What kind of friends do you have? Or what kind of a friend are you? Or the ultimate test is: How can you be and make VALUABLE friends?

There is nothing better than having a “best” friend, someone you can totally be yourself around. Or being a “best” friend others can have indeed. Friends are God’s way of taking care of us. Then again, friends can sometimes turn on you, get you upset that you want to hit them. (But that does not mean you should!)

Understand this: friendships are not made overnight. It takes time and effort to make VALUABLE friends. Also, sometimes, arguing with friends is normal and necessary. Why is it so? Because, everyone is unique and have different views or understanding about issues of life. So there is no point not being yourself, and no one should change that. It’s okay to keep secrets between friends because everyone needs his or her own privacy. Always and I meant, ALWAYS provide support and encouragement to your friends. This is the lifeline of building friendship. Now…

Who is a True Friend?
A true friend is someone who doesn’t put you down but lift you up; adds value to your life; will stick up for you; is not overbearing; knows when to listen and when to talk; knows that you don’t have just one friend; be happy with you when you are happy and sad when you are not; takes you as you are and leaves you improved. A friend is someone who will look at you and tell you the truth; is loyal and kind to you.

Being and making friends is easy for most people, but and not for others. If you are among others that don’t know how to be or make friends, here is how to:

How to Be and Make a Friend?
1. Be Trustworthy. This is the first step you need to take to be and make friends. Being trustworthy means you have to be honest, be loyal, be thoughtful, be a confidant etc. It also means you need to Walk Your Talk. That is, what you say is what you do; that you are not a two-face individual. When you are trustworthy, it will enable you to develop high trust with others and make valuable friends. So to make valuable friends, be trustworthy and build mutual trust with others.

2. Be Slow to Judge. How would you like to be judged without anyone getting to know the real you? You won’t like to be judge like that, right? Right! Since you won’t like to be judged like that (of which no one likes to be), so also you need not to be quick to judge others, if you really want to be a friend and make valuable friends. So be slow to judge and get to know people because strangers are just friends waiting to happen.

3. Be the First. Being the first means, you’ve got to be the first to say hi or do well to others. That is, you don’t have to always wait for others to be friendly before you do. The more you wait, the more you stay friendless. So be the first to do unto others what you want them to do unto you. Once you make or initiate that friendly move, others will respond friendly to your moves and you end up having valuable friends.

4. Be Likable. You can’t make people like you, but you can always make yourself likable. How? By becoming aware of your weakness and trying to improve on those areas you can do something about. That is, focusing on things you can control, not on things you can’t. You can’t control your height, your features or body type. But you can control the way you dress, carry yourself, see yourself, your personal hygiene, etc. Once you can make yourself likeable by improving on things you can control, definitely, people will like you and want to be your friend.

5. Be Inclusive. When it comes to being and making friends, you need to commit to making others feel secure, feel at ease or feel belong. How? By always and at all times, put on a warm smile and friendly face. When others feel safe and secure around you, they will want to always be around you. And once you have people around you, that’s a sign that you are their friend. So make sure you always put on a warm smile and friendly face if you want to be and make valuable friends.

6. Be Kind. It is easy to be nice to people who are nice to you. Anyone can do that. But the challenge is treating unkindness with kindness. But it works wonders if you really want to be and make friends. Abraham Lincoln was often criticized for trying to make friends with his enemies instead of trying to get rid of them. He said, “Isn’t that what I’m doing when I make an enemy a friend?” So be kind, show kindness to others and to those who are unkind. It works wonders! And it builds friendships.

7. Be Loyal. When it comes to being and making friends, you’ve got to be loyal. Meaning, being loyal to people, not only when they are in your presence but MORE especially what they are not present. When you are not loyal by talking behind people’s backs, you are only hurting yourself. Because when you talk to someone about others, they will also talk behind your own back. So to make valuable friends, you have to be loyal to people by keeping secrets, avoid gossips and stick up for others at their back.

Someone said, “Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” If you don’t have enough or want to make friends, all you have to do is apply these 7 Essential Capabilities to enable you become a true friend and choose your friends wisely. Remember friends are God’s way of taking care of us.

So how are you applying these essentials of being and making friends? I would like to hear from you. Send your response and questions in the comment section below.

Ifeanyi Okolo is a motivational teacher, a blogger and an educationist. He creates and delivers concise Sustainable Success teachings and tips with the purpose of helping young people develop their potentials and improve performance capabilities at school and in life. Need to get in touch? Email: pass4lifesolutions@yahoo.com / Call: 08034599017 / Web: www.pass4life.com