A good friend is one you readily and easily connect with. It was almost as if you knew each other from the start. The relationship has a sense of ease and comfort that results from this sense of familiarity.
As you get to know each other you discover that you have shared values and interests in common. Perhaps, you like to do the same things, read the same kinds of books, watch the same kinds of movies. You might get up at the same time, like to eat the same kinds of foods, have similar beliefs about life, child raising, or interest in the same causes.
Good friends have heart for what you’re experiencing. They understand your pain with compassion and support AND they rejoice in your successes. They are your cheerleaders for everyday challenges and achievements.
A good friend listens with interest and responds supportively to your thoughts, feelings and ideas. Good listening includes reflecting back, as well as suggesting positive ideas. Good listeners are tuned into when in the conversation you need to talk, and when you need to hear back from them.
When your friend hears what you’ve shared, even if — and especially if — it’s something you have uncomfortable feelings about, she responds with acceptance and understanding and avoids judging you. She waits to give suggestions until you’re ready to hear them. She knows she doesn’t have to fix it.
One of the reasons you feel close to your friend is that you know who this person is. You are open and upfront with each other about all that is important to both of you. While you may not be identical twins, you accept each other and value each other including your flaws.
This is a person you can rely on. Their behavior is predictable, so you know what to expect. They do what they promise. You can count on them.
Sharing humor is so important in friendship. When you can laugh about life, you reduce stress and improve your ability to navigate even painful moments so you can start to see the humor in them.
We also tend to laugh about things that cause us tension or discomfort, so when you laugh with a friend, it suggests that you share similar pain points in your lives, that you understand each other.