Seven Essential Qualities of a Friend

I have been asked by a few people to discuss my seven essential qualities for a partner and even for a friend. These seven don’t have anything to do with interests, appearance, wealth, sense of humour etc. All of those and similar qualities are important for an initial attraction, and also to have an interesting relationship.

The seven criteria are not in any particular order and are of the same importance. If you find that there are people in your life, who disappoint you or frustrate you, then it’s likely they don’t fill each and every one of these criteria. By the way, should you feel that I have left something out, please write to me. I’m keen to add to the list if it makes it more complete.

I’ve been told that I’m a little odd by having a list of criteria to determine whether I want to be friends with someone, but there are a few reasons. Firstly, I don’t have time to waste with people who don’t appreciate me and treat me the way I deserve to be treated. Secondly, friends are there to enrich our lives, not destroy them. Thirdly, I have an awesome set of friends for whom I would walk over hot coals (metaphorically) and who would do that for me, and I have that because I looked for the right people, and then spent time and energy nurturing the relationships. If I had the wrong people in my life I would have been spending my time nurturing relationships that were never going anywhere.

I determined my criteria because I had a very bad experience with a girl I dated. She was one of theose people, who seemed awesome on the surface, and was everything but, on the inside. It was however, one of the greatest learning experiences I’ have had, and I thank her dearly for it.

So here’s the list:

1) Honest

Self-explanatory really. If you’re not honest, then what would you base the relationship on?

2) Trustworthy

Honesty and trustworthy are different. Someone can be honest, without being trustworthy, although being trustworthy without honesty is difficult. When thinking of what trustworthy is, could you trust them to look after your children, or your most valuable possession? Could you trust them with anything?

When you go into a relationship/marriage, you are going into business with this person too. Everything that is yours is also theirs and vice versa. So if you can’t trust them in a “business” sense, can you really trust them to be your spouse?

3) Reliable

On the surface it seems like this is not so important. But who wants a friend who cancels on you last minute; who says they’ll be there at 2pm and turns up at 2:30pm leaving you to wait in the cold. What about a friend who says they’ll pick up the key on their way to seeing you, and then forgets… everytime. A lack of reliability, which includes punctuality, will become tremendously frustrating after a short time.

4) Selfless

By this I mean, not selfish. Selflessness is ideal, but we’re all a little selfish at times. By this critieria I’m referring to a friend who thinks of you, and considers the feelings of others.

These four qualities equal integrity. I broke out integrity into what it means to me, because it’s one of those all-encompassing words that leaves too much to the imagination when a clear set of guidelines is required.

5) Self-assured

Self-assured is a positive way of saying ‘not insecure’. Again, we all have insecurities, some bigger than others. By this criteria I mean, the friend shouldn’t have insecurities that dominate their life. If it does, the insecurity determines exactly how they do everything and it prevents them from being a good friend, because the insecurity will continually get in the way. It will prevent them from being the person they really are.

6) Intelligent

Their intelligence should equal your own. The closer your intelligence to your friend’s will give you more in common, and more common interests.

7) Educated

To be educated, doesn’t necessarily mean to have bachelor’s degrees and PhD’s. It means that you have taken time to educate yourself on something of interest in your life. It means that you take an interest in life in general, and you read, or take courses. We tend to define education as coming from an educational institution, but even they admit (via the giving of Honorary Degrees) that there are more ways to earn an education than simply by sitting in lecture theatres and slogging over books.

So that rounds out the seven criteria for a friend or partner. None of these is unattainable, and in fact to have all seven isn’t either. All seven are critical for the person to possess… not five out of seven or six out of seven, but all seven. And, I expect 100% in each criteria.   Maybe it seems impossible, or unlikely that you could find people like this, but I find that if I have these criteria in the back of my mind when I meet people I will know whether they are people I want to surround myself with.As far as a good partner, there are a further three that should be in sync, so that the day-to-day living is fun and friendly. You should have the same or similar views on money, family and religion. These are the most common causes of daily arguments, so if you can agree on these, you shouldn’t have too many bad days. I know people who are well suited, except they have different philosphies on spending money. One likes to get her hair cut for $200, and the other saves every penny. He can’t see the point of wasting so much money when a $40 cut is probably going to look almost the same, but she earns money to enjoy it, so why not. Why not indeed? It’s all a matter of perspective, but having the same perspective is important. And living with someone in harmony is about sharing a similar perspective.

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This entry was posted in 7 Criteria, Be Inspired, Coaching, Educated, Honest, Intelligent, Reliable, Self-assured, Selfless, Trustworthy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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