Friendship is something that everyone needs, even if they don’t know they need it. I know my friends have been there for me more times than I can count, and it makes me want to be a great friend, too! When you need love, encouragement, and support, it’s great to have friends that can be there for you to cheer you on.

One of the biggest keys to having great friends? Make sure that you are one yourself! But don’t worry, being a good friend is even easier than you might realize. I believe three of the most important components of friendship are empathy, sympathy, and loyalty, and they are things that we all can practice. Here’s why:

1. Empathy

Empathy is when someone has a problem that you can relate to on an emotional level. Maybe this is because you’ve experienced the exact same thing, or have found yourself in a similar situation before. When comforting your friend, you can often use the same techniques that comforted you in a similar situation. Showing empathy in this way can help you and your friend connect on a deeper, more personal level. Also, it never hurts to use empathy to set an example for your friends. This way, when they’re comforting someone else, they’ll know what it looks like to use empathy, too!

2. Sympathy

Another important component of friendship is sympathy. Sympathy is very similar to empathy but on a less personal and emotional level. When you practice sympathy, instead of feeling the person’s pain, you acknowledge and feel bad for what they’re going through, even though you haven’t had their same experience. It doesn’t matter if you’re using empathy or sympathy, as long as it’s honest and you mean it as a true friend.

3. Loyalty

The last and possibly most important way to be a great friend is through loyalty! Loyalty is remaining true to your friend and sticking by their side, no matter what. Loyalty is something that goes both ways in relationships. You need to be loyal to your friends, and they should be loyal to you too! If they aren’t, it might be time to find some new friends.

So there you have it! I think those three keys are the foundation of a great friendship. There’s no doubt that friendships can be hard work, but these 3 things will help you build friendships that will last the test of time!

What other attributes do you think are super important in friendship? I’d love to hear what you guys think over on my Instagram or Facebook page!