We all want to have good friends. We all want to be there for our friends when they need us and look out for their best interests, but it can be hard to know how exactly to do that. We also want to be surrounded by people who respect and value us as well.
Being a good friend takes more than just being a nice person; it takes some work and commitment on your part as well. It can be hard to know what exactly it means to be a good friend, though, so that’s why we’ve come up with these 15 qualities that make someone a good friend.
1. A good friend makes you better
A good friend will help motivate you to become better. For example, friends will help you get to where you need to be for college or for your career.
If there’s anything that holds us back from our goals in life, it’s lack of motivation; friends are great ways to encourage one another when we need it most.
2. A good friend knows your weaknesses and strengths
I would think most people would consider honesty to be an essential characteristic of friendship. It is through honesty that a good friend can let you know where you stand with them.
A good friend will tell you when something isn’t going well and will also tell you how they feel about your actions. This form of honesty allows for both parties to grow as individuals and better understand one another. Without honesty, I don’t think there could ever be true friendship between two people.
3. A good friend helps you grow
Growing up can be difficult, and you’ll likely need a lot of support and encouragement along your journey.
A good friend doesn’t hesitate to tell you when you’re wrong or give you an honest pep talk when things are hard; in return, they know that you will do the same for them.
This kind of unconditional love is invaluable as we go through our formative years—and it never hurts to have someone who sticks by your side every step of the way.
4. A good friend lets you be yourself
A good friend doesn’t expect you to be anything but yourself. If you need to vent, they’ll let you. If you need someone to keep you motivated, they’ll push you towards your goals.
They are always there for you and accepts all of your eccentricities. And that’s why having a good friend makes life so much easier—they won’t judge or pressure you into being something other than who you are.
5. A good friend won’t hold grudges
Holding onto grudges has been shown to have detrimental effects on your health and overall well-being.
Not only do you let go of all that negative energy, but you also let go of valuable time and space—the perfect opportunity to make some new friends!
Be sure to surround yourself with individuals who are easygoing and willing to forgive as easily as they expect forgiveness from others. Friendships should be enjoyable, not hard work. Plus, did we mention that it’s good for your health?
6. They’re Trustworthy
Trustworthy friends don’t tell tales out of school. They respect your boundaries, privacy and opinions.
Most importantly, they won’t stab you in the back or betray your trust. You can always count on them to help you out when you need it most — because they know that, in return, you’ll be there for them as well.
7. A good friend shares your goals and dreams
You want to be successful, and so does your friend. It’s no coincidence that you chose each other as friends because you have similar values, interests, and passions.
Be honest with your friend about your goals, and don’t judge them when they achieve their own—you can celebrate together instead.
8. A good friend is there when you need him/her
A good friend will always be there for you, no matter what. Whether you’re having a bad day or are feeling down, he/she is one of your biggest supporters and will always pick you up when you’re down.
9. They’re Protective
A good friend will go out of their way to protect you. This includes physical protection, but it’s also about standing up for you when you can’t stand up for yourself.
They will not only have your back in an argument, but they’ll have your best interests at heart.
10. A good friend has your back no matter what
No matter what, you can always count on your friend to have your back. Good friends don’t engage in gossip or smack talk, and they stick up for you even when you are at fault.
They are someone who supports your decisions regardless of their own opinions.
11. A good friend doesn’t judge you
It can be hard to make friends when you’re depressed. When others notice you’re sad, they may avoid you or try to get you to cheer up. But a good friend doesn’t do that.
They will be supportive of your moods and feelings, even if he/she doesn’t always understand them. In other words, being able to support someone’s sadness is an important skill for making and keeping friends.
12. A good friend won’t gossip
Friends who gossip are bad news, and so are those who bring gossip back to you. If a friend is willing to betray your trust by telling other people about private things you told them in confidence, they’re not worth keeping around.
13. They’re an individual
Everybody is different, and that’s why having individual friends can be so great. As we’ve discussed previously, it’s unlikely you’ll find an identical twin of yourself who shares all your interests.
This means you’ll have to branch out and meet people with different interests, opinions, and hobbies than your own. While all of these differences may seem strange at first, they really are what makes friendship worthwhile.
14. A good friend includes you
Everyone has their days of being antisocial and not wanting to go out, but a good friend finds ways to encourage you to be open-minded and join them in their quest for adventure.
They will find ways to include you in their plans, especially if they know your interests are quite different than theirs. Whether it’s hanging out at home or traveling abroad, there is always an opportunity for something new and exciting.
15. A good friend laughs with you
It’s impossible to have a good time without laughter. A good friend knows how to make you laugh, even when you don’t want to. They know your sense of humor and they use it to their advantage.
A good friend is hard to find, but you can tell what kind of person they are when you know these 15 qualities. It’s important to have strong friendships as it enhances our personal and professional lives.
If you don’t have many friends, try to put yourself out there more and focus on finding people with similar interests. You never know who you’ll meet!