This is a really great creative thinking exercise.
Friendship Related Teacher Resources
The Qualities Of A Good Friend
The friendships you have enrich and add value to your lives in ways you can't possibly fathom. Good friends not only support you in difficult times, but they also nurture you, comfort you, prevent isolation, help you relieve stress, laugh, and even cry with you when you need it. Friends like these are rare to find, but they exist! Now, where do you find them? The question may sound silly at first but keeping an eye out for the traits and qualities of a good friend and consciously assessing your current friendships along the same parameters is what will find you, people you can call friends like family! According to research conducted by Nicholas Christakis at Yale, you are more likely to form ties with people who have about one percent of the same gene variant as you. Hence, on both a superficial and a deep genetic level, your friends are like your own self. His research also suggests that the number one promoter of happiness in life comes from our relationships. So choose your friends wisely. Here are some good qualities you should look out for in a friend, and if you have people who possess most or all of these traits, trust that they are genuine, hold on to them and cherish them forever!
The Trait of being Honest
The first and the foremost quality a good friend possesses is being honest. Can you call someone your friend if they blatantly lie to you? Trust is the key to any successful relationship. It is the foundation of a long-term relationship. Your friend should be someone who doesn't shy away from telling you the truth, even if it means compromising their ego at times. Would you rather have someone as a friend who lies to keep you happy or someone who gives you constructive criticism only so you can improve and do better? Choose wisely and understand how an honest friend can help you grow as an individual. According to research conducted by Sally Thean at the Wellesley College on Authenticity in Relationships, the extent to which one feels comfortable being open and authentic in a relationship defines the quality of their relationship. The more authentic people are, the higher the quality of the relationship will be, which resultantly mitigates feelings of depression and leads people to become happier and healthier individuals.
The Trait of being Empathetic and Caring
A good friend may not always agree with you but will most definitely try to understand your perspective and show empathy. They will never leave you alone in your time of need. You can rely on them entirely. Their actions will speak louder than words regarding how much they care for you. A caring friend will prove to be a good listener when you need them to lend an ear, give you a shoulder to cry on when you are upset, stop you when you are about to make a mistake instead of simply telling you what you need to hear and will value your friendship above all. Once you have found someone who cares for you deeply, make it a point to extend the same level of care towards them as well!
The Trait of being Accepting
A good friend will recognize what makes you unique and cherish your differences rather than criticize them. They will never try to change who you are as a person but will love and respect you with all your flaws. They will consciously try to make you a better person without ever hurting your feelings. Friendships tend to become a burden when you constantly feel like you are being judged or held to impossible standards and expectations. So, choose your friends based on mutual acceptance for one another. Being accepting means defining healthy boundaries for one another that gives you the freedom to be yourself and gives you a sense of when to let go of certain aspects of your personality. Be accepting and help each other grow!
The Trait of being Forgiving
A lot of friendships end simply because of a person's inability to forgive. Forgiveness is a quality you must always look for in a friend. Human beings make mistakes; they should be given a chance to ponder what they have done. A good friend will always try to understand the reasons for the way you acted, and if they are unable to do so, they will confront you and try to talk some sense into you but never abandon you. Not to say that they will let go of absolutely everything and everything you do, but they will most definitely give you some margin for error. Remember that a single act can never wholly destroy a friendship, and in the event it does, ask yourself if you were even friends, to begin with. So if you're lucky enough to find a friend who is always willing to forgive and forget your mistakes, never take them for granted. Remember, forgiveness is the key to a long-lasting friendship because, as human beings, we are bound to make our share of mistakes.
The Trait of being Generous
A good friend will always possess the unique quality of being generous. Now it is quite natural to associate the term generosity with money, but what it means in friendship is how much time and affection your friend is willing to invest in the relationship and the extent to which they would be willing to go above and beyond your expectations.
Generosity extended to you by a friend is bound to create reciprocity. When someone invests so much in you, you want to reciprocate. Substantial research suggests that the key to a healthy and mutually-productive relationship is generosity.
If you're struggling with relationships, try to look for someone who has these qualities, and you will find the peace of mind you've been longing for. Ask yourself if your friends possess these qualities and try to reassess your friendships, and recognize the genuine people around you that you can refer to as a family. Cheers!