All worthwhile friendships go through ups and downs. Hereare some essential elements for keeping an even keel, in good times or rough.

Forgiveness
It is easier to forgive our enemies than our friends. Butreal forgiveness is not only beautiful, it is essential to showing a friendthat the relationship is more valuable than any argument we may have.

Separateness
It might feel like the primary duty of any friend is to bean unwavering source of physical and moral support – but we also have torecognize when someone is trying to tell us “I need some time to myself,” andknow when it is time to back off.

Simplicity
Friends accept each other wholly, for who they are. If weare asking someone to change, or if someone is asking us to change, we have toremind ourselves that true companionship is unconditional. Be yourself, andallow others to be themselves in turn.

Honesty
Oscar Wilde said “True friends stab you in the front.” Whilepainful, sometimes it may be or duty to tell others what they cannot see forthemselves, and we have to have the humility to receive likewise criticism.

In modern times, we sometimes make friendship morecomplicated than it really is. All we can really do is be empathetic and treatour friends as we wish to be treated!