The most common and basic qualities in any strong friendship include honesty, trust and reliability. These are qualities that I value in any friendship, and I believe that there is no chance of a friendship to be maintained without the basic qualities. However, from my experiences, I have found that there are several underrated qualities that aren’t talked about as much but really help build a strong friendship. I will therefore use this blog post to talk about 4 such underrated qualities of great friends. Note that you don’t need to have all of these qualities to be a great friend to someone, and there are other wonderful qualities that you can have to be an excellent friend to others.
Someone who communicates important things clearly and effectively
One of the things that has proven to be a barrier in a few of my friendships is the other person struggling to communicate important things clearly. In any friendship, there will be things that come up that are important, and when that happens it is paramount that it is communicated clearly. A good example is setting boundaries. Circumstances can occur which mean that some sort of boundaries need to be set, for example a friend could be really busy and they may want to set a boundary when it comes to frequency of communication. If boundaries aren’t communicated clearly and efficiently then it can hurt any friendship in the long run. One thing I prioritise in my friendships is effective communication when it comes to important matters, and I have seen how beneficial this can be. Furthermore, I do my best to ensure that I am communicating important things clearly and effectively to my friends.
Someone who learns from mistakes that they make
When I talk about mistakes that friends can make, this doesn’t necessarily mean mistakes that can end friendships, such as telling a really bad lie. Instead, I want to focus on small mistakes that are unintentional and not really a big deal in the long run, such as saying something that your friend takes the wrong way. Making mistakes is fine and you will make mistakes in friendships no matter how brilliant a friend you are. However, a key part in building a strong friendship with someone is to acknowledge mistakes when they are made and try your best to not repeat them. For me, I consider learning from mistakes as a sign that someone genuinely cares about the friendship and are willing to improve the friendship. Remember that it is very easy to acknowledge a mistake, but hard to put the effort to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
Someone who can give constructive criticism when warranted
From my experience, it is very hard to give criticism of any sort to a friend. This is because you don’t want to hurt your friends feelings, even if the thing in question needs to be said. However, giving criticism can be a good thing, especially if done in a constructive manner. This is because it can help the other person grow and learn from their mistakes. I have always appreciated any constructive criticism given to me by my friends, and in anything I have valued them more as a friend for giving the criticism in the first place. Another thing that is hard about giving constructive criticism is that you have to strike a balance between getting your point across clearly and not being too harsh to the point that you become hurtful, and that balance will vary from friend to friend. Striking that balance in a consistent basis is therefore certainly useful skill in any friendship.
Someone who respects and sticks to the boundaries that get set
In my first point, I said that a great quality for a friend to have is to communicate important things such as boundaries clearly. It is also important to stick to these boundaries that are set. It is very easy to stray away from boundaries that are set, and it can become a regular occurrence if you are not careful. Normally when boundaries are set it is for the good of the friendship and something that can help the friendship blossom. Therefore, if a friend sticks to a boundary that either they have set or someone else has set, it shows that they care about the friendship. It is certainly an underrated quality as it is not one that people think of when thinking about the key qualities of a friendships.