What is a good friend?

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It seems that we all grew up with the idea that our best friends are the ones who are always present, always by our side. Maybe this is something ingrained in us since our time in school. After all, we saw our classmates every day. Some of us reach our early twenties, after college, and ask, Where have all our friends gone? Were we abandoned? Is someone not saying “good morning” everyday really a sign of a lack of affection? Does not seeing our classmates at least once a week mean the end of friendship? Also, these friends you always see on Friday for a beer, are they your real friends? If friendship could be calculated it certainly wouldn’t be a simple formula, but an equation full of variables. So in line with celebrating International Day of Friendship, I have composed a list of things for you to think about in regard to your friends.

Friends are present in good times and bad times
It is common to hear about fairweather friends. You should be careful about a friend who is only around when everything is good, but it is also important to remember the opposite isn’t desirable either. You should be careful if a friend is only present when everything is bad. There are toxic and envious people who will disappear during times of celebration. Therefore, your real friends will celebrate with you and help you through difficult times

… but that doesn’t mean all the time
Do not confuse constant presence with friendship. Someone sending good morning GIFs with a rose or kittens on a daily basis is an empty gesture when there is no substance to the friendship. Also, we all have work, studies, children, husband / wife, projects… Not being present at every single moment does not mean lack of friendship or neglect. You will recognize a true friend when, even when they are distant, they appear to support and help you when you need them.

Friends accept “no” as an answer
Your friends respect their own boundaries and they should respect yours. If someone is expecting you to accept everything they request and if you tell them “no” they stop speaking to you, this is not a healthy friendship, it is a toxic and abusive friendship. Also, you should look at yourself. Can you say “no” and receive “no” as an answer?

..and they keep their word
Remember a person is only as good as their word. Pay attention to promises (and any other types of agreements ) that are made. People who say one thing and do another are not friends. If you cannot trust someone’s word, you cannot trust this person as a whole. Lies and breaking promises in addition to being disrespectful to you are a big indication of a false or failing friendship. Beware of friends that promise a lot, and don’t follow through. It is better to have a friendship where few promises are made but kept, than
to have a friendship where promises are repeatedly broken.

Friends won’t always agree with you
Friends will call you out when you deserve it and sincerity is a priority. Someone who agrees with you no matter what you say or do is most likely just enabling behaviors that you shouldn’t have. Sometimes friends say things you don’t want to hear, but it’s for your own good. They want you to improve as a person, and that is what caring about someone means.

To schedule an online consultation:
paulamonteirocounseling@gmail.com
whatsapp: +55 (21) 99742-7750

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