What makes a good friend?
A good friend is someone we enjoy time with. We can have a laugh with, share the good times and commiserate over the low points, talk things out with and just enjoy life with.
A good friend is someone who is always there for you. They’re the person you can call in the middle of the night when you need to talk, or the shoulder you cry on when you’re going through a tough time. A good friend is someone who listens without judgement and offers advice when asked, but also knows when to step back and give you space.
We’ve compiled an enormous list of qualities that make for a good friend, and help remind us of how we also can be a great friend to those special people in our lives:
1. You can tell them anything
A good friend is someone you can tell anything to – whether it’s something that’s bothering you, or something that’s happened that you’re excited about.
2. They’re honest with you
A good friend is honest with you, even when it might not be what you want to hear. But, you know that they’re only telling you because they care about you and want what’s best for you.
3. They’re supportive
A good friend is supportive, no matter what you’re going through. They’ll be there to help you, whether you’re going through a tough time, or celebrating a success.
4. They’re respectful
A good friend is respectful of you and your opinions, even if they don’t agree with them. They know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and will never try to force their beliefs on you.
5. They have your back
A good friend always has your back, no matter what. You know that you can always count on them.
6. They’re loyal
A good friend is loyal to you and your friendship. You know that they would never do anything to hurt you or betray your trust.
7. They are trustworthy
You can trust them – with your possessions, with your money and with your heart. You know that you can completely trust them.
8. They are understanding
While they may not always agree with everything you say or do, they know why you do it and they understand where you’re ‘coming from.’
9. They don’t let you fall
Good friends give you enough space when needed, but they also won’t let you fall. If they notice self-destruction or harm coming to you, they will intervene as required.
10. They listen
Conversations these days can sometimes be shallow, but a true friend is always listening to you.
11. They aren’t a pushover
There are unwritten rules of a good friendship, including respect. A good friend will do everything to be loyal to you, but they won’t be a pushover. Friendship is a two-way street and should always be treated as such.
12. They’re a vault
There are some secrets that good friends will take to the grave with them. Good friends always keep secrets when they need to.
13. They don’t keep score
A good friend doesn’t keep score of who did what for whom. They’re not keeping track of who owes them and they’re not expecting anything in return.
14. They don’t gossip
A good friend doesn’t gossip about you behind your back. They know that it’s not fair to talk about you behind your back, and they would never do anything to hurt your reputation.
A good friend is considerate of your feelings and always tries to think about how their actions will affect you. They know that some things are better left unsaid, and they’re always careful not to say anything that might hurt your feelings.
16.They don’t take sides
A good friend doesn’t take sides in a fight between you and someone else. They know that it’s not their place to choose sides, and they would never try to come between you and someone else…unless you want them to of course!
A good friend is forgiving, even when you make a mistake. They know that everyone makes mistakes, and they’re always willing to forgive you.
A good friend is generous with their time, their resources, and their love. They’re always willing to help you, even if they don’t have much to give.
A good friend is gentle with you, even when you’re feeling down. They know that you need their support, and they’re always there to offer a gentle word or a hug.
20.They pick you up when you’re down
A good friend is always there to pick you up when you’re down. They know how to make you feel better, even when you’re feeling your worst.
21. They already know your family dramas
There is something so refreshing about not having to explain how your ‘aunty always manages to annoy your mother at the family roast because of their underlying tension’ or how nobody wants to get stuck talking to cousin Nic. They get it and you probably already have jokes about it.
22. They will always answer your calls
A good friend will answer your calls no matter what time it is – whether it’s 3 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning. They’re always there for you, no matter what.
23. You can do ‘nothing’ together
How good is it to be able to do ‘nothing’ together with a close friend. You might not want to make plans, but you want to be with your friend and just see what comes up.
24. No awkward silences
The conversations flow as required, and when silences come up in the conversation – it isn’t awkward in the slightest.
25. No need to clean before they come over
They already know how you really live, you don’t have to put on any ‘airs and graces’ with this friend – let it all hang out! They can drop by unannounced and you don’t sweat it or make excuses for your ‘messy’ home/bedroom/kitchen etc.
26. No need to get dressed up
Much like the above point, a good friend has seen you at your worst and your best – it makes no difference to them at all.
27. You can tell them your ‘crazy’ plans
With a good friend, we can feel free to discuss a ‘crazy’ plan that we’ve just concocted or yet another plan we have. They will listen. They know how your mind works.
28. They are a knowledge bank
A good friend has history. They know what’s happened in the past and they can remind us when required (‘Remember when this happened last time….?‘).
29. They are a little weird too
We’re all a little weird, but our closest friends tend to have that same ‘variety’ of weird that we have. It’s common ground which makes for comfort and fun times.
30. They will try things you want to try
Want to see that band that nobody else likes? Always wanted to try abseiling but nobody else does? Well, close friends have a duty – to try new things together – it’s an unspoken expectation that of course has to go both ways!
31. They are authentic
What you see is what you get with a good friend. There are no barriers or faking it with each other. It’s refreshing to know that you can both be your authentic selves.
33. They will run to the supermarket for you
When you’re in a pickle or you’ve just been unorganized – it’s never too much trouble, a good friend goes to the supermarket for you!
34. They are brutally honest
No, that outfit does not look great, but here’s how to make it better….A good friend doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, but they also won’t let you look or be made a fool of – they’ve got your back remember!
35. They are faithful
A good friend would never do you wrong. They’ve got you covered and their allegiance is to you over others.
36. They are funny
The inside jokes, the fav movies and the similar sense of humor you share – it makes for funny times together.
37. They are playful
A good friend will play that really silly game with you, watch endless re-runs of that old sitcom together or just talk rubbish together for hours. They will revert to childlike ‘playdates’ with you, and it’s super fun!
38. They are reliable
A good friend is someone you can rely on, no matter what. You know that they’ll be there for you, even if everyone else isn’t.
39. They know what you want
Whether it’s because you’ve talked about it countless times before, or you’ve shown subtle interest, but a good friend always knows what you truly want in life.
40. They know what you need
It’s funny, but sometimes we don’t always know what we need at particular times in life. Our close friend does. They can read the situation and know exactly what will help us in this moment – then subtly direct us towards it (rest, time away to recharge etc).
41. They know your bad habits
Good friends know us so well that they can predict what we will do in certain situations. Which of course is just a matter of knowing our habits and our familiar patterns. Sometimes these can be bad habits, that aren’t for our best interests. Our close friends can help steer us away from these when required.
42. They know your good habits
Much the same as above, our good friends can know how our good habits too. They know how we will react to things, based on our patterns and habits.
43. They understand your moods
Close friends can steer us away from trouble and altercations with others as they are able to read our moods, mannerisms and what can ‘press our buttons’. Close friends can sense this and can help mediate between difficult situations when required.
44. They are memory keepers
Remember that time…? We don’t always remember everything, but usually between you and your friends, you can patch it all together. Reminiscing over fun memories is a great laugh together.
45. You know their history
When we understand each other’s histories, it helps us to bond and connect on a deeper level. There are things that no longer need to be spoken or explained, it’s just already ‘known’ and understood.
46. They know your big goals
The ones you’ve been banging on about for years. They know exactly what your big goals are, how you plan to make them happen and what is currently stopping you.
47. They don’t get offended by you
Sometimes, when we speak or text, there can be context that is ‘lost in translation’. Close friends know that what you would or wouldn’t intend, your beliefs etc and know that you would never intend to be offensive to them.
48. The call you out on your ‘stuff’
While close friends always have each other’s backs, they aren’t afraid to stand up to you when you’re clearly wrong. We don’t need ‘yes’ people in our lives, we need those who will hold us up to the standards we set for ourselves.
49. They can finish your sentences
How good is it when people can just understand us – without having to explain ourselves in detail. Close friends just ‘get us’, making conversation effortless sometimes.
50. They give great advice
Sometimes, it’s not so much the advice, but it’s how to word it and the timing of advice that can really hit the right spot. Close friends know what works for us, as well as how and when to provide advice.
51. They will stand up for you in your absence
A close friend does not let others speak about you when you aren’t present. They will correct any misinformation and put others back in their place if required.
52. They seek out solutions to your problems
We know what our friends are seeking and they know this about us. Essentially, this goes on their ‘radar’ too. If it comes up in conversation with others, or they notice a job advertisement or they see a new course being offered and it would appeal to your needs – they will let you know about it.
53. They want the best for you
Close friends truly want the best for you and they want to see you succeed.
54. They are genuinely happy for you
There are times in life when one friend appears to be ‘blooming’ in life, and yet the other is getting trodden on. Unfortunately this can happen at the same time and it can be truly hard. Despite this, good friends share the load when required and can still see the ability to be genuinely happy when things are going well for at least one of them.
55. They will stand by your side
In the good times and the very worst of times, they will always stand by you. At your big celebrations in life and the saddest, most darkest of days. They will be there. Others may ask what you need, but they will instinctively know and do it, even if it’s literally just standing beside you.
56. They know what you will do
We can read our close friends like a book. We know what they will do and how they react. It’s useful information that can seriously help in life.
57. They know what your favorites are
A good friend is the perfect gift shopper, which is why partners always ask the best friend for gift ideas. A good friend knows what you do and don’t like and knows exactly what gift you would love.
58. They make you laugh
A good friend is someone who knows how to make you laugh, even when you’re feeling down. They know the perfect things to say (and do) to cheer you up and make you forget about whatever was bothering you.
59. They make time for you
A good friend makes time for you, even when they’re busy. They know that your friendship is important to you, and will always find time for you, no matter what.
60. They know your strengths
A good friend knows exactly what your strengths are and they will remind you of them as much as possible – particularly when they think you are doubting yourself, minimizing your achievements or just need a little pep talk!
61. They know your perceived limits
Yup, you’ve talked about this before. If only you….were smarter, had longer legs, made more money, etc etc. We all have limiting beliefs that we love to hold on to. A good friend helps to remind us that they are just that – limiting beliefs, perceived weaknesses. and that you are capable of so much more!
62. They will fight for you
Even if you won’t, or can’t, at this time – a good friend will stand up for you, defend you and fight for you (hopefully metaphorically!).
63. Your enemies are now their enemies
The loyalty here is strong – if someone has wronged you, even if it’s a store that treated you wrong – they take offense too.
64. They help you in a bind
Forgot to buy a birthday cake for someone, forgot to pick up morning tea? A close friend is always willing to pick up your slack when required and help out. After all, you’d do exactly the same right?
65. They are low maintenance
Your open friendship allows for honesty and communication. It’s simple, with no drama. They will tell you if there’s a problem and vise versa, keeping it low maintenance and ‘easy’.
66. They don’t compete with you
A good friend is not competing with you at all, you are each other’s cheerleaders and you want the very best for each other.
67. Your hurt is their hurt
It’s painful to see a close friend in pain and they will do absolutely anything they can to help you.
68. They trust your decisions
We may not always like or agree with the decisions a friend makes, but we trust in them regardless.
69. They will celebrate with you
If there is something to celebrate on a Monday night, your closest friend will drop everything and get on over to celebrate with you.
70. They will lie for you
I know, this isn’t kosher. But let’s be honest, a truly close friend can tell the odd white lie when required.
71. They know why you do what you do
It might seem irrational to others, but your close friend truly knows you and understands your inner workings. Therefore, they know why you do what you do, and therefore it makes complete sense.
72. Nothing is TMI
Close friends know things and can have deep conversations. Sometimes, we need to talk to someone that requires a little ‘too much information’ – if you have to, your close friend is that person that just has to hear it.
73. You will trust them with your kids
The people you trust with your kids is an extremely small list. So it’s saying something. You treat their kids as your own and they do the same for yours.
74. They can calm you down
They know exactly what to say to you to get you to calm down. While others may provoke you, they know the magic words – whether it’s agreeing with you or calling you out on something.
75. They could order from a menu for you
Some people are creatures of habit and others like to take risks – your close friend knows which you are and if there’s a particular dish on a menu, your friend just knows that you are going to pick that. Every. single. time.
76. They could recite your medical history
A close friend could probably provide your medical history if they had to. They could tell a doctor what medication you are currently on, what allergies you have and that time you broke your arm in 2001.
77. They are consistent
You always know what you’re going to get with your friend. Day in day out, they will keep it consistent.
78. They will bail you out
Hopefully not for real, but they will always bail you out of trouble, come and pick you up, or attempt to smooth over something you may have said or done.
79. They know you don’t eat….
A close friend knows that you don’t have a sweet tooth and will never order dessert, or they know that you can eat your weight in cheese…for breakfast. This is the insider knowledge 🙂
80. They are thoughtful
They may or may not be thoughtful in the traditional way, but they always consider you and always look out for you.
81. They know your weaknesses
A bad sport, sore loser, can’t stop at one chocolate, insatiable shopper? A close friend knows your weaknesses and loves you anyway.
82. They don’t take you for granted
Friendship is give and take, but sometimes it can seem a little one-sided. True friends don’t take you for granted, and while they don’t keep score, they are appreciative of what you are doing for them.
83. They keep it fair financially
If financial situations are different, close friends are always considerate of this. They pay back money as owed and don’t let money get in the way of their friendship.
84. They are respectful of partners
We don’t always like our friends choice of partners. But we remain respectful, allow space and provide a soft landing if and when required.
85. They don’t get jealous
Jealousy is a curse and there is no benefit to it. Close friends don’t let jealousy fester, but keep communication open and are considerate of each others feelings.
86. They check in
Life can get busy and sometimes we may lead very different lives to our friends in terms of other commitments and available resources. Close friends still remember to check in with each other and be there when required.
87. They lend things
Whether it’s shoes, fancy clothes, snow equipment, a suitcase etc, close friends always trust each other enough to lend our their things.
88. They don’t take everything to heart
We all can be a little curt sometimes, but with our close friends they know we don’t mean anything by it and let the odd instance slide if they know the context behind it.
89. They are persistent
Have you done x, y or z yet? Sometimes it may seem like a bossy parent, but mostly it’s because your friend knows that they need to ride you a little bit, keep pestering you to do that hard thing that you keep putting off.
90. They would never throw you under the bus
A close friend would never rat you out. Ever.
91. They would take you in
If you ever needed it, a close friend would give you a bed to sleep and the shirt off their back. 100%.
92. They will fight your battles if needed
In times when you aren’t your strongest, a close friend would step right in and fight your battle for you.
93. They share
A good friend shares what they have. Their skills, their resources and whatever they have that can help the other.
94. They are telepathic
Well maybe not, but they do appear to be telepathic. Close friends often have the ability to read your mind, or by just exchanging a glance, you both know exactly what the other is thinking.
95. They accept you as you are
They know your faults and they still accept you just as you are.
96. They respect your differences
We don’t always get along all the time, and we won’t always agree. It is however, important to respect our differences.
97. They give you space when needed
When there’s pressing commitments, new relationships to dwell in and new careers that require a lot of time, close friends understand that there is a time for space and yet are still there when needed.
98. They feel like home
A close friend is like a warm, safe hug. They are comfort, peace and a sanctuary from a sometimes harsh world.
99. They are fun
Whenever you are together, it’s always fun. It’s not always exciting, adventurous or celebratory. But it’s always fun in some way.
100. They would still choose you
If they had to do it all over, they would still choose you to enjoy life with!
Wow, just writing and reading this list of qualities, it brings a little tear to the eye – I’m off to smother my closest friends with a little appreciation!
For more positive words on friendships, be sure to check out: