Friendship is the mutual affection between two or more people who really like each other. Friends are very special people in our lives: they are valued treasures that we can depend on in times of need.

We need meaningful connections with other people, so it’s important to cultivate and nurture healthy friendships between friends who complement each other.

Here is how to be a true friend:

1. Spend some time together and do activities you both enjoy

All relationships are two-way. Find out what your friend likes, let them know what you like and see how you can accommodate each other. Celebrate the commonalities together and learn more through your differences.

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Compromise where necessary and be accepting of each other’s preferences.

2. Friendship is about sharing and caring

Regularly ask how they are doing and be available if they need an ear, a shoulder, help, fun or just a hug. Be supportive, dependable and a good listener. Trust and loyalty is very important – do not betray your friend’s confidence.

3. Respect your friend and commit to your friendship in all weathers and circumstances

Stand by your friend even when you have nothing to gain.

4. Cheer each other on

If your friend is working on something, be their number one fan. Give each other constructive advice, encourage and motivate them to be better. Help each other achieve your goals.

5. Give each other space

It is important to be alone in order to recharge, so you can share more of yourself. Do not be clingy or imposing: true friends can go for days without chatting.

Healthy friendship is about being able to stand tall in your different lives and thrive in them even when you are not together.

10 Signs you have reached BFF Level

Being best friends forever (BFFs) does not happen overnight. It takes a friendship that has been tried and tested over time. So how do you know you have reached that level?

1. You have known each other since forever.

2. You are there for each other’s major milestones such as childbirth, weddings and graduations.

3. You are no longer friends, you are family. You have even adopted each other’s parents and siblings as your own. Their home is now your own.

4. You are free around them and do not have to walk on eggshells. You have long since dropped pleasantries. You can be naked around each other.

5. You know each other deeply and tell each other almost everything.

6. You develop a strong empathic connection. You can predict behavioural patterns and know when something is wrong. You feel for them and their mood is contagious.

7. Words are no longer necessary, sometimes you have silent conversations.

8. You have survived a major fight and emerged stronger.

9. You root for each other even in each other’s absence.

10. You have developed a language code only you two understand. It could be unusual words or facial expressions.