Learning to Be a ‘Healthy’ Friend

As I get older I’m learning that some friendships are healthy and some are not so healthy. Its been a journey for me but I’ve learned that unhealthy friends tend to manipulate you into doing things that are not good for you. Here is what I’ve learned about unhealthy friends: they take negatively about your and others, the make you feel like you owe them for being their friend, and they also curse at you are tell you things like, “go kill yourself”. Usually, I know if a friendship is healthy or not is how I feel when I finish talking to un-healthy friends and I just feel so tired. Healthy friendships usually make you feel good about yourself and you help them feel good too. I usually feel like I could call a healthy friend my brother or sister because the really do feel like we are related. I’m proud that I have a few healthy friendships in my life and that I learned at a young age that I don’t need a lot of friends to be happy. “Four quarters (healthy friends) are more valuable than one hundred pennies (unhealthy friends)” is usually how I view friendships.

I realized that I was not as good of a friend when I was in the 4th grade. I was being bul-lied at the time and felt that it was how I was supposed to treat others. I did not like being mean because that is not the type of person I am. I learned that we all have power in the lives of others’ and I wanted to use my power for good and not evil so I went on a journey to becoming a healthier friend. It was not easy but I started by listening to feedback from my teachers, my mom and dad, and the opinions of the ‘real’ friends that I had. When they told me I was being mean I usually said sorry or asked them what I said that made them feel as though I was being mean. Changing can be hard but I learned that the healthier friend I became the more I started to get healthier friends. I guess all in all it starts with you!

Why you should have friends now, that is a simple question to answer: you need them to talk to, to play with at recces, to sit by and talk to them at lunch, to talk about hard work in class, and because it brings you happiness to have positive healthy friends.

You can get healthy friends by modeling the type of friendships you want through being kind, helpful, funny, positive, and don't get mad at them too much; oh and every healthy friendship needs a handshake.

Gregory, 12