Some believe that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
This goes for friendships, too. Here are some of the qualities that I am grateful for in my friends. While different people have different qualities, just thinking about them makes me smile. Take a look and see which ones you can match to the people in your lives.1. Focus on the good: You don’t have to impress real friends. That’s a lot of hard work. Real friends see past the surface, and appreciate the good qualities in you.
2. Being real: With your real friends, you can laugh or cry, be either silly or serious, and still feel the warmth of true connection.
3. Kindness counts: Fair-weather friends are fun when times are good. You recognize real friends who show an underlying kindness, especially when times are tough.
4. Mistakes are part of life: Real friends don’t condemn you for making mistakes; we’re all human, and mistakes, too, are part of life. We learn as we grow.
5. Balance of power: Real friendships are not about one person being the star and the other being the servant. It’s about being able to take turns: understanding and being understood, giving and getting support, and caring enough to listen for words unspoken.
6. F is for forgiveness: When conflicts come up, real friends have the courage to reach out directly rather than gossiping and letting irritations grow. Real friends understand, and because they understand they are capable of forgiving.
7. Loyalty, care and connection: In a real friendship, loyalty is key and connection is the currency. You know they have your back. Real friends look beyond the sparkle of personality to the essence of what makes each other tick.
8. Let each other grow: Life is dynamic and people change. Real friends give each other the space to grow, the time to recalibrate, and the open door to sharing insights that only come from experience.
9. Water the plant: Like plants, friendships need to be watered, too. Real friends check in with one another. Whether that is every day or on birthdays every year, it is always special.
10. Celebrate the good stuff: Real friends celebrate your victories. They want the best for you and have the caring and confidence to be genuinely happy for your successes. Your joy is their joy, too.
What other qualities are on your list? What is most important for real friendship to blossom?
About Randy Taran
Chief Happiness Officer at Project Happiness
Randy Taran is the Founder of Project Happiness. To explore the question, “What brings lasting happiness?”, Randy produced a documentary film where students from three continents worked together on this quest, interviewing George Lucas, Richard Gere, neuroscientist Richard Davidson, and ultimately, The Dalai Lama.
An experiential-learning curriculum grew from the film, integrating current research in positive psychology, neuroscience and mindfulness. These programs are being used in classrooms and youth programs in 50 states and over 90 countries.
Randy speaks regularly on various happiness, well-being and youth-related issues, and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. She is a Yoga Alliance certified teacher and holds an MBA in International Business and Marketing from New York University. Randy serves on the Board of the Dalai Lama Foundation and lives with her family and two happy dogs near Palo Alto, California.