I insisted on Cadbury’s mint chocolate.
Mid-sleepover we debated what King Size bar to buy with our measly pooling of cents. I loved all things chocolate, but if I could only have one bar, then it had to be mint.
(When God was giving out friend badges, he ran out when he got to me).
They acquiesced, avoiding a full-scale meltdown which tends to happen when you famine for 40 hours then gorge on chocolate as a reward for starving yourself – a slippery slope to an eating disorder in your teens.
Fortunately, my homies were chill, so it wasn’t a deal-breaker. They never had to squirrel away contraband Scorched Almonds and other choc temptations from the fridge one by one, leaving their packets considerably lighter but mysteriously unopened.
Friendship supposedly comes naturally to kids, but in reality, you earn a Bachelor’s in Navigating Cruelty from the Nursery of Hard Knocks.
The name-calling, brawling, biting, hitting, bullying, manipulating, ganging up, falling out, backstabbing, lying, cheating, stealing – all considered heinous crimes against friendship in adulthood.
You learn what works, what doesn’t work, what never to do again in your own reality of Lord of the Flies, to one day graduate with bruises instead of badges, knowing what it takes to be a good friend.
But not always.
To have good friends, you need to be a good friend, which takes work.
Reciprocation is a good starting point, but for friendships to truly flourish and last, there are five core qualities that you need to embody to be a good friend…
💖 Good friends have empathy – they withhold judgment and accept that everyone is different in how they live their lives and their choices – and they love you for it anyway.
💖 Good friends are honest – and have integrity. They’re real, and there are no surprises. What you see is what you get. They’ll even tell you when you have spinach in your teeth.
💖 Good friends are thoughtful – and kind. They truly listen, show an interest in who you are, and genuinely care enough to be there when the going gets rough.
💖 Good friends are trustworthy – dependable and loyal. They speak out when you’re not able, don’t share your secrets, and they do and mean what they say.
💖 Good friends make you feel good – they’re fun to be around, positive, build you up, and cheer you on. They believe in giving before taking (unless it’s chocolate) and are boundless in their generosity.
Friends like these are priceless. They leave you with a big smile on your face and warm cockles in your heart.
To have quality friends, you need to be a quality friend. Like attracts like.
So ask yourself honestly, what are you bringing to friendship? How many of these core qualities do you offer? Where can you improve your desirability as a friend?
Cultivate and reciprocate these five core qualities so that you can attract and build meaningful and lasting friendships in your life.
p.s. Want to find friends for more fun, laughter and happiness in your life? Download the Quick Start Guide to finding fabulous friends in your 50s for meaningful connections that will bring you joy. It’s FREE!