Having friends around you not only makes you feel happier, but healthier too.
Throughout September as part of Oddfellows Friendship Month, Oddfellows volunteer members are hosting hundreds of fun SociabilTEA events up and down the country. These include walks, tea dances and craft workshops – so people of all ages can come together over a simple cuppa. All events are free or inexpensive and open to everyone.
The Oddfellows is one of the largest and oldest friendly societies in the UK, with 280,000 members across 146 Branches nationwide. They hold an annual campaign to bring communities closer together and highlight the importance of friendship to the nation.
Oddfellows believe that through friendship, care and charity they can make a big impact on the quality of people’s lives. It’s a formula that has remained unchanged since the Society began in 1810 – helping their members, year round, to make friends and enjoy the social side of life, as well as provide them with care and support in times of need.
In these days of social media when many people have hundreds of “friends” the value of a true friend is often overlooked. We have put together what we consider are the top ten traits which make a great friend.
THE TOP 10 GOLDEN RULES OF FRIENDSHIP
- Be a good listener
- Give you an honest opinion
- Silences are never awkward with them
- They provide a shoulder to cry on
- They have shared interests with them
- You have the ability to not see each other for long periods but nothing changes
- They trust your opinion and listens to you
- They keep your secrets and business private
- They would change their plans to help you out
- They can tell when you are feeling down in the dumps, even when you haven’t said anything.
Other character traits which we demand from our closest friends are always being happy to get a round in, remembering birthdays and getting on well with your family, a recent study found.
School was named as the most common place to meet those who became your oldest friends followed by work.
And the average adult has just four true friends and one best friend the survey found.
On the whole men speak to more friends daily than women do, and have three friends they have drinks with regularly whereas women have just two.
Although women would be more likely to confide in friends when it came to any relationship or personal problems – nearly a quarter of men said they wouldn’t confide in anyone.
Having a circle of great friends is a huge asset, it doesn’t mean we can have a friend on hand in an emergency or be available to accompany us to a social occasion.
There’s a real danger that people are falling into the trap of conducting their social life online and becoming ever more isolated from physical interaction as a result of friends and family being scattered across the globe.
Signs of a good friend include:
- someone who will support you no matter what and always be loyal
- someone you can trust and who won’t judge you
- someone who won’t put you down or deliberately hurt your feelings
- someone who is kind and has respect for you
- someone whose company you enjoy and who makes you smile
- being trustworthy and willing to tell you the truth, even when it’s hard
- someone who can laugh when you do but will cry when you cry
- someone who is willing to stick around when things get tough
Of course friendship is a two way relationship and the old adage “the best way to make a good friend is to be one” still holds true.