What Does Being a Good Friend Mean to You. The Friendship Essay Example

When we were babies, we had no concept of self or what friendship is. We are only aware of what we need in order to survive. For example a baby cries when they are hungry, tired, or when they are scared or alone. We do not yet know what friendship means beyond the warmth of a father’s or mother’s arms and an endless supply of milk. Our form of friendship is based upon what can be provided for us only. However as we get older, we enjoy and oftentimes need the attention of our peers, which turns out to be a necessity for our mental expansion and social understanding. Granted we do not come equipped with all the tools to be the best friends at first, but through a vast time- line that carries us through lives twist and turns we learn a myriad of information; that teaches us about ourselves and others. As well as how we should conduct ourselves to be the friends that we want to have present in our own lives. It is for this reason friendship looks different as we mature.

Communication and Compassion is Key

Meet Chad Ladies and gentlemen. Chad is a 38-year-old Musician, he performs and several hot spots around town. Chad has a great personality, very outgoing, large and in charge kind of persona. I met Chad at church, he’s the choir director, and very good at that. Thankfully, when I asked him if could pick his brain for this assignment he agreed. Which brings us to where we are now. I asked Chad to tell me what main qualities every person should possess in order to be considered a good friend. Chad responded and said,” being emotional supportive, good at communicating, Compassion and Open minded. These were his only suggestions of the character traits anyone needs to be considered a good friend. When I asked him to explain each from his point of view.

He told me, being emotional supportive is the acknowledgment of someone’s feelings like when someone is crying or hurt, a friend should be able to provide comfort for this person. Second on his list is communication. Communication is described by him as being truthful about your feelings and being honest enough to hold each other accountable for shortcomings or wrongs they may have committed. Third on his list of good friend character traits is compassion. He say’s compassion is being able to have empathy, understanding and the willingness to help when needed. Lastly, Chad’s final and most important one was open mindedness. 

Chad describes open mindedness as “meeting people where they are'' he said. “You must be able to accept people without bias and no matter their cultural or ethnic difference. 

Based on the ideals of friendship that Chad has of friendship, I would say that Chad values a friendship that provides stability, and consistency. Let us not forget for him, Communication and compassion are key factors to his concepts of good friendship. 

Good Vibrations

The Second Interview was short and sweet. This interview was with Lauren, a 17-year-old who works at Little Cesar’s Pizza looking to go to college next fall. Lauren is a great friend of my son. We’ve known her and her family now for almost 4yrs. So I asked Lauren the same question as Chad. Her answers were all sweet, simple, short and to the point. The first of three was a good listener, someone who is supportive and someone who has good vibes. Lauren describes a good listener as someone you can talk to. Supportive is simply being understanding and stable. Finally, what I would say is the coolest is someone who vibes well with you, meaning you have similar interests. Interestingly, Lauren fits right into the niche of most teenagers on social interactions amongst friends. Lauren seems to be pretty busy planning her Early adult life; she just wants someone who kind of mirrors her own ideals to some extent. 

Alive and well is Enough

One of the most talented and ambitious people I know is Patrick. Patrick is a 53yr old man who looks closer to late 30’s to early 40’s. He’s a Veteran and a music producer who does what he loves to pay his bills. Interestingly enough I asked these questions and there was not a long drawn out dialog. Just straight to the point quick answers. So I asked him, “give me three to four qualities you should have to be considered a good friend. To my surprise, he said,'' living and waking up in the morning…. If you can do that you can be a good friend to me. I laughed briefly and asked him to explain. Pat said he considers someone just happy to live and not afraid to live life an admirable quality in friendship.

There were a couple others too; Someone that will encourage you to do better and get the job done of pursuing your goals or dreams. The last of them was love and respect. The only thing I had to say about love and respect was simply someone who checks in on you from to time to make sure you're ok. Patrick is someone who does not have a lot of expectations of others. He seems like it is enough to know that you think of him sometime. He gave me the feeling that his level of optimism in friendship levels may have capped somewhere and he now feels like the bare minimum is good enough. I don’t know I could be wrong, maybe he is just satisfied with what life brings him and doesn’t let people get too close.  

Trustworthiness and Bravery

Finally, the last and most talkative excuse I mean to say the most in-depth interview was with a wonderfully remarkable 8th grader named Kiki Pops, Kiyani. Kiyani is my 13-year-old daughter who aspires to be president someday. So, I asked Kiyani Tell me from your point of view, what personal qualities make a person a good friend. Boy did I open a can of worms, she had what felt like an endless repertoire of suggestions. Thankfully, today I will only use a few of her answers. The very first quality she named was trustworthiness, and trustworthiness covers a few things as she further explained.

First, to be a good friend you must be there when you are needed no matter what. Some who have your back in most situations that do not involve self-sabotage and someone who will not stab you in the back. That Trustworthiness part 1. Part 2 is honest. You have to be able to and willing to say the hard things that maybe your friend doesn’t want to hear, but it will be good for them in the long run. In other words as she put it, “You gotta keep it real.” Oh and let me not forget to mention she does give an exception. Parents do not always have to be completely honest with their kids, because there are some things that children just don’t need to know now. Keep in mind that rule only works for parents though. Part 3 of Trustworthiness is Bravery, she said. A good friend is someone who is willing to stand up for themselves and others. There were at least four more qualities ranging from kindness to endurance.  

In conclusion, it is apparent that our ideals of friendship change as we mature and have different experiences in life. However, it is also clear that there is a clear connection that reaches beyond just age, gender or cultural differences. What the desired traits are that we all want in our friends as well as, how we see ourselves and who we would like to be have very close similarities. A commonality I noticed with almost everyone I spoke to was honest or trustworthy and caring or compassion. We all want to be able to trust someone with our very essences and hold up with care. So far, those are the most common desirable attributes among the group that I interviewed. Would that be nice if you all focused on becoming the love and friends we all want to have? 



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