11 Essential Rules for a Long and Healthy Friendship

I don’t have a lot of friends. I honestly have two best friends and four other close ones. The rest of the people you might see me pictured with in my Instagram photos are mostly class fellows and close acquaintances. When it comes to my best friend criteria, a best friend is someone who you’ll know will always be there and nothing will change after you get up and leave for another country for a few months (which I do often). I’ve had every type of friend there is…. One where I was literally at the person’s house more than my own, a toxic one where I didn’t realize I was being used and pushed around. Fake ones, where they’d hang out with me one minute and talk against me the other…the list goes on. The two best friends and four really close ones are the healthiest friendships I’ve had in a very long time. They’re people who I can depend on and who have always been there for me as long as I’ve known them. Two of whom I’ve known since high school. They’re people who I can tell anything to and I know my secrets are safe with them. They’re people who will let me know when I’m being stupid and even try to protect me when they think it’s necessary. They will never judge, always pick up the phone in an emergency, feed me when I need to be fed, and motivate me to work harder. Vice-versa! I decided to share the 11 Essential Rules for a healthy long-lasting friendship, which have helped maintain our friendships for the better!

  1. Give each other space. There is no need to text, call, or be at each other’s house every minute of every day. You should maintain your own life and then share your separate adventures with each other a few times during the week.
  2. Do not get jealous if your friend wants to hang out with someone else.  You are not married. Even if you were, do not be overbearing. If your friend is hanging out with someone else and you know it, let them have their time. You’ll get yours; just let them be.
  3. Be honest about money. Let’s face it, you’ve been in the jam where your friend wants to go out to eat but you can’t because you’re broke. Compromise! Be honest about your financial situation and do something you both won’t have a problem with.
  4. Family comes first. Do not get upset or expect to spend time with their family at every event. If your friend ditches for their cousin’s birthday party it’s honestly a good thing—he/she is putting family first.
  5. Compromise, Compromise, Compromise. Both parties should put their fair share in any relationship. You shouldn’t always be the one at their house and they shouldn’t always be at your house. I’m sure it’ll get annoying if one person is compromising their time and putting in the effort to hang out with the other. Make sure you return the gesture.
  6. Always push each other forward. Never say he or she can’t do something, unless it’s something illegal. Always give them motivation to fulfill their dreams and push them towards what’ll make them happy. Be the one to tell them “go for it” when everyone else around them is saying they can’t.
  7. Help each other out any way you can. I have a friend who will actually cover for me at work. If there’s a situation where you can help out, do each other the favor.
  8. Never judge! No matter what, be tolerant of each other’s choices as long as it’s not affecting their health (if their smoking or doing coke, get them help). Give your advice and opinion, but at the end of the day let them do what they want.
  9. Be respectful of each other’s culture and family. I have a very diverse group of friends—that means, a lot of good food, and learning different languages and ways of life. Always be respectful of each other’s family and morals. Never accept a friend who talks against your mother or father, even if he/she is being annoying.
  10. Always tell each other if an outfit isn’t working or if there’s food in their teeth! It’s not mean, though necessary and life-changing. You don’t want to be at the mall and have a cute guy come up to you with spinach in your teeth. Been there, done that, it doesn’t end pretty….
  11. Look out and defend each other. If there are people talking bad about or against your friend, stand up to them. Always defend them against so-called ‘haters’ and look out for one another.

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