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6 Things That Make A Great Friend

6 Things That Make A Great Friend

Friendships come and go. But what is the real friendship? For me, real friendship is when it goes away but then comes back. Think of a best friend in high school who moved to another country or state to study. You try to stay the same way with each other by regularly calling, facetiming, and updating each other on Facebook or Instagram.

But slowly, you notice that the communication is getting less and less. And as more time passes by, you find yourself not knowing much about this other person whom you used to call your best friend. After a year of not being in each other’s lives, you meet gain and suddenly everything seem like the way they used to be. No animosity, no unfamiliarity, only feelings of comfort in hearing each other laugh and share stories. That is what real friendship is to me. But what does it really take to be a great friend?

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1. You acknowledge that people need space to grow.

We are all wanderers on this planet and no two persons’ destinies are the same. We grow in many different ways and walk through many different paths. And even though paths might separate, they can meet again; when those paths meet, you don’t resent the other person for going away. You appreciate it and recognize that this new person might have turned out to be a better person than before.

2. Everything is natural.

Like in a romantic relationship, friendships need to be natural. When you are with a great friend, you don’t feel the need to come up with a plan on what to talk about. You don’t feel uncomfortable in moments of silence. You can be yourself and the other person brings out the positive side of you.

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    3. Your friendship stands the test of time.

    You probably got married and the other person decided to go to grad school. On your child’s third birthday, your friend comes and celebrates with your whole family. Then when your friend got married, you were chosen to be one of the bridesmaids even if you lived far apart. This means that real friendships go over several different stages in our lives.

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    4. You think about the other person and hope that everything is well.

    You might be really busy with work after you had moved to the big city. But in between those busy moments, thoughts of your friend enter your mind and you quietly wish that everything is going well on his or her side. You call or text to make sure that everything is ok.

    5. You keep your lines open.

    Nobody is too busy to talk to a good friend. Whether you are out on the subway or standing in line at the grocery while towing two crying babies, you can still answer a call or call a friend back. Or even email back. Communication is easy with technology. After all, when you need help or someone to talk to, it will be your turn to make a call.

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    6. You share.

    Information, time, a phone call, or a picture. It doesn’t matter what you share, what matters is that you do. If the other person is unemployed and you see a job posting, you pass the information on. You do not hold back if you know it would help the other person. Or if you know the other person will like or enjoy it. You share without expecting anything in return.

    There are many other ways that someone can be a great friend. In the end, these will be the people that are there for us to listen, hold our hand when we are lost, and appreciate us as a person. And to be a great friend, we need to do the same things in return.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels.com via static.pexels.com

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    Sarah Bonander

    Writer, Human Resources Professional

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    Last Updated on January 18, 2019

    7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

    7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

    Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

    But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

    If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

    1. Limit the time you spend with them.

    First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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    In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

    Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

    2. Speak up for yourself.

    Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

    3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

    This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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    But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

    4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

    Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

    This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

    Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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    5. Change the subject.

    When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

    Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

    6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

    Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

    I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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    You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

    Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

    7. Leave them behind.

    Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

    If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

    That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

    You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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