Friendships are rather complex, if you ask me. I haven't had too many friends that just "clicked" outright. This probably says more about me than the friends I have. Recently, I've been analyzing what makes a good friend. Here's my list so far. Feel free to contribute your own additions.
1. Have something in common: This could be as simple as a favorite color (if you're 5), movie genre, gas station (Quiktrip), job (if you enjoy it), sports, hobbies. Pretty much anything that you can talk about and share enthusiasm over.
2. Have matching communication: This is a more intricate detail, not easily described in words. Interrupting is a good example. Some people (person A) may interrupt others because they are so excited about the information they want to share. Other people (peron B) choose to wait to speak until there is a pause in the conversation. Neither is necessarily right or wrong, they're just different. But when person A and person B get together to chat, A might think B is uptight or rigid, while B thinks A is rude and doesn't let people think. Other examples: comfort with silence, eye contact, body language.
3. Similar levels of openness: This one is a doozy! Basically, both people need to feel like they can be themselves. It's this unspoken rule that you can only share so much about yourself before another shares the same. If the other person doesn't open up the way you did, then you wonder if you said too much. This is the same with giving advice. Many people have mentor friends without knowing it. That's when A is always going to B when they need advice. But B never goes to A in the same way. It's like a big brother or sister instead of an equal friend. When both people are able to open up, be themselves, ask questions, give and get answers, and receive acceptance in all this, then the friendship is genuine.
4. Shared sense of care: This one is all about not having an agenda. There are many ways to show another person you care about them, but the main point is that your friend knows you care about them. When you contact someone via one of today's various technologies (Facebook, email, phone, text, etc), how often do you contact that person without a reason? I think in today's day and age, it's easy to get so busy that we begin to only think about ourselves. How do I get everything done I need to today? When we are able to slow down and think about people that are important in our lives, our close friends are probably some of the first that come to mind. It's important to care for others, just as it is to feel cared for. This is why a "pointless" phone call or message can go so far. Being married, I know that "just because" gifts go much further than birthday gifts, or any other time gifts are expected. "Just because" means "I thought of you for no other reason than that I care for you." Love is not a fulfillment of an expectation; it is a pouring out of one's heart.
5. Have something to offer: This one sounds pretty simple, but many people go into friendships with the perspective of, "what can I get out of this?" In it's most raw form, this outlook is not a friendship; it's a business endeavor. Having something to offer means, you are willing to give of yourself because you care about the other person, no strings attached. It's very closely related to #4. Friendship goes against the grain of our society because it can't be measured in worth. You can't buy or sell a friendship. So in light of this, you have to be willing to give of yourself without expecting anything in return. Some might say, "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours." But this perspective falls short. You will always be looking for ways to make things even. Yes, a friendships works best when it's equally yoked, but if the friendship itself is hinged on this point, it is not made to last. If you can learn to give without expecting in return, you have learned the greatest and toughest point. Unconditional love.