Anaïs Nin said, “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” Nin says friendships elicit joy, companionship, and growth, and enrich our entire experience of the world.

I’ve come to realize that, when it comes to friends, some occupy a more integral role in our lives. Sometimes our closest friends live far away. But, as the world becomes smaller, fortunately it only takes one call to spark that immediate connection that seems to have sustained us over the years.

So, what makes someone a really good friend? Why do some people in our lives come and go? What should we expect from friends? Relationship experts say good friends share some important qualities, such as being trustworthy and always honest, even if they don’t always tell us what we want to hear. Good friends enjoy and want to maximize the time they spend with us, actively listen to us, accept who we are, and have our best interests at heart. Good friends make it easy to be ourselves, often able to read between the lines to know when we aren’t doing so well. They’re also reciprocal when it comes to give and take, and don’t just reach out when they need something. At the same time, they’ll willingly help without expecting anything in return. It also takes time to cultivate great friendships.

Changes in seasons can be a catalyst for reevaluating our lives. November is a time for giving thanks, and for being grateful for our families and the good friends and colleagues who enjoy being with us, appreciate us, and help sustain and inspire us to be our best selves, as we weather the seasons of change.

Be healthy. Be safe, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!