“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. “  Anais Lin

Here is a simple truth about happiness:  one of the best
ways to make yourself happy is to make other
people happy, especially your dear friends. 
Friendships are one of the keys to lifelong happiness and health.  Where would we be without our friends?

Here are four important ways to be a
great friend:

1.       Give your support.  One of the best parts of friendship,
along with the feeling of intimacy it brings, is the feeling of support it
provides.  Be supportive when your friend
has bad news, of course, because we all know that sharing difficulties reduces the weight of our stress and worriesBut also be supportive when your friend
has good news because celebrating with someone who has your best interests at
heart actually increases the happiness you both feel – a true win/win outcome. 

2.      Don’t
criticize a friend’s sweetheart, spouse, or child. 
kind and sincerely generous with your praise of the significant others in your
friend’s life strengthens the relationship you two share with one another.  It’s like saying that you admire their good
taste in mates or life partners, and you admire their talent for raising nice kids.  That’s  affirming and another form of support.

3.      Don’t gossip
or reveal secrets told to you by your friend.
  We share some of our most
intimate thoughts, feelings and information with our friends; confiding in one
another is one of the most satisfying and life-giving aspects of these loving
alliances.  If you reveal secrets to
others, or gossip about your friend behind her back, the friendship will be
destroyed.  Great friends act with integrity to protect and shelter a loving friendship, and, as such, are loyal and

4.      Show up. There are times when a friend asks you to come to an
event that you may not want to attend, such as an out of town wedding, or a
party on New Year’s Eve.  Do your best to
show up in spite of your reservations or reluctance.  Being a great friend means that you are
willing to occasionally make a few sacrifices and accommodate to her
needs.  It’s a two way street – she will
return the favor someday in the future and each of you will contribute to each other’s
“emotional bank accounts” making your friendship stronger and closer.

These four actions will help
build a foundation that will weather many of life’s storms and bring you a deep
sense of satisfaction and joy.  Hold your
friends close to your heart and love them as the gift they are in your