“You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” the iconic theme song of the Toy Story franchise, demonstrates the meaning of true friendship: having someone who cares enough to stick to your side even when “you’ve got troubles.”
In honor of International Friendship Day on July 26, we would like to dedicate this blog post to the characteristics of a good friend. Here are four ways you can let others know that they have a friend in you!
According to a 2013 survey, 81 percent of Americans chose loyalty as the number one quality they look for in close friends. Loyalty is an unselfish commitment to another, and it is a byproduct of loving or caring for someone. There are many ways to show your loyalty. Here are a few:
- Be trustworthy.
- Don’t make your friendships conditional (i.e., the “I’ll do this for you if you do this for me” mentality).
- Tell the truth.
- Show support during the good and the bad.
Find Joy in Their Accomplishments
A true friend isn’t jealous of another’s successes. They clap when a friend wins and smile when a friend receives good fortune.
If you find yourself envious of a friend’s happiness, take Dr. Kerry Schofield’s advice and view your friend’s achievement as inspirational rather than as proof of your own lack of success. “We can be proactive and evaluate how and why our friend was able to be successful, and see if there are ways we can apply this knowledge to improve our own lives.”
In a 2016 LinkedIn study, communication was topped as one of the most sought-after soft skills among employers, and there is a reason why. Good communication allows one to effectively understand and be understood by others. It is necessary in the workforce AND in relationships.
Being able to communicate something is much less important than knowing how to effectively communicate it, especially when the topic is awkward or uncomfortable. Here are a few tips when communicating with a friend:
- Really listen.
- Check your body tone and language.
- If you need to criticize, be constructive, and choose the right time and place to do so.
- Take responsibility for your actions.
- Apologize openly.
Reach Out frequently
Is there a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while? Send them a text, call them on the phone, or invite them to a social distancing picnic at McCarthy Park. Sometimes, the simplest things are the best ways to show that you care!
Celebrate International Friendship Day by being a good friend to others. Demonstrate loyalty, be happy, communicate well, and check in with others, and your friendships will grow stronger every day!