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“I get by with a little help from my friends.”

—John Lennon.

Could your friends say that about you?

We all need to support each other, especially our friends and peer and we need that support to be mutual. We must give and expect the following if we can count on them as friends:

  • No fear of talking openly about emotions, moods and feelings.

  • No reluctance to ask for help when needed. It can be a practical, advice or just someone to listen.

  • Trust

1. Because you are prepared to help.

Whatever task you might be facing your friend might need some extra help. Maybe it’s helping them with their lines, Dance or lyrics, Maybe they need to hear the positive way you see them. Here at Stageworks and Danceworks our favourite part is seeing beautiful friendships blossom and from friendships comes confidence. Preparing to help one of your peers is always the best way to make a new friend, you will also feel brilliant after.

2. Because you will tell the truth.

Telling the truth can often be hard, but it is the sign of a true friendship. You will want you friend to do well and you will also want to see them succeed, constructive criticism to help and support to help them learn and grow is a key skill and basis for a beautiful friendship.

3. Because you will lighten the burden.

Talking about a problem is wonderful therapy. It can really assist you in coming to grips with it and help lighten the load. It may be a problem in your class, can you not kick your leg as high? Can you not sing that song? You can offer advice and support to help them on their way with a smile.

4. Because you are always positive.

Maybe your friend has ambitions or dreams. You do not say:

“You haven’t got the experience.”

“You wouldn’t stand a chance —it’s far too competitive.”

“You won’t be able to do it.’

Instead, try to be positive and encouraging. You can tell them that you are aware of any obstacles, but shooting down an idea like that is not how real friends operate.

The only way to get something you have always dreamed of is to do something you have never done. You can expect a reciprocal approach from your friend when you want to reach your goals and objectives.

5. Because you are accountable.

You know yourself well and you are not in denial about any defects you might have. You never play the blame game and try to defend a gaffe or a bad move by blaming others or even to bad luck. You have no problem in being accountable for all your actions, including your mistakes. Your ability to show your friends compassion and empathy is living proof of all this.

6. Because you know how to nurture friendship.

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friendship is rather like a delicate plant. It needs watering, pruning and tender, loving care. You have to look after it. Try these to make sure it remains in great shape:

Keep talking and finding out similarities or even differences.

· Be thoughtful. Be supportive.

· Never exploit the friendship to gain other friends.

· Never give the impression that you know more or are superior.

· Never gossip about your friend to others.

· Celebrate successes and commiserate when failures happen.

· Be there for each other

· Enjoy each other's company

· Have FUN

7. Because you do not have exclusive rights.

Friendship is strange sometimes. Some people guard it jealously and allow no one else in. Learning to share and not being possessive are prime qualities in a friend. Share your friend, after all the more the merrier right?!

8. Because their success is your success.

Whatever their accomplishments may be, in class, in a show, exam etc sharing the success and joy is a great feeling. Maybe they had the part you auditioned for? Maybe they are at the front of the dance and you wanted to be? Being happy for our peers successes are paramount. We don’t always get what we want but the journey to get there makes it so much worthwhile. We can learn a lot from our friend’s achievements and handle them without jealousy.

9. Because you never forget the small stuff.

You know when to be there if the going gets tough. A message, a party invite, or a visit are worth their weight in gold. That’s when you can tell whether you have a real friend. No excuses or procrastination.

10. Because you communicate with each other easily.

With real, supportive friends, you never have to worry about communication and how you are getting your ideas across, because these will come naturally. You both feel at ease about opening up and there is never any need for being assertive or aggressive. If there is ever any disagreement or argument, you are both mature enough to listen to each other’s opinion, without getting hot under the collar.

The relationships that we have in our lives help to form who we are as a person; who we surround ourselves with speaks mountains about us, and to us. Our friends represent who we wish to become, who we identify with, and who we care about. It's very common, though, for us to get involved in friendships that are not beneficial or perhaps even healthy for us. Some people will call themselves your friend, but they can be detrimental to you. When you find the right friends, however, the tried and true friends, it just feels right. They are there for you to lean on and vice versa. True, supportive friends become family. These friendships just feel right and take very little effort to uphold.

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