17 Things a Good Friend Does Not Do

A light and fun QBQ! blog with a practical message. Enjoy the metaphor!

Hopkins final name

Hopkins is the third oldest member of the Miller clan, predating even Kristin, my QBQ! speaker colleague.

Hopkins has lived with us in Mankato, MN; Great Falls, MT; St. Louis, MO; Brooklyn Center, MN; Plymouth, MN; and Denver, CO—since …

February 1981!

Hopkins is female Three-toed Box Turtle (shown above).

My wife, Karen, and I purchased “Hopkins” at a pet store in Hopkins, Minnesota more than 34 years ago!

Hopkins has experienced our ups and downs, highs and lows, and good times and bad. If there has been one constant in the Miller household, it’s Hopkins. She is the family pet that no one in our house can imagine not being in our house!

Hopkins … more than three decades of friendship. 🙂

In fact, Hopkins is a better friend than a dog. You see, a turtle never barks at the UPS or FedEx guy, messes on the carpet, sheds all over the couch, or eats my brand new bluetooth headset an hour after it arrived!!!


Hopkins has been a good friend.

Hopkins is the quality of friend I can only hope to be, because Hopkins never does these things:

  • Judges
  • Controls
  • Argues
  • Interrupts
  • Blames
  • Clings
  • Manipulates
  • Shames
  • Competes
  • Envies
  • Pries
  • Boasts

Nor does Hopkins possess the immature human need to:

  • Top me in conversation
  • Have the last word
  • Laugh only at her own jokes
  • Make everything about her
  • Say LET’S DO LUNCH! but never call

Really, Hopkins is the perfect friend. 🙂Hopkins and book

Yes, yes, I know—it’s a silly metaphor, comparing a reptile to people. But maybe, just maybe, I need to be a little more like Hopkins, the Three-toed Box Turtle. Maybe I can be a better friend.

We listed 17 things good friends don’t do.

I like “don’t do this stuff” lists. For me, they’re more helpful than a list of things to do.

So, in reviewing the 17 behaviors good friends don’t engage in, here’s the question:

Have I been a good friend lately?

It’s an accountable question worth asking.

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6 Responses

  1. Another good blog John–friendship. This is an area that I think needs work for me. Thanks for the input.

    I have also found the need to apply the concept of friendship to myself. I have learned to ask myself the question, have I been a good friend to myself? Do I listen to my inner thoughts and try to be understanding of my own needs. Or am I overly judgemental, critical, blaming, and shaming to myself? Perhaps there are also times I need to ask myself if I am to self-absorbed and if so, what is lacking in myself that causes me to behave this way. By being my own best friend, I can be a great listener, reduce some of my own internal harshness, and offer up good advice to myself in a kind and thoughtful way in those areas that need improvement. I find being a good friend to me also helps me to be a good friend to others.


  2. Actually, I wouldn’t call this a silly metaphor at all. For years I have told people that I could count my TRUE friends on one hand. This confirms what I’ve been saying. We go through life and have many friends but are they TRUE friends like Hopkins? I recently lost one to a massive stroke a few months ago. His last words to me were “Jim, you know there is nothing I wouldn’t do for you!” I replied in kind and knew we both meant every word of it. He was a TRUE friend. I mention this to say, although my finger count went down, John you are still one the ones left. Thanks for helping me explain what I meant by a TRUE friend!

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