Everyone wishes for a good friend, and considers themselves blessed when they find one. Having a good friend makes tough times easier to deal with, and gives you someone to share the good moments with. If you want to have good friends, however, you must first be one. The beginning of this is learning how to become a good friend. Here are several things individuals can do to make themselves a better friend… in turn attracting the same kind of people into their own life.

Be Reliable

To be a good friend, you must be reliable. Be someone your friends can count on to follow through with promises. Don’t constantly back out of plans or fail to help someone when you have made a promise. Being reliable shows that you have invested in and committed to the relationship.

Be Trustworthy

Be someone your friends can trust. When a deep secret is shared with you, be the person who doesn’t even dream about passing it on to someone else. Keep your promises and never back away from your word.

Be Open

If you want your friends to trust and confide in you, you must be open with them also. If you never share your deepest hopes and fears, how can you expect them to do the same with you? Be willing to show vulnerability as soon as you trust your friends enough to feel comfortable doing so. They will then feel more comfortable doing the same with you.

Be Supportive

Be there for your friends at all times. Whether your friend needs a shoulder to cry on, someone to celebrate with, or support while going through challenging circumstances, be there. Knowing that you are around and that you are fully supportive is most often the best gift you could give.

Be a Good Listener

Take the time to truly listen to your friends. Make an effort not to always be the one in the spotlight. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to take a step back and just be a pair of listening ears to the friends we care for. Offer advice when it is asked for, but above all be someone who is always willing to listen.

Be Honest

When you are asked for your opinion, be truthful. There is no need to be unnecessarily harsh, but there is a way to be honest and still kind. Give the people in your life the gift of a truthful friend and there will never be any reason for them to doubt your words.

Be Positive

There is no need to act in a fake manner, but try to stay upbeat when possible. There is certainly an appropriate time to share difficult thoughts with a true friend, but if your demeanor is most often cynical and negative, people will not want to be around you often. Stay positive, and be the kind of person who encourages others even before you have opened your mouth to speak.

Be Forgiving

One of the most important things a friend can be is forgiving. True friendships will go through the storms and stand the test of time. If you can make a decision to forgive whenever possible, this will make for a strong friendship.

Children and Adults on the autism spectrum, particularly the milder end, often want to be social, but have trouble making friends. This can lead to later withdrawal and antisocial behavior, especially in adolescence. At this stage of life especially, they risk being drawn into unsuitable and inappropriate friendships and social groups. Learning how to make appropriate friendships can minimize these problems, reduce bullying and lead to better relationships with people who aren’t on the autism spectrum. The sooner these skills are learned, the better.

So these are skills that every Autistic person can learn to be a better friend.

They say a good friend is hard to find, and that can be true. If you are a good friend, you will naturally attract good friends into your own life. Become a good friend, and put this positive cycle to work in your life.