Photo courtesy of Kiran Koduru
As I started thinking about Thanksgiving this week and all that I have to be thankful for, my family members naturally sit at the top of my list. However, my friends are a close second, and for many people, they tie for first. As we think about why we are thankful for the amazing friends we have, let’s take a moment to reverse it and think about what our friends want and need from us. After all, this Thanksgiving day, those same friends are going to be sitting around a table (maybe yours), thinking about why you make their lives more enjoyable.
What makes you a good friend? Do you know? Take a look at this list of traits that people treasure most in their nearest and dearest companions, and see how you measure up :
- Trustworthiness – This personality trait covers a lot of bases and, when it comes to friendships, most people are looking for someone who will keep their secrets and keep their promises to be there when times are tough.
- The ability to forgive – Of course it is important that friends don’t do wrong to each other on purpose, but when you are friends to the end, you’ll be going through many life events together and mistakes are unavoidable. True friends forgive easily because they have a solid foundation based on a connection that goes beyond trying to be perfect. A good friend understands your faults and flaws and loves you anyway.
- Self confidence - While this may not seem like a necessary component of being a good friend, a person with a high level of self-confidence is more likely to be giving, loving, and generally more fun to be around.
- Reliability – If you’re showing up for your friends late all the time, you’re sending them a message loud and clear: Their time is less important than yours. Make the effort to be on time more often, and let your amigos know they’re worth it.
- Willingness to give slack – Long-lasting friendships can span lifetimes if you treat them right. As we know, time brings struggles of all shapes and sizes. When your friend is facing something challenging and asks for a little slack – give it.
- Going above and beyond - Friends will go to the limit and beyond when a friend is in need. Are you willing to go to extraordinary lengths to help, even if it inconveniences you greatly?
- Taking one for the friendship – Sometimes you might be called on to take the fall – or the blame – in order to save a friend’s hide (or reputation.) Are you willing to put a friend’s reputation before yours in times when it might really make a difference?
Of course there are about a hundred other good qualities that lead to great friendships, like having things in common, having fun together, and having similar goals and aspirations. This Thanksgiving, let your friends have one more thing to be thankful for by making sure you ace the friendship test. If you don’t ace it, at least put forth the effort to make sure you consistently do the best you can. Your true friends will be willing to cut you some slack.