What Makes a Good Friend?

We all want to have good friends in our lives, but do we know how to find them? Do we know what characteristics they have?
What Makes a Good Friend?

Last update: 24 April, 2024

Have you ever stopped to think about how many friends you have? A new study affirms that Spaniards have more friends than people in neighboring countries. But, are those friendships of good enough quality to be considered as such? In other words, do we have true friends or simply many acquaintances or “people we like”?

The truth is we greatly abuse the word “friend.” A lot of us enjoy spending time with the people we have fun with. But, that doesn’t mean these people are necessarily our friends.

Friendship is more than spending good time together. Because truly, few people would sincerely care about how you are. And much fewer would they be there for you through tough times.

To truly take into account what the word friendship really means, we’re going to list the five virtues that define a true friend. This way, we’ll be more aware of who our true friends are. Thus, we’ll care for those friendships every day.

teddy bears hugging

What are the 5 virtues of a good friend?

1. They listen, without judging you.  

We have a tendency to gravitate toward those who share our opinions. Sometimes excessively. We have all probably committed the sin of relating to someone with excess ego.

Poorly managed ego leads us to treating our surroundings with negative judgments. Judgments that make you not look out for the real, genuine welfare of your friend, relative or partner.

It’s precisely these negative criticisms that often seek the opposite of what you are looking for in a true and complete friendship.

When we need someone to listen to us, we usually look for the company of our family, partner and friends. Listening is an action born out of a very special gift. You don’t use words like “must” or “have to” with a friend.

Between authentic friends, any action, help or support originates on its own. It waits for nothing in return. Listening means understanding the meaning of the message being transmitted and the context of the same.

Empathy can be described as the ability to feel what another person is feeling despite not having lived through the same situation. In this case it’s our best friend. When we talk about personal relationships, empathy allows someone to feel close to the pain or suffering of another because they care for them. A true friend would apply it at any moment. They would leave aside their “I” and maintain a silence full of affection and attention.

2. They don’t pay much attention to disagreements. 

Receiving constructive criticism or simply an opinion different from our own isn’t always comfortable. It can sometimes even be offensive. It’s true that you’ll even argue with your friends.

A discussion is a presentation of valid arguments from both parties until a solution is achieved in a positive way. Taking into account its true meaning, you’ll understand that the act of “having a discussion” is not the same thing as “fighting.” In fact, it’s healthy and sometimes necessary for our relationships with others. When this happens with a true friend, that’s when you decide if you can just give it the importance it deserves or not. True friends will keep in mind the true meaning of a discussion. They will ignore the unnecessary and continue counting on you. And likewise, you with them.

3. They worry about you.

You’ve probably at some point asked yourself the following question. D o my friends only come looking for me when they need something from me? When you ask yourself this about any one of your friendships, hypocrisy becomes the nucleus of your relationship with this person.

We know that hypocrisy is the constant or sporadic act of faking beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, or standards that you do not have. The hypocritical “friend” feigns different qualities or feelings contrary to those they truly experience and feel. Building our lives through such relationships can cause us suffering and emotional distress in the end.

Luckily, there are still friends that truly remember those moments that are important to you. They do so only under pure unconditional love. They remember your problems and care about them throughout the day. They make sure you’re aware that they’re there for you, awaiting nothing in return.

girl consoling a friend

4. They turn your flaws into virtues.

Surely you’ll agree that none of us are perfect. There are many people around you that don’t like your personal qualities. They are convinced that their mission is to make them known to you. But those personal flaws and defects make you unique…

On the contrary, you’re always lucky to have by your side people that don’t notice them. They boost you up and remind you of the best parts of you. That is a true friend.

5. They are always with you. 

As was mentioned previously, the differences between the two of you and any fierce discussions you may have had with your friends don’t matter. Nor does the time and the distance matter in your friendship. It doesn’t affect the way you keep affection alive. True friends will always be by your side.

You know you’ll always count on them during difficult moments. They offer you unconditional support. Most importantly, they wish to participate in your precious life as authentic life companions.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.