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Friends - how to be a good one?

(21 Posts)
NooNooMummy Wed 08-Feb-17 10:11:28

Crazy question, I know.
I know that a really, good friendship shouldn't require much thought or conscious effort. (Or does it?!)
But I've just reconnected with various old friends, I'm also actively trying to meet new people and I'm getting confused about it all. I'm feeling like I don't even know how to make friends and be friends anymore.
Can anyone help me?!!! What would you expect or want from a friend?
Tragic, I know...

NooNooMummy Wed 08-Feb-17 10:29:21

I feel like I have a hundred acquaintances but no friends

Shoxfordian Wed 08-Feb-17 10:49:37

What do you mean by a good friendship not requiring any thought or effort?

In my experience you do have to make an effort with friends to meet up and text them to see how they are. The effort should be reciprocal though so that's something to watch if it isn't.

I think friendships are all about reliability. It's the number one thing for me so try to make sure you do what you say you will

rumred Wed 08-Feb-17 10:54:37

Kindness and honesty are key. Be yourself, be genuinely interested in the other person and from this friendship develops in my experience.

NooNooMummy Wed 08-Feb-17 12:21:32

Thank you.

(Reliability and kindness. So obvious really.... I don't know why I keep thinking there's something I'm missing. I AM a good friend).

Anyone else?

Pallisers Wed 08-Feb-17 12:39:10

I agree you have to make an effort - you have to call, text, meet up and when you have small children and a job etc it can be hard to do that.

Years ago (20 so work/life balance was just becoming a thing - as were women in senior roles in my industry) my company ran a seminar on work life balance (ironically enough on a saturday morning) and one senior woman who had a very busy role and 4 children said she reckoned there were 4 buckets, work, family, husband and friends and she genuinely couldn't manage more than 3 of them so friends had slipped completely. I thought it was sad but also could see where she was coming from.

So for friendships I think you have to be prepared to invest time -not a huge amount but enough. you also have to be prepared to share a bit of yourself. A friend who never confides or never reveals a vulnerability is really more of an acquaintance.

My closest friends - 2 of them - I would do anything for and I hope they know it.

Also personally, I become friends with people who are funny and curious.

NooNooMummy Wed 08-Feb-17 13:57:10

Thank you

coffeetasteslikeshit Wed 08-Feb-17 14:01:46

I would add, don't come across as judgmental of your friends either, have empathy for their situation being different to yours.

I think kindness is very important too, and maybe non-judgmental falls under kindness.

So for friendships I think you have to be prepared to invest time -not a huge amount but enough. you also have to be prepared to share a bit of yourself. A friend who never confides or never reveals a vulnerability is really more of an acquaintance.

^ this with spades. I have lots of acquaintances' who I would be happy to call friends, but they've never opened up to me so we haven't had a chance to become close. Obviously they may not like me enough to do so, but it does prevent friendships from growing ime.

coffeetasteslikeshit Wed 08-Feb-17 14:03:33

I know that a really, good friendship shouldn't require much thought or conscious effort. (Or does it?!)

I think I know what you mean by this. I have one friend who I am walking on eggshells with a lot of the time because she seems to look for the worst intentions in what people say to her, rather than the best. It's hard work and friendship's shouldn't be like that.

rumred Wed 08-Feb-17 14:58:05

Oh forgot tolerance. Of changes and occasional twatishness. I have a range of friends most are very different. One I fall out with every few years but we love one another and accept we don't always agree.
Knowing you can rely on one another is priceless and I make it clear I'm there for my close mates whatever happens.
Yes, definitely tolerance goes a long way

Bin85 Wed 08-Feb-17 18:17:48

You should be able to share things in confidence with your best friends knowing what you say goes no further.People who I trust are my closest friends .
Then you need people you can ask favours of and they you.Once a friend rang me at 2am to come round and sit with her 4 children whilst she went to a dying relative.I saw that as a compliment and it meant I could ask favours of her too.
You do have to cultivate these friendships though.

BrownEyedLady Wed 08-Feb-17 18:27:02

coffeetasteslikeshit oh god YES to mot being judgemental. That for me is key to a great friendship. My true friends don't judge me so I can really be myself, share my stupid thoughts and really feel safe to let my hair down with them. It is my absolute requisite for letting someone in to mu close circle. Life is hard sometimes and I'm my harshest critic so I don't need more of that in my life! Love my friends. Going to whatsapp them that right now x

NooNooMummy Wed 08-Feb-17 19:08:05

These are all such great answers! I need to cut and keep smile

Bin85 Wed 08-Feb-17 19:47:31

Be a good listener
I used to be very shy and too quiet.
Then went too far the other way , interrupting people and trying to chime in with my own experiences of similar things .I still do it a bit so am working on it plus watch for body language clues that you have stayed too long chatting .

NooNooMummy Wed 08-Feb-17 21:12:04

Yes, I'm guilty of that too. But at least I'm aware of it...
Now. Who wants to be friends?grin

BrownEyedLady Wed 08-Feb-17 21:16:17

I treat all (well most!) on here as if they're my best friends. It helps me see posters in the best light and give answers with the highest integrity (and humour if called for!) ❤️

Mrstumbletap Wed 08-Feb-17 21:24:50

I definitely agree with listening. Some people aren't great listeners and I think it important in close relationships. Listen and remember what is happening in their life. Ask how their work meeting went, how their sick aunt is, is the medication helping their cat etc etc. Listen and remember, show you care.

Also get pissed and laugh your asses off.

NooNooMummy Wed 08-Feb-17 21:39:21

I'm v good at that!

wundringnow Wed 08-Feb-17 22:38:46

Mrstumbletap stole my answer. Listening and remembering and following up are big things for me. Be interested in their life, and then be the friend who checks in a few days later with a text to ask how the interview went or how little Bella's rash is doing.

coffeetasteslikeshit Thu 09-Feb-17 07:39:58

I've been thinking a lot about this and I reckon the key is honesty. If you're honest about who you are, ie be yourself, you will attract friends who like the real you and then everything's so much easier.

delawar Thu 09-Feb-17 08:19:55

I don't have may friends either , loads of people I know and chat too , but no one I can ring in my darkest hour , having said that I am often there in others darkest hours.
For me true friendship is honesty trust and reliability ( one of what I used to think was a friend would ask to meet me and then either forget or go off and do other things leaving me sat waiting like a plum happened 5/6 times obviously I don't go now )

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