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The Unwritten (Now Written) Golden Rules of Friendship

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The Unwritten (Now Written) Golden Rules of Friendship

A best friend is someone you’re not only going to love all your life, they are also your biggest critic and strongest supporter. They are your late-night mentors, daylight umbrellas, and midday co-conspirators. Not only do best friends adore you, they also make it a point to let the world know that they do. You feel secure with them, but more importantly being vulnerable never felt as comfortable as it does when you’re with them.

Best friends calm your deepest fears and tickle all your funny bones. They are truly a blessing you stumbled upon and here are some unwritten rules of friendship that every best friend follows! So grab your best friend and be ready to grin in merry excitement as you guys check off these rules together!

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The 40 Golden Rules of Friendship

  1. They’re always there for support.
    • They point out your mistakes truthfully.
    • They care about you but don’t smother you.
    • They don’t try to escape when things get hard, instead they become your pillar and help you find a way through the mess.
    • They can’t bear to see you cry and they know your quick fixes.
      • They help you stare down that creepy person at the bar.
        • They listen to you repeat the same story over and overand still have the patience to advise you.
        • They’ve seen you at your worst and your best and yet they love you unconditionally.
          • They aren’t afraid of your crazy moods and ideas. (Or lack thereof!)
          • They know all your cues so you don’t have to bother explaining it to them yet again.
          • They don’t shy away from tough love.
          • They are brutally honest yet heart-wrenchingly warm.
          • They tell you when you’re being unreasonable and yet stand with you even if they don’t agree with you.
          • They are your partners in crime and behind-the-screen directors to your crazies.
            • They help you succeed and celebrate your successes and/or the lessons you learn from your failures.
            • They know how to make you smile and don’t mind being judged while doing so.
              • They notice every change about you—the haircut, the new color, the goatee—and report it to you with a prompt, sassy response.
              • They are your go-to guy when nothing is right and your first call when everything is right.
                • They make you laugh hysterically especially at all the wrong moments.
                • They know all your evil plans and are often your right-hand guys.
                  • They are always there to give you advice, ice cream or a beer.
                  • They are your biggest advocates and loudest fans.
                    • They are your travel buddies and even your yoga buddies.
                    • They are your personal movie critics and can often tell whether or not you’ll like the movie.
                    • They never try to change you, even early in the morning when you look or behave like The Hulk on a diet.
                      • They encourage all your dreams and aspirations and fend off those who don’t.
                      • They are always a phone call away no matter how far apart you are in person.
                        • They laugh with you and at you, but glare at anyone else who does.
                        • They help you pick out hideous Halloween costumes just so they can laugh at you.
                          • They can tell your mood just by the way you text.
                          • They accept your differences graciously but only after laughing at them first.
                          • They are invariably a part of at least 75% of the selfies you take.
                            • They are your personal photographers armed with iPhones and maybe even a DSLR.
                            • They are ever-ready for an adventure with you, no matter how crazy or scary or boring. (But can adventures ever be boring with your friends?)
                              • They are your excuse when you get busted.
                              • They listen to you—truly, deeply and fully.
                              • They can talk to you about anything, and can often recite how many time you did that thing you regretted the minute after you did it.
                                • They are fiercely loyal.
                                • Silences aren’t awkward with them, most conversations, by conventional standards, are.
                                • They become your chosen family, and more importantly, they do so willingly.

                                Featured photo credit: Lara Cores via flickr.com

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                                Sanah Rizvi

                                Sanah is an influential public speaker and a devoted advocator of female rights.

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                                Last Updated on November 18, 2021

                                10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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                                10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

                                We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

                                A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

                                So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

                                • honest
                                • reliable
                                • competent
                                • kind and compassionate
                                • capable of taking the blame
                                • able to persevere
                                • modest and humble
                                • pacific and can control anger.

                                The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

                                1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

                                All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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                                But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

                                2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

                                How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

                                I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

                                “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

                                Abigail Van Buren

                                3. How does this person take the blame?

                                Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

                                4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

                                You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

                                5. Read their emails.

                                Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

                                • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
                                • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
                                • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
                                • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
                                • Too many question marks can show anger
                                • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

                                6. Watch out for the show offs.

                                Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

                                7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

                                A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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                                Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

                                8. Their empathy score is high.

                                Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

                                People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

                                9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

                                We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

                                “One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

                                Stendhal

                                 10. Avoid toxic people.

                                These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

                                • Envy or jealousy
                                • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
                                • Complaining about their own lack of success
                                • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
                                • Obsession with themselves and their problems

                                Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

                                Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

                                Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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