Jo Palmer | Learn to be a true friend

Southern Cross newsreader Jo Palmer takes a look at life in a world full of change and challenges.
Southern Cross newsreader Jo Palmer takes a look at life in a world full of change and challenges.

How do you know you have found a good friend?

Is it by the number of ‘likes’ they give your social media posts?

Or perhaps how generous the birthday present is?

These past few weeks I have realised that I have found the secret of how you know when you have a truly good friend.

The past month has been a little stressful for me.  

Trying to work, be a good mum, keep up with the washing and cooking while also trying to work on a special project.  

During that time, I may have snapped at my hubby, growled at my kids a little more than they deserved and certainly completely neglected my poor mum.

But sometimes life is just like that and our families need to ride the storm with us, waiting until it passes.

But not friends.   We are not supposed to snap, growl or ignore our friends.

Family can’t dump you when you behave badly, they are stuck with you.  However, friends are under no genetic obligation to stick by your side.

Last week I snapped at a friend of mine.  In fact, snapped might be too soft a word, I think I snarled at her.

She did nothing to deserve it.  She just rang at the wrong time of my day.

Now there were many ways she could have responded; given me a serve back, ended the phone call and not called back.   

But instead, the very next day she arrived on my door step with a huge lasagne and a gift.

I didn’t deserve her kindness in that moment, but she didn’t care whether I deserved it or not.

She wasn’t worried about what I had said, she was just worried about why I had said it.

Picking up on my stress levels, she went about trying to help me out of the situation rather than waiting for a chance for retribution.

We are nowhere near New Year’s Eve, but I have made an August resolution.  To train myself to try and understand why people do things, rather than focusing on what they actually do.

A good friend isn’t concerned about when you stuff up.  They know you love them even when your behaviour doesn’t necessarily demonstrate that.

‘Likes’ on social media mean nothing.  A stranger can like a post but never ever give you a second thought.  While we all adore presents – the price of something is by no means a tool for measuring love.

A good friend shows up when you have nothing to offer them other than a bad mood and a harsh tongue.

That’s the sort of friend I want to be.

And here’s hoping that I will also adopt my new positive way of looking at life with my poor old family as well!