Have you ever asked yourself: am I a good friend? If you have, you are already a better friend than those who only hold the bar for others.
Score yourself on the “Good Friend” checklist below and find your results at the bottom of this post:
1. You make an effort.
You make an effort to initiate communication, set up time to hangout or talk, travel to them, or you at least send a text/chat. You continually remind yourself to “water your friendship flowers”.
2. You are trustworthy.
You speak the truth. What you say to your friends can be relied upon as accurate and not exaggerated. You can be trusted with secrets and private information.
3. You assess yourself as a friend more than you assess how good your friends are.
You think more often “am I calling my friends enough” versus “my friend isn’t calling me enough”. You think “I need to say I’m sorry for messing up” more often than you think “they should really apologize for what they did”. You generally think of how to be better as opposed to criticizing what others are doing.
4. You make and meet commitments.
If you commit to an event, to meet, to talk, to do something for a person, barring reasonable unforeseen circumstances, you follow through on that commitment. You have a clear understanding with your friends on what condones a more casual, less concrete commitments, and you don’t just assume how they will think or feel about breaking your commitment.
5. You are supportive.
When your friend needs to vent, you listen. You don’t criticize or harp on the negative when a friend is vulnerable, down, and not themselves. If you disagree with a friend’s choices, you express concern when warranted, but you support their right to make their own choices, even if you think that choice is a mistake.
6. You are loyal.
You stay your friend’s advocate no matter what. You don’t say things about your friends to others that they haven’t already heard from you in some way. In a public forum, you have your friend’s back, and discuss any disagreements later and in private.
7. You provide your perspective when asked.
If you are asked for your opinion on something, you take the time, consideration, and thought to give a thorough, honest answer on what you were asked. You are honest, even if you feel it’s difficult to say, or for your friend to hear.
8. You apologize.
Nobody is a perfect friend all the time. You have messed up, and you have fessed up as quickly and as thoroughly as you can once you come to your senses.
9. You communicate your feelings.
If your friend has done something to hurt your feelings, you communicate it in private and with the benefit of the doubt that it was not their intention to hurt you.
10. You listen.
You don’t think about what you are going to say as your friend is talking. You listen and absorb what they say to you.
11. You respect your friends’ time.
You have an understanding of what each friend thinks this means, as it is different depending on the type of person. If timeliness matters, then you text or call if you are going to be late. You are not known for dishonest about how far away you are, or what you are currently doing. You don’t make your friends wait excessively without cause.
12. You respect your friends’ property.
If you visit their home, if you share a vacation home or hotel room, if you borrow a piece of clothing, you show respect. You clean up after yourself, and you return things in the way that they were provided to you.
13. You care about your friends’ state of mind and well-being.
If you sense your friend is going through a difficult time, you either reach out or give them space, based on your understanding of that friend. Some friends like help, some friends like to figure it out themselves. Either way, you make an effort to understand what makes your friend feel better and you make the effort to do so. You also show care and concern for their physical and mental health and well-being.
14. You forgive.
Your friends are not perfect. If they mess up, and they apologize, then you forgive them. In times of high stress, major life changes, and hardship – if you realize your friends are not themselves, you let mistakes go without an apology.
15. You are not petty.
If a friend made a minor mistake, likely without intention or thought to it being rude, inconsiderate, or unwelcome, you don’t discuss it if it is in isolation. You recognize occasional mindlessness is a human characteristic and minor things need to be let go and you don’t harbor them.
16. You do not act entitled.
You do not expect your friends to do you any favors. You do not expect your friends to give you a ride, to help you move, to take you to the airport, spot you money, to wait with you at the doctor’s office, help you clean up after yourself, or to generally make overt personal sacrifices for you.
17. You express gratitude.
However, if your friends do any of those things, you thank them and tell them how much you appreciate their friendship. You express your gratitude in both words and actions by returning the favor.
18. You show interest in your friends.
You ask your friends questions about their life, their childhood, their hopes and fears. You do not just expect your friends to divulge that information and be vulnerable to you without consideration for their boundaries, but you show interest in who they are whether they let you in or not.
19. “The love you take is equal to the love you make”
You have an awareness of when your friends give to you, bring positivity to your life, make sacrifices for you, and take interest in you, and you make an effort to return that wealth to them.
20. You don’t portray yourself as a good friend when you don’t consider that person a good friend.
You don’t give your friendship out to just anybody, you give friendship to people you consider friends. If you find that a particular person, time and time again, is not able to be a good friend to you and never makes amends for it or tries to be better, you do not continue to provide and falsely portray yourself as a friend to that person. You are civil, but you reserve your friendship benefits for those who’ve earned it.
18 – 20: You are an amazing friend. You likely inspire others to be good friends, and over time you’ve learned how to pick them too. Whether your friend circle is large or small, you will have friends who love and support you until you’re old and grey.
16 – 17: You are a great friend, but you can be a little mindless or inconsiderate sometimes. You want to be a good friend all the time, but you have some personal growth to do that sometimes takes away from being an ideal friend.
14 – 15: You’re a good friend, but perhaps you are a bit too judgmental or self centered at times. Most of your friends still consider you great to have around, but sometimes you can be a burden. You likely focus more on how they are performing as a friend then how you are.
13 or lower: People either keep you around because you are a fun person, or because you have something they want (money? drugs? status?). Your friends circle is likely superficial or just horrible. If you find yourself complaining about them, perhaps it’s best to take a look in the mirror first.