One of the best ways to show kindness is to show friendship. I have been so fortunate to have one particular friend in my life for more than 25 years. On the occasion of a milestone birthday she is having, I started reflecting on what makes ours such a strong relationship. Here’s my take on what goes into our kind of one-in-a-million friendship:
- Showing loyalty. Stand up for friends in social situations, work situations, or community settings.
- Keeping confidences. Your business with your friend is no one else’s business.
- Remembering things- typical and not so typical. It is customary to remember birthdays but it also goes a long way to ask how a doctor’s appointment went, remember a child’s sporting event, or a spouse’s project.
- Laughing with and at each other: If you and your friend have a strong foundation, you will trust each other enough to enjoy each other’s goofs and goofiness.
- Letting each other know how important the friendship is at random times: Don’t just wait for significant events to say how important your friend is to you. Sending a card on an unexpected Tuesday, for example, carries a lot of meaning!
- Honoring your differences. What makes you and your friend unique not only serves as inspiration but also provides new perspectives.
- Dealing with disagreements: Even the best of friends argue. The strength of the friendship is in how you resolve those arguments. Good friends should be able to talk things out with respect and understanding and not let negative feelings fester.
- Providing encouragement: Great friends help each other takes risks or face difficult situations.
- Celebrating each other’s successes. Being genuinely happy for each other’s accomplishments not only demonstrates security but generosity.
- Dropping everything when life takes a rough turn. When a friend truly needs you, everything else should come to a halt.
- Spending time together. Life gets busy and phone calls and emails are great gap-fillers. But find time to have fun face-to-face.
So to my dear friend, I say thanks for being my biggest cheerleader, defender, confidante, supporter, comforter, truth-teller, and sidekick! Because of you, I am able to pass on the greatest gift to my daughter — how to be a great friend and build great friendships!
© YesKidzCan! 2014