Cultivating healthy friendships amongst students is crucial for a positive learning environment. When students know the difference between healthy and unhealthy behaviors, they are able to modify their behavior. Encourage them to look inward as you review the qualities of a healthy friendship. Let’s take a look at 8 healthy friendship qualities that you can start teaching your students today.
8 Healthy Friendship Qualities
A good friend accepts the uniqueness of their friend. They don’t try to change them. An unhealthy friend might continue to tell you how to dress, how to talk, how to act, or how to feel.
Healthy friends are active listeners who pay attention, ask questions, and are interested in what you have to say. The opposite would be that they pretend to listen just so they can have their turn to talk next.
Healthy friends set rules for how they expect to be treated. The rules are fair and have real meaning. For example, you might have specific things that you ask of others like not standing too close because you get nervous in crowds. Friends tell each other when a personal boundary is being crossed. If a rule is broken, a healthy friend will tell their friend and give them a second chance. An unhealthy friend wouldn’t care about your boundaries and might make fun of you for having them at all.
Friends work together and sometimes give up a little of something they want so that everyone gets to win a little. Simply put, this is about sharing and taking turns. An unhealthy friend might try to be controlling and make all the rules to benefit them.
A healthy friend forgives past mistakes and doesn’t keep bringing it up. An unhealthy behavior would be holding a grudge and making the friend feel bad about it again and again.
Healthy friends respect their friend as a unique individual with their own thoughts, wants and emotions. They respect their time, boundaries and feelings and they don’t question the importance of them. Respecting their privacy also includes not spreading rumors or telling others their private information.
Healthy friends encourage you to go for your dreams. They cheer you on and are there when you need them even when it’s not convenient for them.
A quality friendship is based on trust. This means that it’s just expected that everyone is telling the truth. If you trust each other, jealousy is not an issue. You don’t need to control each other and you don’t mind if your friend has other friends. When there’s no trust, an unhealthy or toxic behavior might include trying to control the friend and setting limits on them.
Once your students grasp what it takes to have healthy relationships, they will be ready to contribute to your cooperative learning groups. Read more here about how peer relationships have an impact on academic performance.
Do you have any tips for improving student relationships in the classroom? Please share below.
Don’t have time to create a lesson for your students? Check out the Friendship Escape Room activity. Your students will be chosen to complete a mission to stop the virus that is infecting friends around the world with toxic behaviors.