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deaddolly's avatar

What makes a good friend? Ever been a better friend to someone than they have been to you?

Asked by deaddolly (3411points) October 2nd, 2008

I think I’m a good friend. I tend to get taken advantage of by my friends…always going the extra mile for them and not getting much in return. Do some ppl just make bad friends?

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21 Answers

KatawaGrey's avatar

I’ve always been a really good friend. Every once in a while, I do get taken advantage of, and when it happens, boy does it happen big time. However, I have been told that I bring out the best in people (not trying to be arrogant, it’s the honest to god truth :) ) so I have found that people tend to be really good friends to me. Also, I can kinda sense when someone is going to take advantage cuz usually they start out too soon.

Unfortunately, I do agree that some people just make bad friends. No matter what, though, these people really can’t be changed. I would just say it’s best to avoid them. If you can’t, shape ‘em up. A few well-timed releasings of the inner bitch (mine is named Stella, sorry to anyone named Stella) can shape people up quite nicely, I’ve noticed.

stratman37's avatar

can I be YOUR friend?

Spargett's avatar

There’s certain people that aren’t worth having as friends. Other than that, I’ve felt it’s important to be the change you wish to see.

cyndyh's avatar

A friend of mine likes to say “everyone’s doing their own thing in their own time”. I think that’s true in a whole lot-a ways. Some folks are not very good friends -ever. Some are just caught up in their own lives and agenda and issues at one given time and can possibly be better friends at another less-stressful time. So, maybe they just aren’t emotionally equipped at that time to be the sort of friend you want or need.

Basically, yep, I’ve been there and I’ve probably been on the other end of things briefly a few times, too. I think we all have our own ideas about what friendship is. I think what you do about it depends a lot on the history you have with that person and if there are any deal-breakers happening for you. If I’m feeling like that with someone often or for an extended period of time, it might just mean I need a bit of distance from the person for a while.

krose1223's avatar

Yeah I think there can be a one sided relationship, which I tend to get it. I like helping people out and being there for them when they need me. I find a lot of times those people are using me and wouldn’t ever do the same back. Usually I just learn to accept it and don’t REALLY consider him or her a friend. I’ll be there when they need me, otherwise we don’t really talk. Some people are just to stuck up their own butt to care about anyone elses problems besides their own, and most the time they don’t even realize. I think a good healthy relationship is balanced and both sides give. Both go the extra mile for the other. I think good friends should be able to disagree without being worried it will end the friendship.

Malakai's avatar

A very good friend of mine used to say, “You always pay the price for being nice.”

I don’t know if it’s true or not, but he said it quite often.

JackAdams's avatar

“A ‘friend’ is a person who knows ALL ABOUT YOU, but loves you, anyway.”
Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915)

deaddolly's avatar

@stratman—you already are!

I seem to have a lot of very needy friends. Friends that drain the life out of you. Or friends that always bring the subject back to them when you’re pouring your heart out to them. I’ve cut a few ppl off this year; most I don’t miss. Still, aside for my daughter, I really don’t have a best friend anymore. I really miss that.

cyndyh's avatar

Better to be alone than in poor company. I always liked that one.

JackAdams's avatar

@Malakai: And don’t forget, “No ‘good deed’ goes unpunished.”

deaddolly's avatar

Yes, I’m comfortable being alone, but I miss the days of just ‘hanging out’ with a girlfriend and, say, people watching. you know when you both look at someone/something and look at eachother and chuckle, each thinking the same thing? That to me is a friend who really knows you and it takes years to cultivate.

shrubbery's avatar

This is from a previous thread but here’s what I think makes a good friend:

When they know you so well that they won’t ask what’s wrong until you’re ready to tell them, even though they know somethings up and they’re dying to know… When you eventually tell them what’s wrong they don’t scold you for not coming to them earlier but they do everything in their power to cheer you up and help… When you are not afraid to let down all your defences and go crazy with them… When they are prepared to be grounded/detentioned/jailed with you… When they bring you something in their lunch especially for you… When they have a whole shelf in your cupboard dedicated to food for you… When you can laugh about something with them for weeks at a time and it doesn’t get old… When they’re prepared to sleep in the same room with you even though your snoring is the worst they’ve ever heard…

And for the second part; I have been a better friend than someone has been to me, more than once. If there is something wrong with my friends, something upsetting them, I usually put my life on hold while I help them out. Or at least I used to, and this is where the better friend thing comes in. The last time I did that, I pretty much stopped living a normal life while I tried to help my friends through a very awful situation and they just turned around and screwed me over. I eventually forgave them and I am still friends with them, but I can see now that they wouldn’t do the same thing for me if places were swapped.

JackAdams's avatar

My very best friend, ever, had the following attributes:

1. Four legs
2. A tail
3. A loud bark
4. Lots of fur
5. A cold wet nose
6. A tendency to urinate on fire hydrants
7. A penchant for chasing cars (never caught one)

I also had a dog with the same qualities.

cyndyh's avatar

@deaddolly: I know what you mean. My best female friend is still in my old town so we write and talk on the phone, but we don’t really get to just hang out anymore. I miss being downtown with her at an all night diner after the bars are closed. We each know when the other person is looking at someone and thinking “well, I guess everyone’s doing their own thing in their own time”. For the really extreme folks we’ll both be thinking “Heroin. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.” :^>

deaddolly's avatar

@cyndyh Exactly! Those kind of friends are rare. I have many friends, but everyone’s so busy with their lives, we don’t get to just chill anymore.

cyndyh's avatar

Yeah, also I had my kids young. So, my friends were either childless or they started having kids when I was just about done with any day-to-day mothering. After my kids were out of the house and I had some time to just hang again half of them were suddenly changing diapers and wiping noses. Now the few childless friends I had are off in my old state (AZ) and I’ve not been here (WA) quite two years. I’ve definitely met some friends and like hanging with them, but there’s not that long-term history thing yet. So, it’s not the same.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Some people are good friends.
Some people don’t know how to be good friends.
Some people are good friends to some and bad to others.

I’ve been in each of those situations. I think a good friend is someone you can count on no matter what. I know who my good friends are. The people I am a good friend to know that I am one.

Anyone else is just an acquaintance. Sometimes you can’t avoid socializing with bad friends because other people don’t seem to realize that they are bad friends, but that doesn’t mean you have to invest in them as a friend.

(After four years of being semi-friends but always holding back for some reason I couldn’t quite explain, I was thoroughly and completely stabbed in the back by someone and the previous four years of not being able to commit to them finally made sense. The thing is, I honestly just don’t think she KNOWS how to be a good friend.)

XrayGirl's avatar


I so agree about going the extra mile and being taken advantage of. I feel like that happens to me. I am a good friend in these ways: loyal, devoted, honest, fun, generous, creative and interesting, funny, adventurous.

I am a little jealous at times, possessive, and abrupt. All in all, I think I am a good friend. I have a tendency to grow bored with a lot of my friends. They seem to rely on me too much to come up with things to do and places to go..I get tired of always having to decide.

deaddolly's avatar

Relationships, of any kind, take work. Some ppl are just lazy, it seems.

90s_kid's avatar

what makes a good friend….be interested and care about friend

Silhouette's avatar

I don’t keep score.

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