The best recipe for friendship includes the following ingredients: compassion, ability to listen, honesty, a sense of humor, and caring.
Have you ever asked yourself, "What makes a good friend?" While the answer varies somewhat from person to person, we all seem to have the same basic idea about what a good friend is and what a good friend does.
Every day, we show the people around us who and what we care about. Often, this is done through communication (verbal or written, such as in a text or an email). But sometimes, we show how much we care by the things we do.
If you think about the various parts of the recipe for friendship, you don't see a lot of action words, but they are really there - sort of silent and hidden among the other words. You see, when you listen to someone who is going through a tough time, you may wrap your arm around them, hold their hand or cry with them. Those actions mean a lot and your words don't have to say much.
Big or small, it is the deeds we do that seem to mean the most in a friendship.
For some people, the moments that most deeply define friendship are significant, such as the best friend who helps you through the sorrow of losing a loved one or camps out in your hospital room when you're having tests done. For other people, the moments that seem to mean the most are smaller and less profound, but they still carry meaning, such as the friend who talks for hours when you're feeling alone or the friend who helps you with your homework, even when she hasn't done her own.
Remember this, though - sometimes the most cherished acts of friendship are the ones where you do not expect to get anything in return.
A recipe for friendship includes compassion - the ability to feel the same things your friend is feeling and then share in the emotions with genuine regard for what your friend is going through.
The recipe also includes listening skills. Often, a friend just needs to talk so that he or she can figure things out. They don't need advice, they just need someone to listen to them.
Another part of the friendship recipe is honesty. Being truthful is part of that, but also being authentic is important. Stand firm in your own values and beliefs. Be honest with your friend and be honest about who you are. Two sides of the same coin.
No friendship can survive without a sense of humor. Things will happen which are simply amusing and you have to be able to laugh at them - and sometimes yourself, too - in order to get the most out of your friendship (as well as your life).
The last part of the recipe is caring. It seems like this wouldn't have to be mentioned, but it's important to realize that we all need love. We want to be appreciated. Let your friends know that you care about them. Let them know by the words you use and the actions you take. Your friendship will be stronger if you do.
Having a good friend means being a good friend. Take the time to invest yourself in your relationships. They will be there to sustain you when you need them most.