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Are You A Good Friend?

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Are You A Good Friend?

Since I became clear on my mission in 2008 and launched Owning Pink in 2009, Iíve worked my ass off to bring my vision to being. And itís working!† Patients are transforming their lives, healers are waking up and amplifying the collective message with me, and the seeds of change for how health care could be delivered and received have been planted.† Traffic to†my blog about being healthy in all aspects of your life is ramping up. I got to talk about†my radical new wellness model at TEDxWomen in San Francisco. Iíll be rocking the stage with my message with Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Doreen Virtue, Cheryl Richardson, and other transformational catalysts at†I Can Do It! IGNITE – San Jose in March. And my book†Mind Over Medicine will be published by Hay House in 2013.

The Price of Success

But these professional accomplishments have come at a price. While Iíve made careful choices to prioritize my husband, daughter, and mother, Iíve recently awakened to the fact that Iíve neglected others I love in the process. As the network of people in my social sphere has expanded – via social media, colleagues, blog and book readers, etc. – some of the friends I deeply value have unwittingly gotten pushed into the corners. Those who have asked for my time have gotten it. If a friend calls and needs me, Iíll drop everything. If they email me, I email back.

But those who have stood back and waited for me to come to them (often because theyíre mindful of how busy Iíve gotten and donít want to ask anything of me) have gotten less of me. And this makes me sad.

What Makes A Good Friend

In talking to some of these people – and healing – I began to ask my friends what they needed in order to feel loved. I realized that we all have different definitions of friendship. For some, it means remembering birthdays and sending cards on Valentineís Day. For others, itís about Sunday night phone calls or weekly emails. Others donít give a flip if they donít hear from you for a year, as long as you pick up where you left off at that once a year meeting. What we need from those we love is very individual.

According to†Wikipedia, ďValue that is found in friendships is often the result of a friend demonstrating the following on a consistent basis:

  • The tendency to desire what is best for the other
  • Sympathy and empathy
  • Honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one’s counterpart
  • Mutual understanding and compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support
  • Enjoyment of each other’s company
  • Trust in one another
  • Positive reciprocity ó a relationship is based on equal give and take between the two parties.
  • The ability to be oneself, express one’s feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgment.

I love this definition, because it doesnít define friendship by those external factors – the birthday cards or the obligatory phone calls. Instead, it gets to the essence of what it means to truly be a friend.

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the†Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of†Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.† She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.† Lissa blogs at†LissaRankin.com and also created two online communities -†HealHealthCareNow.com and†OwningPink.com. She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.

48 comments

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2:38AM PDT on Apr 11, 2013

Thanks :)

2:44PM PST on Dec 4, 2012

I know for certain that I am one of the best friends anyone could ever have...UNDOUBTEDLY!!!

2:38PM PST on Dec 4, 2012

Thanks

11:31PM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Very good article. True friends are the important part of one's life.

6:10AM PDT on Mar 16, 2012

One of my friends & I met the first dsy of high school - that was 44 years ago. We seem to sense when the other one needs to talk. We always just pick up right where we left off.

10:25AM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

That was an od article but I understand and I might have to work on being a better friend with some of my friends

7:58PM PST on Feb 27, 2012

YES

1:13PM PST on Feb 26, 2012

Having good friends enriches one's life. It also gives you better health odds. Friends are also a support system, both for basic needs sometimes and for emotional needs. And it's useful to have someone removed from a situation that you can go to and talk to.

4:17PM PST on Feb 22, 2012

I like this definition of a good friend.

2:40AM PST on Feb 22, 2012

Its good and kind to have a good friends. They keep you friendship by given a life experience because, we are not born to have the same experience.

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