55+ Qualities of a Good Friend

It’s hard to find good friends—they’re like needles in a haystack. But when you do, they’re worth their weight in gold.

So what makes a good friend? What qualities do they possess that make them desirable to be around? Are there specific characteristics that all of them share? These are all questions worth exploring when finding true friendship.

According to experts, here are the top qualities that make up a good friend.

John F. Tholen, PhD

John F. Tholen

Retired Psychologist | Author, “Focused Positivity: The Path to Success and Peace of Mind

What makes a good friend?

We are social animals—biologically and psychologically programmed to bond with others. Our attachments to people create our most powerful emotional experiences. 

Most of us rate our personal relationships as primary importance—ahead of:

  • Careers
  • Accomplishments
  • Fame
  • Wealth

A strong social support network can make us feel more “grounded” and “centered” than any other experience. 

However, personal relationships can be complicated and can result in intense emotional pain when they go wrong. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to carefully consider a person’s potential for a healthy relationship before becoming deeply attached.

Here are the most important qualities to look for in a potential friend:

They look after your personal well-being

It is painful to watch a friend fail to take appropriate measures to ensure optimal physical or emotional well-being. Failing to invest in physical or emotional health conveys (to others and ourselves) the message that we are somehow unimportant or unworthy

In addition to prioritizing physical and emotional health, those with the greatest potential for friendship will also pursue: 

  • Occupational and financial security
  • Cognitive exercise
  • Healthy interpersonal connections
  • Opportunities for creativity and self-expression
  • A sense of meaning and purpose 

This means that we can increase our capacity (and attractiveness) for healthy friendship by pursuing this wellness lifestyle.

They have consistent respect for the feelings and wishes of others

A friend who fails to consider our thoughts and hopes is likely to become a source of frustration.

They practice responsible assertiveness

A habit of respectfully but directly expressing honest feelings and wishes in a manner that also shows respect for the wishes and feelings of the person we are interacting with enhances a person’s capacity for friendship. 

Responsible assertiveness falls in “the sweet spot” between passivity and aggression. 

Whereas passivity fails to make our feelings and (their importance) clear, and aggression implies insult or intimidation, responsible self-assertion can include statements of: 

  • Empathy
  • Feeling
  • Wish
  • Intent 

Without hostility, threat, or disrespect.

They trust you with the truth

Those likely to be good friends will trust us with the truth and meet their obligations to others.

They give sufficient time and energy

A healthy friendship requires the commitment of sufficient time and energy to meet the other friend’s expectations.

They tolerate and accept mistakes as well as regret their own faults

As imperfect humans, each of us at times requires acceptance of innocent idiosyncrasies, normal faults, and weaknesses, and sincerely regretted mistakes.

They respect boundaries

Disregarding another’s personal space or business can create perpetual conflict.

They are willing to compromise for the sake of preserving the relationship

Conflicts invariably arise in every relationship, and a willingness to negotiate and compromise is how we demonstrate the esteem in which we hold the friendship.

Dr. Nicole Murray

Nicole Murray

Psychologist and Founder, Cultured Space Inc.

They display genuine happiness and provide authentic suggestions

There are so many qualities that make up a friend, and understanding yourself and what you want from a friendship is the first key to recognizing the healthy attributes of a good friend. 

Related: How to Get to Know Yourself Better

Once that is established, there are four components to a good friendship I often emphasize with my clients.


To have a supportive friend is to have a friend who can display genuine happiness when you achieve your goals—you know, without envy or anger. 

A good friend can also listen without problem-solving or provide authentic suggestions if appropriate; however, beware of the friend that only provides toxic positivity as it can indicate a superficial relationship. 


Having a good friend doesn’t necessarily mean they will respond to every text within seconds, but they should respond at some point. 

Any friend that repeatedly ‘ghosts’ or doesn’t bother to respond to you sends a message about how much they value that relationship.


Presence sometimes looks different for different friends, which is normal, especially in adulthood. 

  • There are some friends you may not talk to for months but are happy to accept your call and reconnect like it was yesterday. 
  • There are friends that you can talk to for hours on the phone but getting them to show up for a dinner date is like pulling teeth. 
  • In contrast, some friends are always up for a good time but have difficulty talking about serious issues, which is also normal.


A good friend knows their boundaries regarding time, commitments, and how they want to be treated and simultaneously respects and honors your boundaries. 

You know when these boundaries are respected when they are enforced without fears of: 

  • Backlash
  • Guilted feelings
  • Passive-aggressiveness

Conclusively, keeping these factors in mind can keep your expectations of a good friend healthy and realistic. 

Gone are the days when the all-in-one friends are the friend you: 

  • Talk to for hours on the phone
  • Hang out on the weekend
  • Drop everything to drive you somewhere
  • Or pick something up for you 

If you have a friend like this—fabulous! But this is not typically the norm. 

Candice King

Candice King

Breakthrough Life Coach

They bring and share warm home friendships with you

One of the basic human needs is love and connection. Friendships are essential to our wholeness and well-being. Through our life experiences, each person will have different needs when it comes to friendships. 

Our needs are driven by what we valueFeeling heard, loved, and accepted are all elements of human connection and important aspects of forging a friendship with great foundations. 

Friendships evolve and change as we get older, and our needs are different. I feel friendships that feed our needs are the foundations for lifelong friendships. 

Vulnerability and trust are your foundations

So, what makes the quality of being a good friend? Allow yourself to reflect on your life and the friends you have had. 

  • What friendships stood out for you the most? 
  • Which ones came and went? 
  • Which ones stood the test of time and life? 

Friendships are about trust and vulnerability, but which one comes first? 

  • Vulnerability is really about being who we are, even though we risk emotional exposure and uncertainty.
  • Trust is about being authentic, vulnerable, and open to another person.

There is a massive risk in both trust and vulnerability. These are the foundations for being a good friend. 

So, I pose the question; when building or growing a friendship, do you trust first, or are you vulnerable first? 

I believe that there is a kind of stacking. An opportunity to be vulnerable and then a chance to trust, and so you go forth in building this foundation.

Remember that only friendships we deem worthy of our story get to hear our story. 

They establish walls of healthy boundaries

Once the friendship foundations have been built, the walls are important, and this is about healthy boundaries

Boundaries in friendships keep the “parking garages” clear (I will explain more about this now); it keeps expectations, assumptions, and presumptions at bay. 

On a side note, parking garages are all those issues, hurt feelings, and “the stuff” we do not dare to talk about. So, we stack it up in the parking garage and allow it to fester. It’s never a good thing for friendships or any relationships. 

Keeping healthy boundaries in place allows for a friendship to blossom and grow because you know exactly where you stand with one another. 

They dare to discuss tough conversations

Another wall of this friendship house we are building is tough conversations. Having the courage to be vulnerable to share when you are not happy with something is vitally crucial for friendships to flourish. 

Tough conversations are a skill that’s built through self-awareness and knowing how to have a conversation out of: 

  • judgment, 
  • finger-pointing, and 
  • owning our part to play. 

Being a vault for your friend is a critical aspect of being a friend. None of this “please don’t say anything but so and so…….” That will not build on the foundation of trust should our friend hear something personal doing its rounds.

We don’t always know if our friends are doing the best they can; however, if we assume positive intent, then just assuming that they are doing their best seems to settle the backward and forward of thinking if they are or are not. 

Non-judgement and integrity support your friendship

Non-judgement and integrity are values that I mentioned in the beginning. Knowing as a friend:

  • You have a safe space to share the good, the bad, and the ugly without judgment
  • You will feel connected, valued, and loved.

Integrity is one of those values I hold in high regard. Many friendships profess to have integrity; however, do they practice it?

Integrity and non-judgment for me form the roof to finish off this beautiful, supportive, and warm home friendships can bring. 

May your friendships flourish and support you in the ways that you need.

Jill Liberman

Jill Liberman

Founder, Choose Happy | Author, “Choose Happy

A friend is a present you give yourself

They are like your second family

A good friend lifts you and supports you. 

  • They are your cheerleader, someone who encourages you and enriches your life. 
  • A good friend inspires you to do better by encouraging you and boosting your self-esteem.

Friends bring happiness

They are people we look forward to speaking to and spending time with because they bring out the best in us. They know the importance of honesty, trust, and loyalty. 

They are just as glad for your happiness and success as they are for their own. Friends are sincerely happy for you when things are going right in your life.

They understand and accept you and your choices in life

Friends understand you and accept who you are and your choices in life. They don’t try to change you. They “get you.” There is no need to explain; they know.

A true friend is with you during break-ups, illnesses, and life’s challenges, not just when it is convenient for them. They are available and present for you.

Related: How to Help a Friend Going Through a Breakup

Lastly, a quality of a good friend is someone who encourages you to take care of yourself. They support your physical and emotional well-being.

Sira Mas

Sira Mas

Relationship Coach and Founder, The Truly Charming

A good friend can see the world through your lens and believes in you

Feeling understood is a basic human need. This is why we tend to feel good around people who: 

  • Don’t judge us
  • Make us feel heard
  • Accepts us
  • Make us feel emotionally safe

And a good friend does exactly this. They are the ones who can see the world through your lens. 

And somehow, they’re always able to put themselves in your shoes. In other words, good friends tend to be highly empathetic people—and that’s why we tend to feel so connected to them.

Good friends never make you feel judged

When you have a true friend, you can sense it. You know that if you need to vent, you can always count on them, and you know that you can be the most authentic version of yourself around them.

They will: 

  • Never make you feel judged
  • Always tell you what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear

In fact, a good friend would never put you down for being who you are, and they would never judge your choices or actions.

They will never talk behind your back

Another reason why you will always feel comfortable around a good friend is you know they will never talk behind your back because they’re loyal. 

Related: Why Do People Talk Behind Your Back?

If someone tries to put them against you, they will let you know and will always want to listen to your version of the story before even believing what they heard.

As Yolanda Hadid said, “Fake friends believe in rumors, while real friends believe in you.

Andrea Dindinger, MA, MTF

Andrea Dindinger

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

There is no “perfect friend” as we all look for attributes in our friends that either complement us or fill a void we need to fill. 

Some of the characteristics that I feel make a good friend include:

They are loyal

A good friend will be by your side for the good, the bad, and the ugly. They will be there for the fun times and be there when you need someone to lift you. 

Sometimes they will even know you need their support without asking. These are the friends who will drop whatever they are doing to rush to your house at 2 am if you need them without question. 

They give you honest insights

A true friend will tell you the truth, whether you want to hear it or not. They will help balance you by giving you perspective and insights from another lens. 

They will be the ones to tell you if they disagree with your position, even if it means conflict. Your differences may actually be part of what attracts you to one another.

They are your ally and trusted confidant

A real friend will never knowingly deceive or aim to harm you. They are your ally and trusted confidant who always has your best interests at heart. 

You know you can show and share your innermost feelings and thoughts and not be concerned with their reaction as they will always love you no matter what.

A real friend makes you feel safe

Safe in that they’re not going to try to fix your problem or judge you or your problem. Safe that you know what they have to offer because they’re excellent at managing their own boundaries. 

Safety builds trust, the foundation of all solid relationships. 

Shikha Rastogi

Shikha Rastogi

Certified Life Coach

They listen to you without judgment 

Before I begin to talk about what makes a friend a great friend, I would like first to explore what a friend is. 

Since human beings are social creatures, we like to not only share our happiness with others but also like others to help us get through challenging times in our lives. 

We like to create bonds with others, but sometimes those bonds are the very reason for our pain, while other times, these bonds help us thrive.

And one of those bonds that we form with others, especially those who are not part of our families, is the bond of friendship

And depending on a person’s personality, they may have many friends or just a handful, but the key is that we all either already have friends or desire to have some.

So, what exactly does one look for in a friend when creating a friendship, especially a good friendship? 

Although each of us may define a good friend in different ways, a few desired qualities in a good friend are their ability to: 

  • Understand you
  • Laugh and cry with you
  • Listen to you without judgment 
  • Be there for you when you need them

Interestingly enough, when most of us think of these traits, it never occurs to us that we already have all these qualities within ourselves. 

So instead of trying to rely on external friendships all the time, we could actually become our own best friends!

We could offer ourselves the:

  • space
  • grace
  • non-judgment
  • active listening 

that we seek so desperately others.

Aghogho Boccardi

Aghogho Boccardi

Teacher and Relationship Coach | Owner, Hope Like A Mother 

I choose friends that I can talk to when I need advice about life situations. A friend who gives good counsel is important to a relationship because they listen and provide advice impartially

A good friend should be low maintenance 

When I was younger, I had this friend who was so demanding in what she expected from our friendship. It was exhausting to keep up with her. 

burnt myself out trying to keep up with the parties and constant get-togethers. After a while, I had to let the relationship go as I matured because it wasn’t healthy anymore.

Now that I’m older, I need low-maintenance friendships—one where we could go weeks or months without seeing or speaking. When we finally do talk, it’s like no time has passed. 

Friendships like that are the ones that last a lifetime. You don’t need to do or be anything you’re not to keep it going.

A good friend should understand your personality 

I consider myself an introvert. Most of my friends understand this and don’t try to put me in situations that drain my mental energy too much. 

A good friend should understand the personality of their friends and accept you the way you are. 

I’ve had friends try to change me in the past to be more “fun and outgoing.” This always made me feel like something was wrong with the way I am. Now I only surround myself with people who like me the way I am. 

Angela Milnes

Angela Milnes

Psychology Teacher and Family Lifestyle Blogger | Founder, The Inspiration Edit

A good friend is someone loyal, supportive, understanding, and honest. A good friend is someone you can rely on during tough times and someone you can have fun with during good times.

Here are some qualities that a good friend should have:

They are good listeners

A good friend is someone who knows how to listen. Often, we just need someone to vent to, and it’s important to have a friend who can just sit back and listen. 

It’s also important to be a good listener yourself. Good friends make time for each other and are always there when you need them. When you’re a good listener, you make it easier for your friends to confide in you.

They help you see the silver lining in every cloud

A good friend sees the good in you, even when you don’t see it yourself. They know your strengths and weaknesses, and they accept you for who you are. 

They build you up when you’re feeling down and help you see the silver lining in every cloud. A good friend makes you feel like a better person just by being around them.

Someone who knows the “why” behind your “what”

They know your motivations and your dreams. They know what makes you tick and understand why you do the things you do.

They know you better than you know yourself, and they accept you for all that you are. A good friend is someone who knows your story and loves you anyway.

Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Lombardo

Clinical Psychologist and Speaker | Author, “Get Out of the Red Zone

Their presence makes you feel at ease

When it comes to friendships, some people will always be closer to you than others. While many of your pals may be “casual acquaintances,” there is a select handful who belong in your inner circle of ride-or-die friends. 

Many distinctive characteristics distinguish a truly good friend, but chances are you’ve never stopped to consider what those characteristics are. 

There are many ways to tell if someone is a good friend, but one of the most important is that you feel entirely at ease with them. You may be yourself without the worry of being judged by others. 

Furthermore, if this friendship actually benefits both of you —as the deepest friendships do— your closest friends are free to be themselves around you.

Melissa S. Kaekel

Melissa Kaekel

Licensed Professional Counselor, Morgan Hill Institute

They accept your authentic self

A good friend is someone who brings out your best qualities, supports your goals, and empathizes when you’re down. 

They make you laugh and aren’t uncomfortable when you cry. You can trust them to listen and not gossip about you with others. They are someone you’re equally comfortable talking with and sitting in silence with.  

A good friend accepts your authentic self in all its unique strengths and weaknesses. They are there when you need help—whether that’s emotional, mental, or physical. 

They’re someone you can laugh and cry with, who makes you feel: 

  • Heard
  • Respected
  • Understood
  • Feel safe

Dr. Kira Capozzolo, DC

Kira Capozzolo

Doctor of Chiropractic and Health Expert | Co-founder, Twin Waves Wellness Center

They embrace change in your friendship

One thing that is important in being a good friend is embracing the change and growth in your friend and friendship. 

Some friends drift apart in relationships and politics and such. Rather than making these things divisive and a source of tension, embrace the change as an opportunity for growth. 

If your friend starts spending more time with someone they are dating, embrace your friend’s happiness and be supportive rather than jealous. 

Are they starting to lean toward a different political direction than you? I see this happening often recently; rather than get rid of such a friend, embrace it as an opportunity to learn

Don’t be combative, but talk about it. 

Why are they changing their beliefs? You won’t solve anything by making an enemy of a friend, but you can listen to your friend and have discussions. 

A good friend will listen and be listened to. Keeping a friendship, even when someone changes, can help keep both of you grounded instead of going off the deep end.

Sameera Sullivan

Sameera Sullivan

Relationship Expert, Sameera Sullivan Matchmakers

They do not sugarcoat anything

Believe it or not, finding a good friend is rare, but there are certain instances where we have trouble identifying them even if they are present around us.

Certain traits can help you identify a good friend. 

  1. First off, you feel comfortable being yourself around them in terms of them not being judgmental. You can talk to them about anything without being scrutinized or judged. 
  2. Secondly, they are honest, and by that, I mean that they tell you when you are wrong, and they tell you when you are right. They do not sugarcoat anything. They are positive when you are negative, and they remind you about the good in life.
  3. And most of all, they are present. They are there when you hit rock bottom and when you are on cloud nine.

All these traits point out a good friend. And above all, you look forward to meeting this friend, and you feel better around them.

Rick Lauber

Rick Lauber

Communications Specialist and Freelance Writer | Author, “The Successful Caregiver’s Guide

They are incredibly comforting

A good friend is someone you can meet again after many years apart and pick up the conversation like no time has passed. 

This experience happened recently when a long-time friend applied for a local job and moved across the country when accepted. She immediately reached out to me with her news, and we arranged to meet. 

Before this, we had remained in touch via e-mail and text messages, so getting together face-to-face seemed odd; however, we talked easily and at great length. Seeing her again was simply wonderful! 

In addition, great friends are: 

  • Trustworthy
  • Empathetic 
  • Supportive 
  • Accepting
  • Loyal 
  • Have similar likes and dislikes

Like a warm blanket on a chilly winter’s night, a great friend can be incredibly comforting. 

AJ Silberman-Moffitt

AJ Silberman-Moffitt

Senior Editor, Tandem

Though I have many friends that I don’t talk to as often as I would like, the best part about my friendships is that the friends that I have are good friends.

They understand that I always think about them even if I am not actively talking to them. There are many attributes that these friends have in common, and that’s what gives them the qualities of good friends.

Being available

Being available doesn’t mean that you have to constantly drop what you are doing and run to be by your friend’s side. But it does mean that your friend knows that they can count on you to help them out in times of need. 

It could be as simple as providing an ear and listening or being a shoulder to cry on.

Being fully present in your conversations

There is a difference between listening to someone and hearing them. 

When a friend talks to you, don’t just hear what they say. Try to listen to them so that you can understand their message and empathize.

Don’t merely nod your head, but be fully present in the conversation. If your friend has a problem, see if you can offer a solution that isn’t judgmental.

They give you time and attention

To be a giving person isn’t referring to shoveling out presents to your friends or their children. 

You can be giving by making your time and attention available to your friends. A great part about being a giving friend is that your friends will be more likely to reciprocate when the shoe is on the other foot.

Being thoughtful 

Good friends appreciate each other, and they notice when their friends make thoughtful gestures. 

Maybe your friend is experiencing a form of grief. It’s kind of you to offer to walk their dog or take them out for a meal to try and lift their spirits. 

Though you might not be able to change the situation for them, being thoughtful about how they feel is integral.

Good friends are equals

It can be frustrating when you have a friend and they make every story and every situation about them. Sure, they might not do this on purpose, but that doesn’t make it any less bothersome. 

Good friends are equals. They are happy about each other’s achievements and are sad about each other’s losses because they are equals in their friendship. They don’t think that they are better than each other.

The most important thing you need to do to have the qualities of a good friend is to be yourself. If you aren’t sincere or act like someone you are not, how good of a friend can you really be?

Agata Szczepanek

Agata Szczepanek

Job Search Expert and Career Advice Writer, My Perfect Resume

True friends stand by each other whatever the weather

Fair-weather friends are bad. But foul-weather friends are even worse. They will be there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on. Yet, not in the case of tears of joy. 

True friends stand by each other whatever the weather. You can share the good times with them and go through the bad ones together.

The green-eyed monster, jealousy, is a serial killer of friendship. It’s sad, but it’s true. Still, those who deserve to be called true friends are much bigger than that. And that is one of the endless reasons which make them great.

Related: How to Deal With Jealous People

You never wear a mask around them 

Professional life often makes you wear masks. Friends never do.

They are brilliant reminders that you are enough. Not slimmer, smarter, or stronger. Just the way you are. Worthy of love, care, and every effort it takes. 

Good friends add life a sparkle. You may even have your fights, heated discussions, or worse moments, but it all fades

And the strong bond between you—built on a solid foundation of mutual acceptance, trust, and support, remains.

Good friends always tell you the truth

  • Want to get an honest opinion?
  • Not sure if you behave morally?
  • Would you feel better if someone had told you that you looked crappy in that shirt before you spent a fortune on it? 

Whether it comes to some serious stuff or plain trivialities, good friends should always tell you the truth—even if it may not necessarily be what you want to hear. 

The bitterest truth is better than the sweetest lie, though. Who else can be that honest with you if not a good friend?

Tenaz Cardoz

Tenaz Cardoz

Founder, Kind Hearts Brigade

Having friends is a unique conundrum. When you’re my age, 29, the concept of friends is certainly unique

You’re at a phase in life where your friends are either married or have children and if you’re not in one of those circles, your friendships heavily depend on nostalgia (your high school friend group) or your interests (your friends who go to pottery classes). 

But whatever your situation is, here are a few qualities of a good friend:

They are reliable 

Simply put, a good friend is one call away. I don’t mean someone to just hang out with, but someone who is there for you when you truly need it. 

I try to be as responsive as possible to my friends, but I value the friends who respond to me when I feel like life isn’t going my way and I need reassurance or a friendly nudge that life will be okay. 

It’s important to have someone available to you.

You have similarities

This one is simple. I want to bond with my friends. If we have nothing to laugh about, it would just be us forcing ourselves into uncomfortable situations, and no one wants that, especially at this age.

You share and laugh at inside jokes with them

You need someone with inside jokes. It is so mentally exhausting to explain a joke (if you know what I mean). 

You need someone to just hear your joke and laugh before you even finish it. I only hangout with people who I have inside jokes with because I need the comfort of friends like these.

They are trustworthy

You can trust them with your worst secrets, with no judgment. I have a lot of acquaintances, but just one friend who I can share my secrets with. I do this because they’re the only ones it feels safe to share it with.

They love all your quirks

You need someone who accepts you as you are and loves all of your quirks. That’s what makes your friendship so special. They love you so much that they’re emotionally invested in your ventures.

Hannah Dworkin

Hannah Dworkin

Recruiter | Leader, USScrapYard

A true friend will not give up the friendship

A well-known proverb states that “A friend in need is a friend indeed,” and I feel compelled to cite it here before moving on to discuss the other characteristics of a healthy friendship. 

Friendship is the world’s most steadfast connection characterized by trust and honesty, with no conditions attached. 

Friends enrich the flavor of life in every corner. You need to be accessible whenever your friends need you, whether they call or don’t inform you about their problems. 

Even if they could give up all else in the world, a true friend will not give up the friendship.

You have a genuine connection with each other

Regardless of the fact that we live in a materialistic world, this happened to me. 

My dearest friend got married in a faraway place from where we used to live together. She used to talk about the positive elements of her marriage but never discussed the negative sides of her relationship. 

Seeing her crying in my dreams one night made me a little uneasy. I contacted her and was upset to hear her sobbing and questioning who had told me. Then I told her you appeared in my dream and cried there, and she was blown away. 

So I went to her house and gave her a hug that had been lacking for a long time. She detailed the events of that night to me in painstaking depth. 

The fact that I can’t do anything now means that she can tell me anything she’s going through with complete confidence because she knows that my dreams will tell me about her if she doesn’t. 

Then I realized that true friendship doesn’t necessitate the use of any medium to convey your current state of well-being. There are no boundaries when it comes to sincere love and compassion.

Mary Anderson

Mary Anderson

Co-founder, Brotherly Love Real Estate

A good friend is someone who you can turn to during your darkest times

When I was really struggling with my business and starting up, I felt insecure. I talked to my friend about the problems I was going through, especially securing investments. I doubted myself. 

But when I talked to her, she sat down, gave me support, and helped prove that I am capable of starting up this company. She’s a good friend that I trust immensely. Without her support, I don’t think my company would be as strong as it is today.

While this friend doesn’t work directly in real estate, she listens to me, talks about my job, and offers her own opinion on the matter from an outside perspective. 

She’s not biased, so it helps me look at the issues at hand from another angle. 

Communication flows freely between you

This friend is someone that I talk to about pretty much anything, with no judgment. From how our lives are going to even the latest movie, we just talk about it together, and neither of us holds each other to a strange standard. 

I feel communication flows freely between us as well. She doesn’t judge me if I say something, nor does she think her opinion is better than mine. 

But this is a quality I really look for in a good friend because she sits there, listens to my problems, and even if she can’t help directly, as with my real estate concerns, she helps point me in the correct direction. 

Owen Wilcox

Owen Wilcox

Financial Expert | Co-founder, USInstallmentLoans

Friendship is an affectionate and respectful bond between two or more people inspired by or despite family or sexual relations. To paraphrase the former Chief Secretary of Ireland, “friendship is a word, the very sight of which in print warms the heart.” 

A good friend will help you: 

  • Cope with traumas in life
  • Improve your self-worth 
  • Enhance your sense of purpose
  • Boost your happiness 

It’s an established fact that friendship positively impacts your well-being and mental health. However, the wrong choice of friends has the opposite effect.

To avoid such, the following are the qualities of a good friend:

They are empathic toward you

A good friend understands your feelings, circumstances in life, and challenges. As a result, their conduct with you is intentionally biased towards your well-being, however much they annoy you. 

They will be kind and tough with you depending on the situation because they understand how the consequences will affect you. 

Your secrets are safe with them

The more people have on us, the more their ability to control us, but not everybody is well-meaning. 

Sometimes we keep secrets to avoid being misunderstood and thus protect our reputation and prospects in life. Unless of a compelling reason, a good friend will strive to keep your secrets, knowing that you will grow and change.

There are no awkward moments with them

With a good friend, there are no awkward moments. You can sit in silence with them for hours and leave feeling like you just had an excellent time. 

They can take one for the team

A good friend will own your mistakes if they can get away with slight scratches compared to the heavy loss their friend will incur. 

For example, if a friend misses a curfew at home, is running late for work, or needs a scapegoat, they can rely on you as a good friend to cover for them to avoid unnecessary fallouts and reputation damage.

David Mason

David Mason

Interior designer and Owner, Knobs

I won’t give you any traditional answers like “loyalty” or “trustworthiness.” Those are qualities that are a given in any friendship. 

Instead, I’ll give you three more unique qualities that, in my opinion, make a good friend.

Their ability to have a difficult conversation

A good friend is someone who isn’t afraid to have difficult conversations.

Whether it’s about politics, religion, or just day-to-day life a good friend is someone who can have a respectful discussion without getting offended or defensive. 

As the saying goes, “Good friends don’t let good friends do bad things.

A good friend is a “laughter therapist”

A good friend is someone who makes you laugh, plain and simple. 

Laughter is the best medicine, and a good friend knows how to make you laugh, even when you’re having the worst day ever. 

A good sense of humor is one of the most essential qualities in a friend because it makes life more fun. They become a laughter therapist as well as a friend.

Good friends are supportive and understanding

  • They know when to offer a shoulder to cry on and when to give you space. 
  • They know how to be there for you without being overbearing or smothering. 
  • And most importantly, they know how to be your cheerleader. 
  • They celebrate your successes and help you pick yourself up when you’re feeling down. 

I prefer a friend who is ready to dance like no one is watching with me rather than someone who just sits on the sidelines and watches.

Sharon Dylan

Sharon Dylan

Co-Founder and Career Coach, Management Help LLC

They know how to listen not just with their ears but also with their heart

Most of the time, we ask our friends for advice, especially when facing personal troubles. And most of the time, we do not follow our friend’s advice. 

When we end up hurting ourselves more and go to our friend to seek comfort, a good friend knows when to stop talking and just start listening

A good friend will not insist on berating you with all the “I told you so’s” but instead will offer a moment of silence for you to air your side out. 

They will just offer a hug and a warm cup of chocolate. They really know how to listen, not just with their ears but also with their heart. That is a quality of a good friend. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you have a good friendship without shared interests?

Yes! While shared interests can help strengthen a friendship, they are not the only factor that contributes to a good relationship. What truly matters in a friendship is the mutual respect, understanding, and support you give one another. 

Friends with different interests can learn from each other, expand their horizons, and enjoy the diversity that each person brings to the table. Embrace the differences and cherish the unique qualities that your friend possesses, as these elements can enrich your life and make your friendship even more rewarding.

How can I maintain a long-distance friendship?

Maintaining a long-distance friendship can be challenging, but with effort and dedication, it’s entirely possible. Here are a few strategies to help you nurture your long-distance friendships:

Communication: Regularly communicate through phone calls, text messages, emails, or video chats. Open and honest communication will help maintain a strong connection.

Schedule virtual meetups: Plan online hangouts or activities that both of you enjoy. This will create shared experiences despite the distance.

Celebrate special occasions: Remember important dates like birthdays, and send thoughtful messages, cards, or gifts to let your friend know you care.

Visit when possible: Plan trips to meet up in person when feasible, as face-to-face interactions are invaluable in strengthening friendships.

Be understanding: Recognize that both of your lives are evolving and that you may not always be able to communicate as often as you would like.

Is it normal for friends to argue or disagree sometimes?

Yes, it is completely normal for friends to argue or disagree at times. Disagreements are a natural part of any relationship, including friendships. The key is to approach these situations with respect and open-mindedness. 

Instead of trying to “win” the argument, focus on understanding your friend’s perspective and finding a compromise or solution that works for both of you. Remember that it’s okay to agree to disagree and that having different opinions doesn’t mean you can’t have a strong and fulfilling friendship.

How do I know if I am a bad friend?

Recognizing your behavior as a friend is essential in maintaining healthy relationships. Here are a few signs that you may not be the best friend you can be:

• You consistently prioritize your own needs and wants over your friend’s.
• You don’t listen or show empathy when your friend shares their feelings or concerns.
• You constantly criticize, belittle, or judge your friend.
You’re not supportive or encouraging of your friend’s goals and dreams.
• You’re unreliable and frequently break commitments or promises.

If you notice any of these behaviors in yourself, take the initiative to work on improving your friendship skills. Reflect on your actions, apologize when necessary, and make a conscious effort to be a better friend.

Is it normal for a friendship to change over time?

Yes, it is normal for friendships to change over time. As individuals grow and evolve, so do their relationships. Change is a natural part of life, and it can even be beneficial for your friendship. 

Embrace the changes and adapt accordingly to maintain a strong bond with your friend. Communicate openly about your feelings and expectations as your friendship evolves, and support each other through various life stages and challenges.

Is it possible to have too many friends?

The number of friends that is “too many” will vary from person to person, but it’s important to prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to friendships. Focus on cultivating deep, meaningful connections with a smaller group of friends rather than spreading yourself too thin among many superficial relationships. 

In the end, it’s the strength and quality of your friendships that matter, not the sheer number of friends you have.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Share it on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?