You have to be loyal, honest, sincere, reliable, dependable, friendly, pleasant, open, sociable, responsive, welcoming and gracious. You also have to be forgiving at times, be prepared to offer help, support and sympathy. At the same time you don’t want to be taken advantage of or have the wool pulled over your eyes.

And you may have to be brutally candid at times and be prepared to risk the friendship by being so. Yet equally there are times you need to hold your tongue and keep your opinion to yourself. They are your friends, not your clones – they do things differently. You have to offer the friendship enthusiasm, dedication, determination, creativity, interest, passion and drive.

And this is all you have to do. What do they have to do? Well, in an ideal world the same. If they fail to do any of this, you will still carry on being their friend, being forgiving, being supportive and being there.

Note : Just be there. You are there when they are going through it and not just there for the good times. You will be there when they need you in the early hours, the dark days, the times of trouble and stress. You will be there to hold their hand, let them cry on your shoulder, lend them a hanky, pat them on the back and make them endless cups of tea. And you will tell them to cheer up, not to worry, stop being such a fool, whatever it takes to get them up and at it again.

You will be there to give them good advice. You will be there just to listen at times. You will be there when you don’t want to be. You will be there when all their other friends have fallen by the wayside. You will be there no matter what.

Someone once said that a real friend is someone you can be having a conversation with as they get on a plane, you don’t see them for ten years and when they arrive back they carry on the conversation as they get off the plane like a moment hadn’t passed. That’s exactly how it is between friends.

We should all be aiming at being good friends.

Notes from Richard Templar

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