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This week, I learnt five very important life lessons. I learnt the importance of keeping your anger at bay, not letting your emotions take lead of your life. I also learnt that we must be humble, try to service or maintain our relationships, and that it’s important to have the right friends or people around us. Of course, I can’t cover all these in one post so I’ll be focusing on having the right friends.
So, on Wednesday, I celebrated the three-month anniversary of my blog! I know you’re like three what? But to me, it’s a milestone and yes, saying that I celebrated is kind of exaggerating. Lol. But the truth is that it’s important to me, and that I may not have made it that far without my friends; keyword being ‘may not’ because I believe that it’s only you who can decide how far you want to go and not give up on your dreams but of course, it’s always nice to have people who support you and show you love.
But, it’s ironic that I felt sad that day for no good reason actually. You know, just one of those days. Miraculously, my mood changed when I got a call from one of my friends who just kept on encouraging me. After the call, I then realized how important friends are and how important their role is. Like, do you know how cool it is when someone says “I’ll be praying for you”? Or “You’ll always have my support”? Believe me, it’s cool.
The call made me remember all the friends I have or have had and the little things they did to make my life better and easier. I have very few friends presently, but this week I remembered all the friends I had had in the past – from kindergarten, to primary and secondary school friends, then the people I met in random places. I remembered those moments we had and how they were really friends to me.
And I just need to say this, if there’s someone who’s no longer your friend for whatever reason, please don’t regret the time you spent with him/her because if you really think it through, you learnt one or two things from the person and those things you’ve learnt have shaped you in one way or another to who you are today. And yes, even the most abusive ones have made you realize how strong you are.
Also Read: How to Overcome Emotional Attachments
After much thinking, I came up with ten characteristics of a friend. I didn’t say ‘good friend’ because I believe that there’s no such thing as good or bad friend. You are either a friend or not, you either have a friend or not.
10 Characteristics of a Friend
1) A friend will always want the best for you: This is pretty self-explanatory. A friend will always want what’s best for you at any point in time no matter how difficult it may be.
2) He or she has almost the same values as you: This is very important. In fact, it should be the first point. I believe that for someone to be your friend, both of you have to share some values. This makes the relationship easier.
3) A friend respects your values: While you and your friend need to have some common values, there may never be someone who has the same exact values as you do. A true friend will respect those values and principles that are different from his or hers.
4) A friend is supportive and encouraging: Whenever you are feeling down and discouraged, your friend shouldn’t make you feel worse rather, he/she should support and encourage you. When you are going through tough times is usually when you know who a friend is. He who prays for you when you can’t pray for yourself is a friend.
5) She or he will respect whatever decision you make even though she/he may not understand it: Note that I said ‘respect’, not ‘support’. A friend may not always support your decisions maybe because it goes against his/her own personal values, or maybe because she’s trying to make you see how wrong your decision is. Whatever the reason, friends aren’t always fully supportive of our decisions but they should be at least respective of it. I always say “Your duty isn’t to understand anyone’s decisions but to respect them”.
6) He or she sees the best in you even when you don’t see it: A lot of times, we doubt ourselves, our decisions and our progress and can’t even see what’s right in front of us. Or what our future holds. A friend will always see those good things you can’t see and try to make you see it too.
Also Read: Signs of A Toxic Relationship
7) A friend isn’t jealous of your success and doesn’t feel the need to compete with you: Did you know that there are a lot of ‘friends’ who compete with you? And can’t stand your success? They always want to be the better one in every area – social life, career, family life, etc. Those people are not friends because they will never support and give you good advice when you’re down because they are selfish. Leave such people.
8) A friend is one who tells you the painful truth: As human beings, we love it whenever our egos are stroked. We love hearing what we want to hear. A friend will always be there to check you and tell you those truths you don’t want to hear. Whenever it’s called for (which can be most of the time), a friend will always be there to tell you those hard truths.
9) He or she cheers you up and makes you laugh: You don’t even need to be gloomy and sad for your friend to cheer you up. But whenever you are in a dark place, a friend should do all he/she can to make you happy – tells jokes, drag you out of the house, etc.
10) A friend celebrates your successes: A friend will always be there to celebrate your wins – big or small. He/she would never feel as though celebrating you is a chore.
Finally, these characteristics below are not just for you to check your friends, but also for you to check yourself and know if you are actually a friend. We should learn to choose our friends wisely. The Bible has warned us to be careful of the people we keep as friends because they are determinants of who we are or will be. If you have a friend who sticks like or closer than family, then you should know that you have a rare gem.
For the people out there who don’t have friends, or even the people who have friends, there’s a friend everyone needs to have – the ultimate friend. He is Jesus. Please click here to know more about Him.
Please leave comments and share to friends!