When I was 14 we lived in Dayton, Ohio. Harrison Township to be specific. After passing the eight grade my parents gave me two options for high school: DECA or CJ. Which one did I want to go to ? Neither. I wanted to go to Meadowdale with my friends and my brother but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. So since CJ, Chaminade Julienne, was a catholic school it was easy for me to settle on DECA or the Dayton Early College Academy.
DECA was was located on the third floor of a University of Dayton building and was considered an experimental school. There were 121 students total and no grades such as freshman, sophomore etc. You were expected to pass 6 gateways instead anywhere between 1 and 5 years. Academically, I loved it. By the end of my first year there I had already completed 3 gateways and was on track to graduate in just two years…
When my parents moved us to Huber Heights. The two cities are only maybe 20 minutes a part but they can feel like a world away. Huber Heights in 2005 was still “one of the nicer parts of Dayton” whatever the fuck that really means and was predominantly white. I remember my first day there I could hardly even tell the students apart. I went from a school of 117 (4 students left that year) to a school of 2500 like, man what ?!
Fast forward now to my 16th birthday. Sophomore year as a student at Wayne High School. I landed my first job at Burger King and had finally made a few new friends. That’s where I met Miriam. I had (still have) trash eyesight (wild because I ate hella carrots) and we hadn’t initially spoken I found out later because she misunderstood my squints of desperation for mean mugs.
One day I was…borrowing… a butterfinger pie and Miriam was in my normal hiding spot, where I eat real quick on the clock. Instead of putting the much coveted pie back, I offered her a bite and we’ve been best friends ever since.
As adults I see over and over again people complaining or otherwise stating how they don’t have any friends. I also see the question “how do I make friends ??”, or some variation of it on a regular basis. So today, with the help of Wonderopolis we’re just going to break down what makes a good friend. Why ? Because the better friend you are, the better friend you will attract and keep.
Let’s start with us each (me and you, the humans reading this) taking a mental note of how many friends we have. No need to think super, extra deep. Just yank a loose number out of your noggin. Maybe you have more friends than you realize. Maybe less. Maybe you’re starting to wonder if you should separate ‘friends’ from ‘best friends’ or ‘associates’. Honestly, endless questions can come of this.
Now from your initial friends list. Think about how many of them you would consider ‘good’ friends. Now the word ‘good’ is extremely subjective so just go ahead and use your discernment. With this some questions may arise such as, “are good good friends and best friends the same?”, or “does this include close friends?” Just think about quality friends. Not people you sort of just hit up when you’re bored.
Now start thinking about the qualities these people possess and how much you like being around them. You will probably notice things like how present said people are in your life. People you consider good friends are there when you really crave substance. Good friends console you while you grieve, they offer to provide for you while you’re incredibly ill and they’re next to you celebrating when amazing things happen in your life.
Good friends are usually excellent listeners and they take time to notice details about you and your life. Good friends are considerate of your time and your feelings. Good friends usually aren’t ‘yes men’ because they truly want the best for you. Good friends are LOYAL. Being loyal means they accept you for exactly who you are. The good, the bad and the ugly all in one and they don’t treat you drastically different during each phase.
When a good friend tells you what you need to hear, whether you want to or not, they do so with love and tact. You will be able to tell that their goal is to reach your heart and not to attack your spirit with their words. These are all things that will help you feel comfortable trusting them. You can trust them with your life, your secrets, your belongings. Anything. Without trust. You have nothing. Mutual trust is literally the only safe and stable foundation available for long-lasting, healthy friendships.
How many of these qualities do you possess ? Which ones are more important to you ? Let’s talk about it !