Everyone deserves to be in a healthy, loving friendship and with the right person by your side. A healthy friendship is completely attainable and here are a few traits of healthy friendships or relationships:
* trustworthy. Are you “using” someone as a friend until a better option comes along? A true friend would never do that. True friendship finds fulfillment in encouraging, supporting and building up the other person. If you’re in a friendship only for what you can get out of it, you’re in it for the wrong reason. A real friend is always faithful and looking to protect by seeking what’s best for the other person.
* loving. Part of genuine friendship is telling your friends what they mean to you. Be creative in looking for ways to express your feelings: hugs, notes, pats on the back, getting them coffee even when it’s not expected. Depending on your age, personality and interests, you’ll find ways of expressing affection that are genuine. No one ever gets tired of hearing that they are loved, valued and appreciated. The important part is being consistent and making sure your thoughts are communicated and received.
* open. Be honest with your friends. As you learn more about them and become more comfortable in your relationships, you will naturally share more about yourself. Go slowly at first. Friendship is a process. Do not share the most intimate details of your life until your friends have proven that they will love you and value what you share.
* respectful. Respect means listening without interrupting. It means you don’t focus on your friends’ weaknesses but look at their strengths. It means avoiding a judgmental (condemning) and critical (condescending) spirit. Instead, make sure the words that come out of your mouth are kind, uplifting and considerate. Your friends should walk away from you feeling they’ve been treated as the most important people in the world.
* a servant. Selfishness is one of the biggest enemies of true friendship. Rather than asking what your friend can do for you, find out what you can do for them. Make a deliberate effort to discover what your friend needs. It could be a kind word, a helping hand, encouragement, comfort, and many more. One of the side benefits of serving your friends in this manner is that they will likely respond more by returning the favor.
* a speaker of truth. There may be a time when you need to lovingly confront a friend on their wrongdoing. Pointing out weaknesses can be difficult, but it’s a true act of love all the same. The Bible says that if you “rebuke a wise man, … he will love you” (Proverbs 9:8). As long as you’re speaking the truth in love (and trying not to be hurtful), these tricky times can prove to be building blocks in your relationship. If you ignore every wrongdoing and bottle up all the hurt inside, you will grow increasingly angry and probably wind up lashing out under pressure — something that almost always proves damaging to friendship. When you’re offended it’s vital that you speak to your friend as soon as possible before it turns to bitterness.
* a positive person. No one wants to be around a person who’s negative all the time — the person who sees the glass as half empty instead of half full. Look for the best in people and in situations. Then express those optimistic thoughts. When you hear someone else’s grumbling and complaining, try to turn those thoughts into positive ones.
* Reach out to those who are lonely. When you see someone at school, work, or at church sitting alone, go over and sit with them. Talk to them and get to know a little bit about them. And don’t let popularity determine whom you reach out to. You’ll often be surprised at the beautiful qualities hiding behind a shy or awkward appearance. When you break the ice by demonstrating that you love and care, you receive love and care in return.
I am very grateful for the friendships I have established in my life over the years. I hope these points will help you in achieving a healthy friendship with your friends or partners in Christ. Be blessed and stay inspired