09 Oct, 2020

Am I a Good Friend

Good friendships are powerful. When you have good friends, you are more likely to be happy and to see life through a positive lens. It is well documented, for example, that laughter, which is a component of good friendships, (but not the only one!) is the “best medicine” as it has tons of benefits for your health, both physical and emotional. To name just a few, it can strengthen your immune system, reduce pain, relieve stress, boost your mood and more!

That being said, a question remains. Why should you be a good friend? It might sound like a silly question, but after all, why not expect others to be good friends to you without you putting in the effort? Well, simply because it doesn’t work that way. If you truly want to build lasting friendships, it takes work. And if you don’t, your friends will most likely grow distant when they realize that you are not present for them. In addition, if you are the kind of “friend” that is being fake and only there to reap the benefits a friendship may offer, expect to be exposed sooner or later. Not only will you risk losing the friendship in question (and the trust of your friend), it may also make it harder for other people to trust you and for you to form genuine friendships in the future.

So, now that you’ve been briefed on the nitty gritty of friendship, are you ready to take the quiz? Let’s go!

QUIZ: Am I a Good Friend?

How it works: answer yes or no to the questions below and calculate the  points you got at the end. Each question is worth a point. You will then be able to read more on what makes good friendships and get suggestions on how to become a better friend.

Do you:

  1. Feel like you know your friend well?
  2. Like spending time with your friend, to do activities that both of you like (whether it is playing video games, sports, singing, visiting museums, etc)?
  3. Accept your friend having other friends and not being jealous? 
  4. Accept your friend the way they are, including their flaws and little quirks?
  5. Respect your friend by not putting them down in front of other people or making them uncomfortable?
  6. Laugh with your friend?
  7. Want your friend to grow and become a better person (for instance, become more patient, more self-confident, etc)?
  8. Consider yourself loyal and stand by your friend in situations when they need your support (for example, if rumors are being spread about them)?
  9. Encourage your friend?
  10. Feel comfortable speaking up if your friend is about to make a bad decision that may harm them or someone else?
  11. Know your friend’s love language? (The concept for “Love Languages” is built on the idea that everybody shows and accepts love differently. There are five main ways to show love (or love languages): Gifts, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.)
  12. Make time for your friend by being available to them when they need you?
  13. Genuinely want your friend to be successful at school and in life in general?
  14. Take the time to listen to your friend, including their ups and downs?
  15. Have healthy boundaries in your friendship? (for example, by not texting late at night if one of you doesn’t like that, or by not pushing each other to do harmful things like smoking or taking drugs?)

Quiz results:

  • You got a score between 10 and 15: Congratulations, it seems that you are a great friend! Continue like this and you will be very successful in the field of friendship. 
  • You got a score between 5 and 10: You are a good friend, but there is definitely room for improvement. Try to evaluate what areas of your friendships are lacking and find ways to improve them. For example, if you recognize that you are not present for your friends, try to make time for them by scheduling some “friends time” in your calendar. If you believe you are not a good enough listener, type “how to improve listening skills” on Google and start applying the good advice you find.
  • You got a score between 0 and 5: Ooch, that’s not so good. Maybe you lack knowledge on how to be a good friend. Or maybe you were not willing to put in the effort before now. But it’s okay, the fact that you clicked on this quiz is a good indicator that you want to improve. And from here you can only get better! The first step you can take is to read what constitutes a good friendship.

So, what is a good friendship?

In a nutshell, good friends are the people who are available for you in good and bad times. But more than just being present, they are also willing to invest in the quality of the relationship: they know your love language(s) and try to use it, they are familiar with your strengths and weaknesses and are ready to gently let you know when they think you are making a bad decision. Most importantly, they believe that honesty is essential.

Did this quiz help you assess your friendship skills? Remember, we all have the ability to cultivate good friendships, and by doing so, we are making our lives better!

Written by Elodie Takamiya.

Resources:

https://purefreedomprogram.org/love-languages/ 

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm