They say that no man is an island. Think about it. How on earth would we survive without a shoulder to lean on, someone to count on, or even just someone to talk to. Our friends are essential to our well being, whatever else might be going on in our lives. We need them in hard times and want them to join us in celebrating the good times. But sometimes, they are the ones that break our hearts or put us in compromising situations. And if you’re not careful, you might unintentionally find yourself letting your friends down too. So here are a few rules you should never break when it comes to your friendships:
1. Embrace each other’s differences.
No two people are alike. That’s what makes you a unique individual. Therefore, you cannot expect others to think and act the same way as you do. Similarly, you cannot impose your beliefs on your friends. Respect the fact that your friends, despite any similarities you may have, are entirely different people. Love them for who they are the same way they loves you for who you are, warts and all.
2. Respect the knowledge your friends trust you with.
As you and your friends get closer and your friendship gets stronger through the years, it is inevitable that you learn personal information about each other. Do not spread or disclose the knowledge you are privy to to other people as it could have negative effects on your friends and your friendship. You wouldn’t want a friend of yours doing this to you, so be a good friend and don’t do this to her or him.
3. Do not back-stab each other.
There will or might come a time that your friendship will be on the rocks. Do not, no matter how much you want to, back-stab your friend. If you are just plain mad at your friend, back-stabbing will ruin all the chances of fixing your friendship. Because while you are
4. Trust each other, and keep that trust sacred.
Trust is the basic building block of every relationship. As the song “Telephone” by Beyonce and Lady Gaga goes, trust is like a mirror. Once broken, even if you try to fix it, you can still see the cracks. An act of betrayal damages a friendship forever; even if you remain friends, things will never be the same.
5. Understand and forgive each other’s mood swings.
Accept the fact that not every day will be a good day. This goes for you as well as for your friend. If your friend is masungit one day, don’t blow up and make a big deal out of it. She might just be going through something. Remember, there are probably days when she lets your moodiness slide. Give her time and space. If it goes on for days or a week, then that’s a different story, and it may call for a little friendly intervention.
6. Tell the truth.
No matter how painful the truth may be, a true and good friend will tell it to your face. Perhaps the nicest friends will find a way to say even ugly truths kindly, but a true friend knows when you need to be babied and when the bandage just needs to be ripped off. Just remember, it is better to know the truth from someone who truly cares about you than to hear it from strangers or to live a lie because no one wants to hurt your feelings.
7. Support is key.
A good friend will support your endeavors provided that these are for your own good. Likewise, you should be your friends’ cheerleader, helping them to keep going and to believe in themselves. However, if your friend is hellbent on doing something you can’t agree with, remember that there are ways to support your friends without necessarily supporting their actions or beliefs. Friendship is about sticking with each other even when you disagree.
8. Be there for your friend in the good times and bad.
One of the most important unwritten rules of friendship is to be there for your friends when things get tough as well as when life is peachy. In times of happiness, you should be someone to celebrate good fortune with; but when the hard times come rolling in, you should be both cheerleader and sounding board. It can hurt you when your friends go through tough times, but you need to stick with it; even if you can’t actively help your friends solve their problems, remaining supportive shows how much you care.
9. Keep your word.
When you promise your friend something, keep that promise. Whoever said promises were made to be broken was lying—and a bad friend at that. Your ability to keep your promise (or at least do everything in your power to see that it isn’t broken) isn’t just a test of your friendship; it’s a test of your integrity as a person.
10. Don’t judge.
We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. If your friend does something wrong, don’t criticize or condemn. Instead, gently share your take on the situation and let her live her life. You’ve said your piece; it’s his or her life, after all. And sometimes mistakes have to be made in order to grow. Sure, you want to spare your friends heartache, but at the end of the day, you can’t live their lives for them.
We’ve probably all been guilty of breaking one or two of these rules on occasion. Maybe we’ve been forgiven, and maybe not. But if you value your friendships, remember there are lines in the sand you simply don’t cross, even accidentally, if you consider yourself a good friend.