Contributor: Shannon Malkovsky. Lesson ID: 10264

"Friend" is a word that is tossed around like so much confetti. We all have several relationships, and need to know how to make them work. Use questions and reflection to learn to be a good friend.


Interpersonal Skills

Life Skills
learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


You made plans to meet your friend Tina at the movies at 7:00. Tina arrives 45 minutes late. When she arrives, she does not apologize for being late, but blames you and says if you were concerned you should have called her. When you are standing in line to pay for your movie ticket, Tina realizes she does not have enough money for her ticket and demands you give her some money. You brought just enough money for a ticket and snack, but you feel pressured to give her your money. Is Tina acting like a good friend?

Relationships are an important part of our lives.

They have the potential to add enjoyment and happiness to our lives while, at the same time, other relationships can cause sadness and discomfort.

Today, you will learn about characteristics of a healthy relationship and how you can be a better friend!

Identify the types of relationships you have in your life. Some examples are:

  • parents
  • boyfriends
  • girlfriends
  • friends
  • teachers
  • coaches
  • other parents and adults
  • co-workers

For this activity, work with a friend, sibling, or teacher. Discuss the following questions:

  • Who are people in your life that make you feel good about being yourself, and why?
  • What are the characteristics or qualities you look for in a friend?
  • Does it matter if the friend is a guy or girl?
  • Should you look for the same qualities in a boyfriend or girlfriend as in a friend?

Important characteristics of healthy relationships

We must remember to first examine ourselves for wrong attitudes and qualities, and be the kind of person we want others to be.

Respect Being accepted and allowed to be who you are. No one should pressure you into doing things that make you uncomfortable.

Safety Feeling safe both emotionally and physically.

  • Emotional safety means you feel comfortable being you without fear of being put down.
  • Physical safety means you are not being hurt or pressured into unwanted physical contact.

Support Caring for you and wanting what is best for you. Your friends should understand if you can’t hang out because you have to study or spend time with family.

Individuality Feeling like you can be yourself; after all, being an individual is what makes you, you!

Fairness and equality Having an equal say in your relationships. From the activities you do together to the friends with whom you hang out, you should have equal say in the choices made in your relationships.

Acceptance Friends or girlfriend or boyfriend accepting you for whom you really are. You shouldn’t have to change who you are or compromise your beliefs to make someone like you.

Honesty and trust Honesty builds trust. You can’t have a healthy relationship without trust! If you have ever caught your friend or boyfriend or girlfriend in a huge lie, you know it takes time to rebuild your trust.

Communication Talking face-to-face (not just by text) about your feelings. Listen to one another and hear each other out. Text messages and Facebook messages should be respectful, not mean, hurtful, or inappropriate.

We must also remember that it's important to be humble and forgiving of others. We all make mistakes, and extending forgiveness is a critical part of relationships.

Complete the I Am . . . Worksheet located in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar. This worksheet gives you the opportunity to rate yourself on different qualities that are important to healthy relationships.

Once you have completed the worksheet, add up your score and read about what your score means on the fourth page of the handout.

After you complete the worksheet, please address the following questions:

  • Are you surprised by your score? Why or why not?
  • What skills did you discover that you want to strengthen?

Carry what you've learned to the Got It? section for more self-examination.

Elephango's Philosophy

We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.