Disclaimer:  I will start off by saying that, in spite of the title of this post, I am well aware that you have to give in order to get. Thus, I need to be and do all that I wish for in a best friend. I have to treat both myself and another the ways I list here.

1.  Positive Attitude.
          A positive attitude is one of the qualities I value most in a close friend. My ability to function hinges significantly on how positive and upbeat the people around me are. Negative people who complain a lot or who only have dire things to share bring me down. I’m not Pollyanna, however, I cannot give forth joy if all that is coming in is what’s wrong in the world.
2.  A Good Listener
          Part of being a good listener is remembering. When your friend says they’re facing a grueling test on Thursday, a call on Friday to follow-up is a sign that you were listening, both to the content and the emotion behind their message.
3.  Conversation
          Eye contact is critical in conversation. Your friends can’t believe you’re really interested if you’re fumbling with your iPhone or off in la-la land thinking of how you’ll respond. Don’t speak in order to one-up your friends with stories that look to out- due their experiences. Silence is ok too or, better yet, parrot back a shortened version of what they shared.
4.  No Judgment
          Know what is the biggest giveaway that you might be judgmental of your friend – from their point of view? It’s that you’re judgmental of others in casual conversation with your friend. If you can be snarky about someone else, you might easily be snarky about me.
5.  Commitment
          If you promise to do something for me, please do it…or tell me with as much advance notice as possible why you can’t. Reliance on each other is a core value of strong friendships. Ninety nine point nine percent of the time I don’t need to be reminded that I’m meeting you for lunch, coffee, a movie or just a gab session. You’re that important to me to not forget.
6.  Screwing Up
          If I mess up, if I hurt your feelings or forget to do or be one of the items above, forgive me. Tell me gently how I messed up and how it made you feel…and then move on.  Realize that a close friend is on your short list of people you want in your life. Acknowledge that you want them in your life even if they unintentionally hurt you once in a great while.
7.  Money
          No, no, no…..just kidding.

          What does your list look like? Do your friends know what’s important to you? I believe it’s worth the investment to let them know. Perhaps you should share this post with them????