11 Vital Qualities of a Good Friend
By Vex King, Guest Contributor
In this day and age, we expect others to be finished products while we remain a work in progress. Unfortunately, this is very evident when it comes to friendships.
Sometimes we expect our friends to be a certain way when we aren’t exactly those things ourselves. This can be quite hypocritical.
For example, you may expect a close friend to always make time for you when you need them, even if they are busy. However, you may not do the same for them, when you’re busy yourself. This is unfair on them as you’re expecting something, without giving the same in return.
There are also times when it’s the other way round. Sometimes we stick around people who we label as our friends, when their actions suggest otherwise.
There can be a number of reasons why we stick around such people, but the most common reason is probably due to comfort. Although this comfort may not exactly feel great, it makes things easier. Breaking away from your circle of friends and making new ones isn’t the most appealing task. Sometimes we would rather just put up with them, despite recognising that we deserve better friends.
Before I suggest qualities of a good friend, I should point out that no-one is perfect, including yourself. We can’t get it right all the time and we shouldn’t expect it from others either.
As human beings we are constantly evolving and growing – we learn from every experience and mistake we make. So go easy on yourself and others too.
The list below should however help you identify the types of traits that make a good friend. This may prompt you to revaluate your own friendships by considering what sort of friend you are, and whether your friends are a healthy choice for you.
Remember, don’t make any drastic decisions after reading this post; don’t just cut your friends off if you feel that they lack most the qualities in this list. Communication is always the key to making things work. So let’s crack on and outline the qualities of a good friend:
A good friend is always honest. They won’t lie, even when it’s not exactly what you want to hear. This doesn’t mean that they’ll express the truth in an abrupt manner, but they will tell you what you need to hear because they care about you.
They will not judge you for being different, or for making mistakes. They will be happy with you as you are. Even if you’re slightly weird, goofy or completely bizarre! If anything, they’ll probably want to share you’re individual awesomeness with you!
“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.” – Jim Morrison
Good friends are those that you can trust with your deepest and darkest secrets. Again, they won’t judge you for it and they will keep your private information safe. You should feel comfortable telling your friends confidential things, knowing that they won’t tell anyone else.
4. Good Listener
This is an important trait. Although your friend may not necessarily know all the answers to your problems, they will always be willing to lend an ear.
This takes us straight onto the next point. A good friend will try and understand you, your decisions and actions. They will be willing to relate to everything that you say and experience, even if it conflicts their own beliefs. After all, they want to be there for you. The best way to do that is to understand what goes through your mind and how you feel at times.
“One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
6. Make Time for You
There’s probably nothing more valuable than time. Not even the world’s richest individuals can buy it back. So, if someone dedicates their time to you, or even for you, that’s very special. If they do this on a regular basis, it’s because they love you.
A good friend should encourage and support your growth – even if that’s through new ventures. They should be there to celebrate your wins and pick you up during your losses. They should help you become a better person and be there when you need them. Even if that’s just by attending a party with you so you don’t have to go alone.
“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” –Walter Winchell
As I mentioned earlier, we are all human and make mistakes. Sometimes we hurt others even if we don’t mean it. A good friend will understand this and be willing to forgive you. Even if this isn’t always instant, they will in due time because they believe in your capacity to be a better person.
“Two persons cannot long be friends if they cannot forgive each other’s little failings.” – Jean de la Bruyere
9. Doesn’t Put You Down
Now don’t get me wrong, great friendships have a lot of humour in them. Some of my strongest relationships include moments where my friends and I can literally mock each other in a friendly manner for a good period of time. This brings a lot of laughter to the relationship and is often a great way to lighten serious matters.
However, a good friend will not mock you if it’s going to hurt you. Most the time, in healthy friendships when individuals ridicule each other, they don’t really mean what they say. It’s a joke and all parties understand this.
Give without expecting anything in return. If only we could all be like this; the world would be a much better place. A good friend will definitely demonstrate this type of behaviour. For example, I have friends that are always willing to drive me to places, without asking for petrol money or anything in return.
11. Loyal and Respectful
A bit of a two-in-one here. A good friend will not only demonstrate their loyalty to you, but will do it respectfully. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they will ignore people you don’t get on with. It does mean though, that they won’t gossip behind your back, or say anything negative about you. If anything, they will express their concerns about you, to you.
“True friends stab you in the front.” – Oscar Wilde
So, there you have it; 11 qualities of a good friend. I’m pretty sure you could add plenty more to this list so please feel free to suggest any others in the comments section below.
If you are in the market to find some new friends, read “How to Make Friends With the Law of Attraction.”
Finally, feel free to share this article with family and friends. After all, sharing is caring.
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