21 Qualities of a Good Friend You Need to Know (If You’re Tired of Toxicity)

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Grace Moser

Knowing the qualities of a good friend is so incredibly important.

I mean, think about the times you’ve had “frenemies.”

The kind of people where they’re nice to you one day, and then for some unknown reason, they’re mean to you the next.

It can be so frustrating trying to determine people’s moods, or figuring out if you were the one who caused the distance.

But then there are those people where it just works.

They’re kind, they’re thoughtful, and they completely accept you.

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 into your life, is to understand the qualities of a good friend.


Related: 19 Ways to Make Friends as an Adult (And How to Keep Them)


Contents

What Are the Qualities of a Good Friend?

Two good friends holding a flower together.
Photo by Alena Shekhovtsova via The Alena Shekhovtcova Collection

Whether you want to…

  • Replicate those good friendships you’ve had before
  • Or, replicate the ones you have now

Then one of the best things you can do, is to fully understand what qualities those friends might have.

And if you’ve never had healthy friendships, then I’ll guide you through some helpful advice on the qualities of a good friend.

I believe that you deserve to have people in your life that really care for you.

It’s a great place to level-up, and make this part of your life that much better.

So let’s get you to having good friends that are actually there for you!

1. They Respect Your Time

Do you ever have that friend who’s always late, and you’re feeling frustrated because you could have been relaxing at home, but instead, you’re waiting for 2 hours at a coffee shop?

Look for people who show you respect when it comes to thinking about your time.

Those are the thoughtful kind of friends who will probably take better care of you in general.


More Good Reading:

55 Poems About Friendship to Bring You Closer Together


2. They’re Encouragers

They’re not taking tiny (or big) stabs at you.

They’re finding ways to encourage you, and lift you up. So do not make excuses for anyone who does the opposite. You deserve better!

And if you’re going through hard times, they’re finding ways to be there for you, not ghost you. They’re looking for ways to be kind and helpful.

Also, they encourage you to be your best self. So whether you’re struggling to make the right decision on something, or you’re not being kind to yourself, they’ll help re-center you on what’s really important.

3. They’re Trustworthy

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 who I thought I was close to, talking behind my back, and it was one of the worst feelings (ever).

So look for someone who’s honest with you, and communicates with good intentions. They’re not discussing your flaws with other people, and they’re not condescending. You know that they’re being real, but not cutting you down.

Also, if you know that they’re safe for sharing you fears, secrets, and any other vulnerable emotion, then keep them around. They’re worthwhile.

4. They’re Givers

I have some friends who are 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 your friends have to be giving ALL the time, but it should be a good friend quality to look out for.


Related: 21 Qualities of a Good Friend You Need to Know (If You’re Tired of Toxicity)


5. They’re Good at Communicating

One of the most important things in any relationship, not just romantic, is to have good communication.

Misunderstanding happen ALL the time! Also, you’re both humans, which means that you’re both going to do things to rub each other the wrong way. So make sure to look out for people who are fine with communication, and don’t let things sit until it’s too late.

6. They’re Loyal

I feel that this one is a given; a lot of people say it, but it really is important.

Good friends are going to accept, and be there for you, during the good times and the bad. Whether you’ve done something that wasn’t the best idea, or you’re going through a difficult time, they’re there.

They just except you.

Also, if you did make a bad decision, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to be ok with that. But they’re also going to understand that they’ve made mistakes as well, and they’re going to help you get through it.

7. They Have Integrity

If you see someone lying, or doing other small (or big) dishonest things, eventually they’ll end up treating you the same way.

It can be easy to think that you’re different to this person, that they really do care about you. And while that might be true to a certain degree, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to be affected by their dishonestly.

When someone has a bad habit, or bad beliefs, nearly everyone around them is going to be affected in some way.

8. A Good Friend is Dependable

Having a dependable friend is essential.

They’re someone who doesn’t flake, but are there when they say they will be. You trust them with your private thoughts, and rawest emotions. Also, it doesn’t matter if you’re you’re doing well or struggling, they’re just there.

A dependable friend isn’t just about words; it’s about their consistent actions that show they’re in it for the long haul. And while that doesn’t mean they’re going to be perfect at this, you know they’re going to do their best.

9. They Have Empathy and Understanding

You want to look for someone who has real empathy. Someone who chooses to understand what you’re going through, and what you’re feeling.

They’re not making it about themselves; instead they’re focusing just on you, and what you’re going through.

Also, they’re the kind of friend who doesn’t just hear you out; they actively try to understand what’s going on in your head.

10. They’re Great Listeners

A friend listening and demonstrating one of the qualities of a good friend.
Photo by FilippoBacci from Getty Images Signature

Finding a friend who is a good listener is incredibly important.

If you’re looking for a good friend, then you want to find someone who gives you the space to finish your thoughts, ask questions, and express how you’re feeling.

They’re not trying to interrupt, and get their thoughts and ideas in all the time. They’re just actively listening, and making you feel important.

11. They’re Confident

I honestly don’t think this is a quality many people think about, but I do believe it’s important.

And I’m not saying all of your friends have to be outgoing and confident, but this is something to look out for.

Having a friend who is comfortable in their own skin, and around you, helps you to feel confident as well. Because when you see their confidence, and they’re encouraging you to put yourself out there more, then you’re going to feel a whole lot better taking on different things in life.

12. They Can Make You Laugh

Again, I’m not saying that this one is necessary, but I do believe it’s good. 👍

If you guys share a similar sense of humor, then this can be a great way to connect. But it’s also a good way to help you both get through the harder times. When you have a friend who helps you not take things more seriously than they need to be, suddenly life doesn’t feel as hard.

13. They’re Not Judgmental

You probably know those people who make you feel incredibly uncomfortable, and bad about yourself.

And if you’re looking into the qualities of a good friend, then having someone in your corner who’s not judgmental, is very important.

You’re going to like being around them, and not feel a sense of dread or discomfort whenever you hang out.

14. They’re Checking Up On You

I recently had a friend thank me for asking them how they were doing, every time we talked. They appreciate the fact that I was taking an interest in their life.

Now this is NOT to brag in any way, but it really stood out to me.

If you’re someone who doesn’t have people in your life who care about how you’re doing, then it’s time to filter those friends in.

Find people who actually care about you, and want to know how the different parts of your life are going. Find friends who care about you, and want to check up on you. It really does matter.

15. They’re Low-Maintenance

Having someone who just wants to connect, and not hold grudges, is a great friend quality.

They’re not constantly looking for ways that you’re falling short, imagining what your true intentions are, or constantly bringing up drama about other people. All of that sounds so stressful.

They’re just there to be your friend, and make your life a whole lot more positive.

16. They’re Kind and Respectful

They’re not looking for ways to downplay your experiences, they’re just kind and want to respect your thoughts and feelings.

They see you as an actual person, a human being, someone who is worthy of being heard. Not someone they have to control in some way.

17. They’ll Be Honest With You

Friends that tell you whatever you want to hear, aren’t good friends.

When someone’s not telling you the truth (in a healthy way), it’s never going to help you.

A good friend tells you the truth, because they WANT you to succeed in every part of life. Not just make you feel good in the moment.

18. They Want You to Have Other Friends

If you want to know more about the qualities of a good friend, then this is a great one to think about.

There are going to be people who won’t want you to have other friends. They have their own fears and insecurities, and they’re going to hold you back from having a true community.

So if you’re finding someone who doesn’t respect your boundaries when it comes to who you hang out with, stay far away from them.

They’re not worth the emotional drain.

19. They Handle Conflict in a Healthy Way

Having a friend who can handle conflict in a healthy way, is a great quality.

If there’s conflict, they don’t make you feel like trash. Yes they might feel hurt, but they want to work things out. 

Also, if you have boundaries, they’re going to respect them, not try to constantly test them.

20. They Support You Even When You Both Have Different Interests

It doesn’t matter if you both have the same hobbies or not, they just support you.

Also, they’re happy and willing to take part in your hobbies and interest as well!

Essentially, they’re making what’s important to you, important to them because they genuinely care for you. It’s not just about them, and what they want to do.

21. You Feel Good After Spending Time With Them

Another great way to know if someone is a good friend, is to notice how you feel after spending time with them.

Do you feel drained, stressed, frustrated, irritated, and/or hurt? Or do you feel relaxed and comfortable? Do you look forward to seeing them again in the very near future?

Be mindful of your feelings, they’re going to tell you a lot!

Characteristics of a Bad Friend & What to Avoid

Two friends holding their drinks together.
Photo by Stock Curado de Blanco sobre Blanco Estudio

A study showed that people who had good positive social experiences, had a much better ability to cope with stress.

So let’s help you weed out those bad stressful people, get some good positive friends, and help you live a much better life! 🙌

1. They Find Ways to Tear You Down

Many times it’s going to be tiny little jabs here and there.

Something that feels like it’s on the down low. Almost like if you called them out, they’d say you were being “dramatic.”

And while some people do this because of the home they were raised in, or how others treated them before, it’s important that you don’t make excuses for them.

It’s ok to feel bad for them, and maybe even try to talk to them about it. But if they think you’re the problem, and don’t want to accept boundaries. It’s time to cut the ties. ✂️

More Good Reading:

240+ Positive Quotes to Keep You Encouraged During the Harder Times

2. They’re Not Dependable

Maybe they’ll be there for you when it’s convenient for them. But as soon as it’s not, you have a hard time getting ahold of them. Suddenly they’re busy, and just can’t find the time.

Or, when you need them to back you up, they’re taking another person’s side. They’re making other people more important than your friendship.

A good friend will be there for you when you’re going through difficult spots in life, give you advice, and have your back. That’s who you want to look out for.

3. You Find Them Talking About You

If you see someone constantly talking about other people behind their backs, then stay far away. 99.9% of the time, they’re doing the same to you.

Now 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, then it’s ok to take a step away from this person.

4. They’re Takers

It doesn’t matter if it’s your money, time, emotions, or even your food, they’re going to take from you.

So look out for people who say they’re your friend, but don’t reciprocate. They’re not worth your time.

5. They Don’t Communicate and Hold Grudges

Avoid these kinds of friends at all cost! I’ve had my share them before, and they’re so stressful.

They’ll be great one moment, and then they remember something you did in the past. Or they don’t communicate about something you did that hurt them, and then suddenly there’s drama.

6. They’re Always Trying to One-Up You

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve had a big or small success, they’re finding any moment they can to make themselves look better than you.

This is incredibly exhausting and draining, and you deserve better than that. So don’t waste your time on a person who isn’t willing to share in your celebrations.

7. It’s About Them when You Open Up

If you ever notice someone suddenly making things about them and their emotions when you open up, it’s time to create some distance.

So for instance, if you open up about some childhood trauma, suddenly they’re getting enwrapped in their own feelings and experiences they had when they were a kid. And then you find yourself comforting them, but then wondering 5 minutes later how it got to be about them.

Don’t waste your time with people like this, it’s not worth it.

How to Be a Good Friend

Two friends in a polaroid photo, jumping up.
Photo by Andrea via Pexels

1. Make What’s Important to Them, Important to You

Earlier, I talked about one of the qualities of a good friend being someone who makes what’s important to you, important to them. But you have to do the same as well.

Find what’s important to them, what they’re passionate about, and then find ways to support them. Make it interesting and cool to you, show them that you care.

2. Figure Out Their Love Language

Knowing someone’s love language doesn’t just apply in a romantic relationship. It can be incredibly helpful in friendships as well.

So if you notice that your friend as a gift giver, then give gifts that will be meaningful to them. Or if your friend loves quality time, the make it a priority to spend good quality time with them regularly. It’s a great way to strengthen bonds, and make them feel taken care of.

3. Tell Them How You Feel About Them

It can be easy to think that the other person understands how you feel, and they probably do! But just sharing how you feel about them, is a great way to show them that you genuinely care. That you want to put the effort into this relationship, and that you care about their feelings.

4. Make Sure to Keep in Touch

Make the time to keep in touch no matter the distance. So for instance, this can be finding time to regularly hang out with them, if you live nearby. And whether you do live nearby or far away, reach out a few times a week over text or call. Check up on how they are, talk with them, and find time to connect in a deeper way.

Don’t just assume that they’re fine, be a friend that’s actually present in their life.

5. Listen

It doesn’t matter if it’s something big or small, or if you even see it as important. Make it important to you, and listen to them in the way you would want them to listen to you.

Think about the times where someone zoned you out when there was something you really wanted to discuss. Then, remember how it made you feel, and make sure to never do that to your friend.

6. Make Sure to Give Back

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.

It can feel great when you’re being taken care of, and especially after a time where you haven’t had much of that. It’s understandable, but you need to be careful and mindful that you’re not just taking. It’s an easy trap to fall into.

7. Get the Facts

A group of friends meeting up to eat, and hang out.
Photo by Gianluca Pantaleo from Corelens

It can be easy to get caught up in emotions, and not take time to stop and think about the real facts.

So for instance, if your friend did something that hurt you, it can be easy to run to the worst conclusion. That they just did that to hurt you. But take a moment, get outside of your feelings, and think about the kind of person they’ve shown themselves to be. If they’re someone who would never act like that, then remind yourself of this, and communicate so that you can both work it out.

8. Ask About Their Needs

Some friends are good communicators, and others aren’t. So it’s important that you’re checking up on their needs, whether they’re saying something or not. That’s what friends do, they’re mindful to take care of each other.

9. Make the Tough Call When Necessary

Sometimes you need to make a tough call if you feel that your friend’s safety is most likely at risk. It doesn’t matter how they’re going to react, a good friend will make sure that the other is taken care of no matter what.

10. Show Them You Care (Physically)

Now this one will depend on whether they’re comfortable with physical touch. But if they are, showing a friend affection through actions like hugging, is a great way to show them that you care. It’s a wonderful way to comfort someone, or just make them feel loved.

11. Have a No Complaining Policy

If you’re in a friend group, then you have to have a new complaining policy. That means that if one of you has a frustration with the other, you’re going to them to work it out. You’re not complaining about each other to the other friends. It’s not healthy, and it can ruin friendships.

12. Respect Their Boundaries

If a friend gives you a small (or even big) boundary, don’t feel offended. In fact, appreciate them for it. They’re actually healthy enough to communicate with you, instead of hold grudges. Also, think about how you would want to be treated if you gave a boundary. Wouldn’t you want it to be respected? 

13. Respect Their Time

I talked about this earlier when it came to the qualities of a good friend, but if you want to be one too, then you have to respect their time.

If you say you’ll show up at a certain time, then you need to find ways to make sure it happens. Don’t make excuses that there was traffic, when you could’ve checked ahead of time, and left sooner. 

It shows them that you care about their time, and it’s not all about you. 

How to Find Good Friends

A group of friends watching a movie outdoors.
Photo by RossHelen via Canva

Now that you know about the qualities of a good friend, the bad ones to look out for, and how to be a good friend yourself, it’s time to figure out how to find them!

Also, if you want more in-depth help, then here’s my guide on 19 Ways to Make Friends as an Adult (And How to Keep Them).

1. Find New Activities & Events

There are so many ways to meet new people in your community. So let’s go over a few:

  • Look Up Local Events: Whether it’s a concert, a block party, or poetry night at a coffee house, there are going to be some good ways to meet new people. So make a list, and find time in your schedule to attend.
  • Sign Up for Meetup & Other Friend Making Apps: There are so many apps that are made for just meeting new people. So find a group that’s meeting up to do something you personally like. Or use one of the apps to hang out with a person who seems kind, and interesting.
  • Join a Club: There are plenty of clubs you could potentially join. So think book clubs, running clubs, and even language learning clubs.
  • Sign Up for Classes: Make a list of all the classes in your area that you’d be interested in. So for instance, join a dance class, or an art and poetry class. It could be a great way to meet fun people!

2. Learn to Be Your Own Best Friend

When you learn to do self-care, and you’re being mindful of your needs, it might just be easier for you to meet new people. You’re probably not going to be running on empty, and feel too emotionally (and physically) exhausted to make friends.

3. Ask a Friend to Introduce You to Their Network

Chances are, if you have a friend who’s genuinely caring and good, then they’re also going to be friends with others who are very similar.

If they’re healthy, then they’re going to be filtering healthy people into their lives. So ask them to introduce you to other people who could be your friend as well. Tell them that you want to expand your friend network, they’ll understand. 🙂

Qualities of a Good Friend FAQ

1. What are 3 qualities to look for in a friend?

There are a lot of great qualities of a good friend, but the 3 I believe to be the most important are loyalty, honesty, and being encouraging.

2. What is a true best friend?

A true best friend is going to be someone who genuinely cares about your needs and feelings, listens to you, is honest, pushes you to do your best, and improves the quality of your life overall.

3. What is the value of a quality friendship?

When you have a quality friendship, you’re not going to be finding yourself lacking in emotional support. They’re going to make sure you’re taken care of, no matter how difficult the situation. Also, they’re going to inspire you to do better, and give you the advice and help you need right now.

4. What is valued most in a friendship?

Integrity is probably the most valuable trait in a friendship. Because from that one attribute, comes so many others. When someone has great integrity, they’re also going to be loyal, caring, and dependable.


Repeat after me, “I deserve good friends. I deserve good people in my life.”

You really do, I promise that this isn’t just a nice positive affirmation to say. It’s the truth.

So stop wasting your time on people who don’t give you the time.

You’re important, and you deserve to level up in your relationships, and have friends who are going to bring you life. Not tear you down. ♥️

PS – What other qualities of a good friend do you personally think are important? I’d love to hear about them!

Grace is the owner of Chasing Foxes, a lifestyle blog that's here to help women level up their lives in almost every way possible.

Leveling Up Your Lifestyle Lifestyle Relationships Wellness

Grace Moser

Grace is the owner of Chasing Foxes, a lifestyle blog that's here to help women level up their lives in almost every way possible.

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