Overview

Friends are often an important part of our lives. Our friends are usually people we trust and respect. Like any relationship, friendships generally require work and making changes to the friendship is not uncommon.

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Interview with Joel from the Last Kinection

Bite Back has a chat to Joel from The Last Kinection about real life stories at the Oxfam 3Things Hip Hop Approach in Sydney. Big congrats to Last Kinection for winning Best Single and Best Band at the 2011 Deadly Awards..... Deadly!

  • Author: Bite Back
  • Upload Date: 5/10/2011

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Stories on this Topic

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Kindness of giving

What's the best thing you've ever spent five bucks on?

There are a couple of things that spring to mind when I ask myself that.
Once, I beat that diabolically rigged arcade game 'Stackers' and won an iPod for $5.
Another time I found a bunch of rare Animorph books at a library book sale (my favourite book series from when I was younger).
But one memory trumps all of the others, hands down: when I was twelve, I walked past a lady in the train station who was singing 'My Heart Will Go On'. I didn't have any loose coins, and the only money I had was a $5 note which I had carefully hoarded to spend on ice cream at school. After a moment of agonising deliberation, I decided that I wanted to acknowledge the beauty of her singing more than I wanted the ice cream, so I put the money in her hat. In return, she gave me a smile which I will never forget for as long as I live.

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  • Author: Xin
  • Upload Date: 2012-10-29

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Factsheet

Friends Facts

Who are friends?

Friends are often an important part of our lives. Our friends are usually people we trust and respect. Like any relationship, friendships generally require work and making changes to the friendship is not uncommon.

It may not be easy to maintain friendships and sometimes friends disappoint you. This can make it difficult to work out who your friends are. Listing what makes a good friend may help you do this. Sometimes trusting your gut feeling about something may also help answer the questions you have.

Managing arguments

Communicating well can make for a strong relationship

Sharing ideas and opinions with each other is part of having a friendship. Holding different ideas is normal and these differences may lead to arguments. You may feel hurt, disappointed, angry, sad or lonely when you disagree with a friend. These feelings may make it difficult to manage the argument.

Working through a disagreement may make the friendship stronger. Some suggestions for helping to resolve an argument and disagreement with friends may include:

Wanting to stay friends

Wanting to understand and accept the differences gives you a place to start. Doing this still allows you both to have to different opinions, however through understanding each other you may be able to agree to disagree.

Speak to your friend

Letting your friend know how you feel may be helpful. Keeping stuff to yourself may make you more angry. It is a good idea to speak to them when you both feel calm. It may help to write down your thoughts before talking, this may help you to be clear about what you want to say. Talking to someone else you trust can also help you to work out how you are going to approach your friend. People you could talk to may include another friend, a family member or youth worker. If you decide to talk to someone, try focusing on how you feel rather than what the friend has done or said.

Listen to your friend

Allowing your friend to tell their side of the story and really listening to them may be helpful in managing the argument. It may be tempting to interrupt, but instead, try and wait until they have finished.

Try to avoid blame

When you are hurt and angry it can be normal to want to blame someone. Laying blame may make a situation harder. To avoid laying blame it may be helpful to stay focused on how you feel.

Ending a friendship

Over time your interests may change, which can mean you have less in common with your friend and ending the friendship may be the best thing for you. When a friendship ends it may involve several people and it may be difficult to stay part of a group. This may be lonely and it can take time to move on. Talking to someone you trust like another friend, family member, youth worker or counsellor may be helpful. Have a look at Reach Out's Who can help you section.

What is a good friend?

Friends are important

Good friends are important

Friends are a pretty important part of most people's lives. Research shows that having quality relationships increases your likelihood of being happy - so it's good for your happiness to be a great friend and to have a group of close friends surrounding you too.

A good friend might be someone who's there to provide support when times are tough, or someone you can rely on to celebrate a special moment with you. You might see them every day, once a year, or less. You might hardly see them at all but instead keep in touch via telephone, email, or online.

Friends might come and go in your life, they might make you laugh and cry, but most importantly of all they love you for who you are. It doesn't matter what a person looks like or what kind of clothes they wear, but it's what's on the inside that counts. It's the actions they take, no matter how big or small, to show you how much of a good friend they are, and being there for you no matter what, even when  things are incredibly important!

What is a good friend?

This is how a number of young people responded when asked "What makes a good friend?"

  • someone who will support you no matter what
  • someone you can trust and who won't judge you
  • someone who won't put you down or deliberately hurt your feelings, but will show kindness and respect
  • someone who will love you not because they feel they have to because you're their friend, but because they choose to
  • someone whose company you enjoy and whose loyalty you can depend upon
  • someone who will be there no matter what your situation is
  • someone who is trustworthy and not afraid to tell you the truth, no matter how hard it is sometimes
  • someone who can laugh when you laugh
  • someone who will stick around when things get rough
  • someone who makes you smile
  • someone who can accept you for who you are, and just lend you an ear when you need to whine or complain
  • someone who will cry when you cry
  • someone who will give you room to change.

Being there for a friend

Friendships are probably some of the most important relationships you will have in your life. Many of your favourite memories are likely to include times you have spent with friends. Friends are possibly the people who keep you sane (although they can sometimes drive you mad as well!).

Friendships can be hard work sometimes, especially when your good friend is going through a tough time or is just feeling down. Not knowing what to do, or what to say can be hard, frustrating, and emotionally challenging. However, just by thinking about what you can do to make them feel better, shows that you are a good friend. So how can you be there for a friend in need?

Listen

Never underestimate the importance of listening. One of the important parts of listening is trying to understand the situation from your friend's point of view. If you aim to do this you'll find you'll ask the right sort of questions and they'll appreciate having someone who truly cares about how they feel. From that point on you will probably feel more comfortable talking through possible solutions to your friend's situation with them, if they want to.

Don't assume your friend wants advice - sometimes they may simply want someone to listen to what they're going through, and to work out what they're going to do themselves. If it gets out of your depth, or you feel that you can't cope, say so, and offer alternatives such as seeing a professional, and offer to be there to support them. Check out the fact sheets in Reach Out's Who can help you section for more info on the types of help out there.

Get the facts

If your friend has a medical condition or mental illness, a good way to offer support would be for you to learn about what your friend has been diagnosed with. This simple action shows that you care and that you are not going to run away because your friend's situation has changed. This will let them know that you like them for who they are. Another good step is seeing whether there are support groups in your local areas and suggest coming along with your friend.

Give a friend a hug - if they like hugs!

Give your friend a hug

A simple gesture such as a hug or a smile can show your friend that they are not alone and that you are there for them.

Be willing to make a tough call

If you think a friend is displaying a serious risk to their personal safety, you may need to act without their consent. No matter how hard it can be or if you are worried about your friend's reaction, just remember it's because you care about them and you don't want them to be hurt.

Depending on the situation, you may need to seek outside help; whether it's a teacher, counsellor, Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800 - free call from a landline) or Lifeline (13 11 14 - cost of local call from a landline), a family member or another adult.

Let your friend know you care

You might want to write a letter or a poem addressed to your friend, showing how special they are to you and no matter how tough things get; that you will be there for them because that's the importance of friendship.

Keep in touch

If you can't physically be with your friend when in need; think about sending an email, chatting on MSN or a quick phone call or sms; to show that you are there for them.

Check out ReachOut.com

You may also find it helpful to look through some other Reach Out fact sheets and stories, and show these to your friend. Stories on the site are inspiring and reinforce that your friend is not alone and that no matter how dark that tunnel looks there is light at the other end.

Jump onto the Reach Out Forums

It may be helpful for you and/or your friend to jump on the Reach Out Online Community and to chat to other young people who have had similar experiences and find out how to get through it.

Looking after yourself

Being a good friend is important, but before you can be a good friend it's important to look after your own well being as well. Supporting a friend through tough periods can place pressure on you, and it may help to talk with someone about it. This might be a teacher, school counsellor, family member or another adult.

Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or Lifeline (13 11 14) are also always there to give you support, allow you to debrief and to process some things that may be going through your mind.

Let us know what you think

What is a good friend to you? How have you been there for your friends, especially during tough times, and looked after yourself at the same time?

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