The Qualities of a Good Friend: 5 Characteristics to Look For

Grace Moser

I think we’ve all had frenemies before.

The kind of people where they’re nice to you one day, and then for some unknown reason, they don’t want to be nice the next.

It can be so frustrating trying to determine people’s moods, or figure out if we were the ones who caused the distance.

But then there are those people where it just works.

They’re kind, they’re thoughtful, they’re funny, great conversationalists, and you’re completely happy when they ask you to hang out.

There isn’t some underlying feeling of angst after you make plans to meet up.

And one of the best ways to get more of these types of people in your life is to understand the qualities of a good friend.

So, What Are the Qualities of a Good Friend?

If you want to replicate those good friendships you’ve had before, or that you might have now, one of the best things you can do is to fully understand what qualities those friends might have had.

And then you’ll know what to look out for and what to avoid. 

Think of it like a filter.

Do these people meet a certain criteria? Are they treating you the way you would like to be treated? Are they kind and not tearing you down in small and big ways?

I think it’s time to start loving yourself, and weed out the people who don’t have the qualities down below. 🙂

1. They Respect Your Time: Do you ever have that friend who’s always late and you’re left feeling frustrated because you could have been relaxing at home, but you were left to wait for them at a coffee shop for 2 hours? Look for people who show you respect when it comes to thinking about your time. These are the thoughtful kind of people who will probably be more caring when it comes to taking care of you as a friend in general.

2. They’re encouragers and not saying small (or big) things to cause distance: Many times, the reason why someone might say something to tear you down is because they have un-dealt with trauma from their growing up years. They were taught that connection wasn’t safe and so they do things to push other people away. Or they were taught that it was just normal to tear others down because their parents tore them down. And while you can feel bad for them, and maybe talk with them about it, the best thing you can do is to recognize when someone starts to do this with you. Don’t make excuses for them, just distance yourself, and find someone who will be thoughtful and caring about the words they speak to you.

3. They don’t talk about other people behind their backs: I remember hearing someone say, “If they’re talking about other people behind their backs, they’re probably doing the same to you.” And it is SO true. I’ve caught someone I thought I was close to, talking behind my back and it was one of the worst feelings ever. So look out for people who aren’t constantly speaking negative things about other people. Stick close to these types of friends! And I’m not saying that your friend is bad if they ever want to vent about something that’s truly frustrating them. But if it’s a constant thing and you notice it, it’s ok to take a step away from this person.

4. They are givers: I have some friends who are some incredible givers. They touch my heart all the time, and it makes me want to give back as well! Find people who have a good heart and want to give in the relationship. I’m not saying that all of your friends have to be giving all the time, but it should be a good friend quality to look for. Also, make sure you’re giving back! That way you both can have a wonderful relationship, and neither of you are starting to feel distant towards one another.

5. They’re good communicators: One of the most important things in any relationship, not just romantic, is to have good communication. Misunderstanding happen ALL the time! And your potential friend and you are humans, which mean one or both of you are going to do things that rub the other the wrong way. So make sure to look out for people who are fine with communication, and make sure to do the same as well. Oh, and avoid people who don’t communicate, but keep grudges! 😬 

And that’s it for now! I plan on adding more later on, but I hope you found this list of qualities of good friends helpful.

Let me know if you have any questions down below!

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