Ways to Be a True Friend

“Don’t wait for people to be friendly. Show them how. ”~ Unknown

One night I called my old friend with whom I had spoken for a while. While we were catching up, sharing stories, and laughing at secret jokes that might sound silly when the phone rang, I wondered why I was letting so much time go by because I had last called him.

We don’t live close to each other, so taking a drink or hitting a yoga class is not an option. But really communicating with him, sharing the pieces of my life and accepting the pieces he wants to give, does not require a certain geography.

We can become close friends with each other, no matter how far away, if we choose to put forth effort. If we remember to be punctual, we can have such wholesome, satisfying conversations that make us feel recognized, understood, appreciated, and supported.

Then I started to think about all the times I had been busy and lost contact with friends who lived right on the street – times when I was caught up in everything that happened in my life and forgot to grow my relationships.

We need meaningful communication with other people.

Not everyone should be a close friend, but it is associated with our happiness that we show people who we really are, let ourselves know them, and remind each other of actions — small or large — that we care about them.

We do not have to be alone or feel alone in this world, but it is up to us to create and allow opportunities to be together, enjoy each other, and consult one another. It is up to us to make our relationship better.

With this in mind, I recently asked on Facebook, “What does it mean to be a true friend?”

I have included some ideas that have touched me deeply (some of which have been described in detail or slightly modified to make it easier to read).

Here is what some young Buddhist scholars say:

  1. Stay calm, even in peace.
  2. Be kind and listen. Be fun and simple. Be serious, loving, and forgiving.
  3. Don’t be afraid to tell the truth, no matter how difficult it may be.
  4. Communicate to each other in times of need with your honest opinions.
  5. A true friend is one who is always listening and genuinely interested in right and wrong, and someone who calls or just writes a greeting.
  6. Be honest and ethical, stay open and invite you to share your concerns, and be honest even if you don’t agree with it.
  7. A true friend will do his best to please you when you are upset and make you feel special.
  8. Try and improve their health despite your friendship.
  9. Be what you really are, be at risk, give someone else space, security and the choice to do the same.
  10. Be truly happy when they find, discover, or accomplish something that they truly desire. (Heather Tucker)
  11. Share the truth in your heart, without fear of disagreement.
  12. Be honest and forgiving but above all: love and respect.
  13. Accept the person as he or she is, as an individual, unconditionally. And, since it is important that you are there to help them, sometimes you have to be willing to make them available for you.
  14. Stay with friends despite a person’s choices in life and do not bail them out if they are not what you want them to be.
  15. A true friend always supports the person but does not feel compelled to support the situation. A true friend knows how and how to say company, “No.”
  16. Help yourself and your loved ones grow. Life means growing up, and a true friend is someone who can honestly say that he helped you to describe himself as a person.
  17. Celebrate the win and be there to support the loss. Keep your word and admit it if you don’t.
  18. Go to a friend’s help when others are out.
  19. Do not hold a grudge against a minor disagreement.
  20. Veza! You can pretend to be tired but you can’t pretend to appear.

And I will add the last one: share with honesty every opportunity you get.

I don’t know you all, but I know very few. To all the wonderful, inspiring people who come here and share their pieces, thank you for being you and for taking me, as I am.