How to Be a Good Friend

Being the Kind of Friend You'd Want to Have

How can you be a good friend? It seems like such a simple thing. Most people would say friends need to be real and genuine, but being a good friend and staying in someone's life takes a bit more than that. 

While being a good friend is usually intuitive, sometimes we need a reminder about how to go above and beyond when it comes to friendships. Here are five ways to be the type of friend you'd want in your own life. Why not be that type of friend for someone else?

Give Support Freely to Your Friend Before He or She Asks for It

Smiling Young Women Looking At Cell Phone At Cafe
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Is there anything worse than continually having to remind a friend to be happy for you? Or support you in your decisions?

A good friend rallies behind you without prompting when you need a few words of encouragement​ and stands by you when you make a life-changing decision. While friends might not always agree with the things you are doing, they support you all the same. This means that when you need a shoulder to cry on or somebody to celebrate with, they are right by your side.

If your friend needs to tell you that they'd like you to just be happy for them or seem interested, it's time to take stock in how you act.

Know How to Have Fun

Let's face it, sometimes life gets so intense we need a reminder to just sit back and relax. That's where friends come in. Having a great time might mean something slightly different to all of us, of course, but your best pals know exactly how to make you kick back and enjoy yourself with some fun activities.

Make Time for Your Friends and Not Just When You Need Them

Have a craft night this Valentine's Day.
Have a craft night this Valentine's Day. Blend Images - JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

We've all had friends that could only call when they wanted something, but then couldn't be found when we had nothing to offer them. When someone claims busyness as an excuse, it's not someone you have a genuine friendship with because good friends make time.

Making time for friendships is crucial to keeping them! But more than that, you can't really get the benefits of friendship unless you take time to nurture them. Only then will you be able to connect on a level that will help you remember what life is all about. 

Good friends know that friendships are one of the perks of life designed to improve your world. They do not look at friendships as a waste of time, or something to pay attention to only when they need a favor. To that end, they make time even when they are busy by proactively keeping in touch through email, Facebook, and phone calls.

Be Honest, But Gently So

When you ask your friend for an opinion, they will give it honestly but gently. When it seems like no one in your life will tell you the truth, your friend will have your back. Your pal might not always tell you what you want to hear, but they will be honest with you, and that is valuable in today's world. More than that, their honestly will always be meant to help you rather than cut you down.

Always Be Respectful and Set Healthy Boundaries

How harmful is a little white lie?
How harmful is a little white lie?. Hero Images/Getty Images

Respect should be the basis for any relationship, but it's especially important for friendship. Friends can just leave any time when they are feeling disrespected, so you need to show that you value them as people. 

This means setting healthy and appropriate boundaries in your friendship so you both will feel comfortable. It's not about being rigid but about respecting each other enough to make them feel emotionally safe.

Being a good friend means you don't gossip behind their back or play dirty pool when it comes to arguing. When they disagree with you, it's done in a respectful way that is meant for you both to come to an understanding, not to change your mind or to "win." Your level of trust is high with a good friend because they respect you too much to ruin your relationship.