Some people have an easier time establishing and maintaining friendships than others. And some of us long for closer friendships or try to figure out why an existing or promising relationship fizzled out. In these cases, we may jump first to judge a friend’s behavior, rather than our own. Perhaps we forget that relationships rely on mutual interactions. It is important, them, to examine our own contribution to the dynamics of a friendship. It is only our own behavior that we can change, and there are certain personal characteristics it's essential to cultivate to build healthy, lasting friendships.
The 13 Essential Friendship Traits
How much you agree with each statement?
These traits fall into three general categories, each representing an essential aspect of relational behavior. If you find that you disagree with many of the statements, you may struggle to develop meaningful, lasting friendships.
Below is a description of how each trait influences relationships, organized by the realm of behavioral expectations in which it falls:
Traits of Integrity
These qualities, represented by the first 5 traits on the list above, are related to core values held by most cultures—trustworthiness, honesty, dependability, loyalty, and, as an interrelated quality, the ability to trust others.
Traits of Caring
These qualities, represented by the traits listed as numbers 6 to 10 above, includes empathy, the ability to withhold judgment, effective listening skills, and the ability to offer support in good times and bad. These traits require personal insight, self-discipline, and unconditional positive regard for our friends.
Traits of Congeniality
This group, representing by the final three traits listed above, includes self-confidence, the ability to see the humor in life, and being fun to be around. This trio of traits has also been associated with overall well-being and happiness in life.
Before You Can Increase Your Friendship Quotient, You Must Admit That the Need Exists
Remember: Everyone brings a different level of the 13 traits to their relationships. However, the very best friends offer a generous helping of this baker’s dozen. Take an honest look at your own behaviors and see if you need to raise your "friendship quotient" to raise the likelihood of maintaining the close connections you desire.
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Are your SIBLINGS friends or enemies? Share your story for a research study on adult sibling relationships:
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