What makes a good friend? What makes a mutual friendship? How can you tell that you’re already cultivating a healthy friendship? You see, in today’s hurried world, pegging down the qualities of a good friend can be very tricky. In fact, sometimes you might be having a good friend but fail to realize them because you’re already blinded with hanging out with the wrong company.
You see, finding the right set of friends isn’t always easy. Before your friends accept you as mutual rather than being a casual acquaintance, you must first make yourself friendly. From there, you can start building a solid support network with those friends that you trust. Now, a good friend can vary in terms of attitude and character.
A special friend can be your long-time high school classmate, a concerned workmate, a stranger that helped you in a desperate situation, or maybe a good friend who later became your spouse. But, regardless of whom he/she is, a good friend should be a key piece in your mental and emotional well-being. They should surround you with love, compassion, and appreciation when handling life’s ups and downs.
25 Characteristics of a Good Friend
But, despite having a set of trusted friends that qualify to be in your inner circle, how good are you in identifying those ideal qualities of a good friend? Since it’s easy to fall into unhealthy dynamics, this guide has discussed 25 key qualities you need to internalize when looking for a good friend.
1. They’re Trustworthy
The first essential quality of a good friend is trustworthiness. You see, in life, we all have our deepest secrets. Some of these secrets are about our past lives while others are about our present lives. Some secrets may be okay if we shared them while others may be too sensitive to speak out to just anyone.
And since sharing some of these secrets may be a step towards healing our wounds, finding a trustworthy friend is an absolute-must. So, a good friend is someone who’s able to keep your deepest secrets in the vault. Regardless of what you share with him/her, this friend is capable of keeping his/her lips zipped unless the secret is too dangerous to remain just a secret.
2. They’re Loyal
The second quality of a good friend is loyalty. In fact, this quality is unquestionably one of the most important aspects of a mutual friend. You see, regardless of your status or your social class, there are times in life when things get too rough. Maybe it’s in your education, your marriage, your career, your health, or your financial life.
During this time, your world turns upside down and the burden appears like an insurmountable mountain. During these hard times, most of your friends in the “casual acquaintance” bracket are likely to turn their backs on you.
In contrast, a good friend will always be loyal no matter the kind of challenges you’re going through. They’ll always stick by your side and help you during your struggling times. They’ll always give you words of encouragement and make those insurmountable mountains appear like small hills.
3. They’re Honest
Other than loyalty, honesty is another quality that makes your friendship significant. Now, in life, we always find ourselves in a dilemma where we have to decide between A and B. Maybe it’s in your career, clothing, romance, or education.
In most cases, we always find ourselves calling out to our friends to hear their humble opinions. Now, a good friend will not be cruel or abusive. However, they will slap your face with their honest opinions without worrying whether it will hurt your feelings.
They will be ready to look bad rather than deceive you with white lies just to spare your feelings. They will be ready to share accurate information that might save you from a devastating consequence.
Mutual respect is another hallmark that defines a good friend. Do they respect your time, your opinions, your principles, your personality, your mistakes, and you as a person? You see, your friend may not have the same interests as you. Maybe you love watching movies while your friend enjoys hanging out with others in the swimming pool, amusement parks, or other social places.
But regardless of the huge rift between your interests, your friend must put your wishes first and respect them. He/she must also respect the deep secrets you share and should never use them as conversational currencies with other friends.
5. They’re Accepting
Now, most of us have faced rejection at some point in life. It might be because of how you look, the kind of interests you have, or maybe a weakness that tends to pull you down. While most of your “other friends” may reject you for that, a true friend will accept you unconditionally and will always be there to celebrate you for who you are.
A true friend will never get sidetracked by what others say. True friends will never judge you whatsoever. Instead, they’ll encourage you to recognize and accept your uniqueness for that is who you really are.
When it comes to making decisions, a true friend will share his/her humble opinion that will be pivotal to your personal growth. You will also feel comfortable being around your best friends without having to mask your true identity.
6. Always Committed
Apart from just accepting you, a good friend is always committed to the special friendship bond you share. Whether it’s a longtime high school friend or just a coworker, a special friend will always maintain the bond regardless of how far away or how many years you’ve been apart.
In true friendship, there’s no breakup, no goodbyes nor does it end. A good friend will always love, respect, and appreciate you. They will always be there for you, and most importantly, they’ll show their love to you through their actions rather than their words.
7. Good Friends are Inspiring
Coming seventh in these qualities of a good friend essay is an inspiration. You see, earlier on, we mentioned that good friends know how to keep secrets. Also, good friends are excellent listeners. So, by sharing most of your secrets with your good friends, you give them the chance to learn more about you. In the process, they understand you better.
By sharing your heart and your mind out, your good friends become more like your real-life guide or your mirror. This way, your friends become your inspiration or your personal cheerleader when traversing through the journey of life.
They boost your confidence and self-esteem when you’re trying to achieve goals that once appeared unattainable. Your best friend is never envious of your success but is rather interested in boosting you to become the best version of yourself.
8. They’re Always Present
In life, there are two types of friends that surround you. There are the fairweather friends and there are true friends. Fairweather friends always hung around you when you’re happy and successful. These friends are usually in plenty and are very deceiving. When it comes to your most painful moments, these types of friends usually abandon you and move to the next successful person.
However, when it comes to true friendship, your best friend will never abandon you regardless of the challenges you’re going through. These types of friends will always stick by your side and will always be ready to give you their shoulders to cry on.
Whether it’s a health crisis, physical illness, loss of a loved one, or disappointments in your place of work, a true friend will always care for you no matter how many times you call for them.
9. They Always Listen
Companion and empathy are two aspects that combine to make an excellent listener. You see, there are times when all that’s needed is an active listener to just listen to your hopes, fears, dreams, foolishness, and ridiculous stories.
And why exactly? Because a problem shared is half solved. So, by speaking your heart and your mind out, you solve half of the problem. If your friend is a good listener, then he/she will sink deeper to understand and validate your point.
From there, they can ask relevant questions before offering their honest opinions. In the process, your friend might share an idea that might not have crossed your mind earlier. This way, you might find yourself overcoming some of your small fears.
10. They Always Have You In Their Minds
Through sharing your deepest secrets with your good friend, he/she ends up knowing you better than you even know yourself. Since they acknowledge your feeling at an advanced level, a good friend has your best interest in mind. This way, your friend can become your biggest cheerleader and your greatest advocate when achieving certain goals in life.
Although your interests may not benefit your friends in any way, their honest opinions can play a huge role in your personal growth. Their encouragement can also boost your confidence when you have self-doubt thus helping you to discover a happy and healthy version of yourself.
11. They’re Always Forgiving
Good friends are always ready to forgive. As humans, we often find ourselves on the wrong side of things. So, whether it’s in a marriage or a deep friendship, there are times when you might experience minor differences between you and your friend/spouse.
However, since a friend is someone you often share your innermost secrets with, telling them the reason why you messed up can help to rebuild your relationship quite fast. A good friend is supposed to understand your situation and accept your apology.
The same case applies to you. In case your friend wrongs you, you too are supposed to forgive them. You’re also supposed to offer some advice that will help prevent the act from ever repeating itself in the future.
12. Always Helpful
The primary goal of friendship is to have fun together. But, when it comes to helping each other out, true friends are the only ones that handle this burden. In most cases, most of your casual friends will only reach out when you have plenty to offer. In contrast, good friends always reach out to you even when you have nothing to offer.
For instance, if you’re in a hospital bed and you desperately need someone, a good friend will always sit right next to you to fulfill all your needs. If you’re struggling with your grades or your career, good friends will be ever ready to help you improve without asking for anything in return.
Good friends will always wash your dishes, do the laundry, hold the ladder for you and offer both physical and emotional support when you’re helpless.
13. They Don’t Judge You
A good friend knows you like the back of their palm. Since you’ve shared lots of secrets, they know who you are and are hence able to guide you through the steps of life. When it comes to the issue of judging and being judged, a great friend will always respect your judgments.
From there, they’ll give their humble opinion regardless of whether it’s conflicting. In case you made a bad judgment, a good friend will help you to overcome your mistakes to avoid making the same error again.
When looking for a good friend, avoid those friends that scold you when you make wrong judgments. Such friends induce self-doubt, lower your self-esteem and they make you feel insecure when you’re close to them.
14. They’re Ready to Have Deep Conversations
There are different types of friends that revolve around our lives. There are those casual friends whom we only feel obliged to share light conversations. However, there are those friends that are so close that you’re free to share almost anything with them.
Such friends are almost equal to our romantic partners as they offer both physical and emotional support. Such friends acknowledge us, they actively listen, and they’re appreciative rather than being ignorant.
So, if you have a friend with whom you share deep conversations about your dreams, religion, spirituality, relationship, and your fears among others, then he/she must be special.
15. You’re Genuinely Comfortable Around Them
Although this statement is often overlooked, being comfortable around your friends means that you’ve opened your heart to them and they’ve accepted you for who you are. They’ve accepted your good, your bad, and your ugly. This way, there’s a feeling of comfort when you’re around them since they know every aspect of your personality.
Also, being close to your friends means that you can ask them for any type of favor. Whether you need some assistance with your school assignment, financial assistance, or maybe you want them to pick you up after work, good friends will never hesitate to help you.
16. They’re Humorous
If you’ve been wondering what are the qualities of a good friend, then humor is one aspect that defines them. You see, the world pretends to be serious. So, if we fall into its trap, then we might end up developing depression which can be very dangerous.
Thankfully, with good friends, we can see the positive side of life, which can motivate us to face another day. A good friend doesn’t need to be a brilliant comedian. Instead, he/she should share the lighter side of life by cracking jokes, sharing funny memes, and referencing those funny moments you’ve shared. By doing this, your friend keeps you in good mood, which helps fight stress and depression.
17. Genuinely Celebrate Your Success
Social media has come with the illusion that the more friends you have, the better for you. In the real sense, however, a quality friend is much better than hundreds of friends. Now, if you happen to succeed in something, you’ll be amazed to realize that some of the people you thought were friends will turn their backs on you.
That’s because the instinctive feeling of envy has taken the better of them. However, a true friend will never turn his/her back on you. Instead, they’ll mark your success with a special occasion such as a party just to celebrate you. Since they have your best interest in them, good friends will genuinely celebrate your success and wish you the best of luck in your next life.
18. Can Be Relied On
Another quality of a good friend is dependability or reliability. Now, if you happen to be so successful, you’ll obviously attract a huge gathering of fairweather friends. But, if things get sour, these friends are likely to vanish.
In contrast, good friends always show up in both good and rough times. These friends will be willing to shoulder some of your burdens to relieve you from your struggles. If it’s a death crisis, good friends will attend the burial and they’ll commit themselves to help in any manner.
If it’s about health, a good friend will take you then pick you up from your doctor’s appointment. In case you’ve lost your job, they’ll understand your situation and support you to make it through the hard times.
19. They’re Always Positive
Friendship is complex chemistry that involves soul-to-soul connectivity. It takes a lot of courage and guts to open up to a stranger whom you’ve just known for a short time. A good friend is someone who will walk you through the long journey of life with extreme love and support.
Although the road is sometimes unbearable, a good friend must be positive enough to transform the wild road into something delightful. They’re always adventurous, excited, and optimistic enough to show you the positive side of life.
20. They Show Reciprocity
Another quality of a good and healthy friendship is reciprocity. Reciprocity is the act of returning favors. You see, in a healthy relationship, there must be a balance between giving and taking. Today, you might be in dire need of help. This might be financially, emotionally, spiritually, or physically. Tomorrow, your friend might be the one in dire need.
So, to make your friendship balanced, each of you must carry the ball at some point. This way, your friendship will not tip over at some point.
A good friend supports you both physically and emotionally. They always give you their ears and they often understand the emotional stress you’re going through. To those that have gone through a similar experience before, they’ll help carry the load for you by first comforting you then offering the right advice.
22. They’re Very Protective
If you’ve read qualities of a good friend quotes, then you’re aware of how protective a good friend should be. But, protectiveness comes in two forms. One, a friend can pretend to be protective yet it’s in a self-interested manner. You see, some friends will pretend to be caring yet their main goal is to pull you to their side to take advantage of you.
On the other hand, true friends just love you the way you are. Such friends are not possessive or self-interested in any way. Their main goal is to protect you from your bad habits, from drinking and driving, from falling into unhealthy relationships, or from self-destroying yourself.
23. They Love Adventure
Boredom is one recipe that stimulates mental, emotional, and physical stress. When you’re lonely, you see the world as a mountain full of challenges. But, with a good friend, you not only feel confident, but you also feel positive and inspired.
A good friend will not only make you smile but will also hold your hand and traverse with you to experience the world. Whether it’s mountain climbing, bungee jumping, or spending a night in a resort far away from home, a good friend will be always willing to experience the world with you.
24. Are Always Excited to See You
Have you ever scheduled a meeting with a friend then you suddenly hope they’d cancel? Well, that’s a clear sign that such a friend isn’t part of your close friends. A real genuine friend is the one that makes you feel excited whenever you invite him/her over.
The strong bond you share in your friendship makes you develop chemistry that stimulates you mentally and physically. When you arrive at a party, such friends display a high degree of excitement the moment you show up.
In case you’re going through a rough time, seeing a good friend showing up at your door gives you the confidence and motivation to face the situation since you’re aware that you aren’t alone.
25. They Can Fearlessly Confront You
Earlier on, we mentioned those good friends are honest, caring, loyal, and forgiving. But, despite all these qualities, a good friend will not just stand and watch you while you sabotage yourself. Since your friend always wants the best for you, he/she will actively confront you for your bad habits.
Maybe you’re drinking excessively, you’re not eating enough, you’re not doing your school assignments, or maybe you’re not serious with your career. Since all these factors are likely to jeopardize your life, a good friend will warn you early enough before things get worse.
As you can see, there are many qualities that make up a good friend. Some of these qualities of a good friend are easy to recognize while others are hidden. Therefore, when looking for a good friend, always focus on some of these qualities to know which type of friendships can evolve beyond casual acquaintances.
Also, avoid wasting time with friends that cannot reciprocate the love and care you show to them. Lastly, when looking for a friend, you should make yourself lovable for you to be loved. If your friends are good to you, you should reciprocate the love by being good to them. This way, you’ll end up forging long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.