In the last 10 years, social media has given friendships a shallow foundation and an acquaintance may hold the same merit as a best friend. Although making friends is easier nowadays, maintaining a friendship is a bit trickier. As millennials’ we are much more selfish, we’re taught to exalt narcissistic, self-sufficient behavior and that we should only be the recipients of others kind behavior.

However, in hindsight, after some old friendships may have fallen apart, were you always a good friend?

1. Do you accept your friends as they are?

We all want to be understood, society is already so hard on us, sometimes we want to confide in someone that doesn’t make us feel like we ever have to explain ourselves. Although we all have our opinions, and rightly so, sometimes they’re best kept to yourself when it comes to your friends. Perhaps they didn’t make a choice  with their life that you agree with but does that mean they should be thrown away? You should definitely surround yourself with positive, respectful and  like-minded people but ultimately we’re all flawed.

2. Do you listen?

As millennials we are very “me me me!”; with tweeting, selfies or the ability to pick and choose what we witness on our time lines.We are losing the ability to listen. Listening doesn’t mean to painstakingly sit and let them be the “me me me” one but simply making the time to hear them out can go a long way.

3. Are you there?

Just like a spouse; you spend most of your quality time with your friends. They’re the one’s you have your first sleepover with, the one’s you go shopping or clubbing with, the one’s you go on holiday with etc. In order for a friendship to stay afloat, like a relationship,you have to spend time together; creating memories and seeking new adventures. It’s harder if you live in another city, but if they’re your friend, you can always make the time.

4. Are you supportive?

Whenever a friend makes a decision in life sometimes they need others to co-sign them so they can feel more secure. When we decide to call someone a friend we make the decision to set ourselves apart from a stranger and we’re become a safe-place for that person. All a person needs sometimes is your encouragement, kind words and positive energy and you will see them grow into someone who can, in turn, help YOU grow.

5. Are you honest?

Sometimes we lose sight of things, we stop being self aware and we need a friend to steer us in the right direction. If your friend is hurting someone, or even you, you need to be honest. Especially if you decide to remain in the friendship. Resentment will build and a small situation can potentially ruin something special.

It helps when we give ourselves reality checks every now and again to make sure we’re making healthy contributions towards each other; because we’re facing this thing called ‘life’ at the same time.

None of us are perfect and we find that we fall short when it comes to some things but overall our efforts are what matter the most.

For more tips on how to be a good friend here

Written By Siane Mullings

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