value to your life and making you genuinely happy.
I will conclude with some great quotes on what a great friendship entails.
There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship -Thomas Aquinas
A true friend is one who overlooks your failures and tolerates your success – Doug Larson
True friends are those rare people who come to find you in dark places and lead you back to the light.
Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He’s a Human Capacity & mindset coach. He’s also a public speaker, youth advocate and creative writer. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success and President of gloemi.com. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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