People who are Good Friends
As I prepared for this series, I wrote to about 15 people who I have observed being good friends to people, and asked them what it means to be a good friend. What does friendship look like? How do you be a friend? What is important in friendship? Today I am going to dive through some of the answers I received from them. But first…
As I began compiling my list of who to write for advice regarding friendship, I noticed some things about the people who ended up on my list. These people are both men and women, are a variety of ages, and are from at least three different countries. But as I began to email these lovely people, I noticed a few common threads that I saw in them…
Characteristics of Friendly people
Kind to everyone.
Friendly people can be kind to anyone. Everyone. They make others feel at ease, and are often willing to make an effort to connect.
Have a tight circle.
Generally, people who are good, faithful friends, don’t spread themselves too thin. They are friendly to all, kind, but they have a smaller circle of very close friends. These people are clearly significant in their lives, and they are able to be a great friend to these people because they aren’t trying to be everyone in the world’s BFF.
They are willing to give people a shot.
Even if you aren’t in their “tight circle,” they are willing to hang out when they have the time. They might be willing to grab a coffee, or maybe help someone who’s moving, or offer hospitality. They are secure enough that they don’t try to make every opportunity into a new best friend, but they are also willing to develop new friendships when they present themselves.
(Listen, people are a gamble. You have to take a chance on them. Making little investments into other people will build really lovely acquaintances over a period of time. Or, these little investments might bring you a new friend.)
From the Mouths of Friendly People
One of my favorite people EVER, someone who was the first person who I knew to be a truly good friend to me wrote this:
“If you want to have a friend, be a friend!… It’s simple things like texting And calling to see how things are or arrange coffee. And being conscious to not talk about yourself the whole time but to listen and empathise with what others are saying.” She also talked about having fun. This is something I feel like people can forget about as adults. Go do fun stuff with the people you love. Go do fun stuff with the people that you are getting to know. Food and coffee are great ways to connect, but also, go have fun with people.
Regarding motherhood, she wrote: “It can be a very isolating time, but after 6 months of basically going crazy with a newborn, I decided to make a pro active effort to get a social life of mums in the community. So I’ve been going to local baby centres and library baby groups and met a ton of other mums in the community. Which has been amazing!!”
I love what she says here. She decided to get ProActive in her loneliness. She put herself out there and actively sought to make new relationships. DO YOU KNOW how many people I’ve chatted with recently who tell me, “I want more deep relationships.” “I wish more people would call me.” “I want to hang out more with people.” I hear you, friends, I really do. But if so many people are saying these things to me, and many of these people know each other, you know what would change things…. IF ONE PERSON took initiative. If every person who is telling me this was pro active in, say, six other peoples lives, can you imagine how much would change?
Here are quotes from some other lovely souls:
“I think the main thing for me is being real and genuine with someone. Not putting up a front like you have it all together but sharing your weakness and strengths that ultimately bring glory to Christ cause at the end of the day I want to be a reflection of Christ to anyone I interact with.” People want to know people who are REAL. Letting your weaknesses be visible. Also, being ok with your strengths. BOTH. Choosing to be Jesus to those around you.
“The best thing I could think of is being brutally honest. Like how it says in the Bible to share your sins with another. Sometimes that is such a vulnerable place to be in when you’re confessing something brutally close to your heart but it opens deep connection.” Yes.
Sharing what is close to your heart, even painfully close to your heart with trusted friends… Allowing people to really know you. It is truly amazing to have friends who know you at your worst and still think the best of you. Being able to be honest and go deep, to be real. I think this also counts for letting trusted people venture with you through hardships (loss, mental health issues, sicknesses). It can feel way too vulnerable to let people walk through these things with you, but in these places we need each other the most. This builds beautiful friendships. Being a friend who is willing to walk with people as they face hardship, makes you so precious and valuable as a friend. People who will walk with their friends through the fire, through the flood, these are the people we need in our lives, these are the people we need to be.
Let’s look for people who are like this,
Let’s encourage these kind of people,
Let’s be people who are like this.
See you next week for round two of “What Good friends know about being Good Friends.”
It is going to inspire you.
Want to read about how being rejected freed me to have better friendships?
Here it is: the breaking rock.