Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What makes a good friend

A friend of mine (who shall remain nameless, but I think you know who you are) once asked me how he could be a better friend. He was/is notorious for being a little flakey, so that was really the only thing I could think of to tell him: quit being so flakey. But I was thinking about it this morning, and I have revised my answer.

There is the sort of common sense, Golden Rule, "Do unto others" philosophy, but I would take it a step further. I'll use the friend I was talking about for my example. With this particular friend, I think I can safely say that he considers me a really good friend. Why? Because that's how I treat him. I don't think that at any point he could say he doubts whether I am his friend or not because the actions and words and what-have-you that are directed at him make him feel like he is important to me and that I care about his well-being. Now, how does he make himself a better friend? Treat ME the same way! That's all there is to it! The more instances that I question how much he values the friendship, the less I feel like I am important to him. Why would a person who feels like they're important to me treat me with an imbalance of priority? Well, there is a degree of selfishness to this, but there is also just laziness. Friendship, like any other relationship, requires effort. The more effort one puts into it, the more you'll get out of it. You'd think diminishing returns would have bitten me in the ass a long time ago, but eh. I try not to let someone else determine my level of contribution to any relationship. That's called being passive aggressive and it's unnecessary, not to mention reeeally annoying.

So..... in short, to be a better friend... be a better friend.

(This kind of turned into a giant bitchfest, and I didn't intend for it to do that. Oh well. I'm going to post it anyway. So there!)

Bah! And in searching for a picture to go with this, I am reminded of THIS bit of genius which, somewhat ironically, fits better than I'd usually admit.



itsnotme said...

good one..

Mary Ellen said...

A good reminder - anything worthwhile is worth some effort - and friendship is definitely worthwhile.

onceuponasunflower said...

Cool birds.

RYD said...

I think there is another point that I just figured out: to be a good friend you need to be generous in spirit. That means when your friend needs a shoulder to cry upon, be there. When your friend is sad, cheer her up. When she is lonely, take her out for coffee (or visit her). Being generous in spirit is the best thing a person can do for another.