Top 10 Qualities in a Friend

by Laura Kronen on October 5, 2012

friendship quoteWhen we were younger the only prerequisite for friends were if they had a pulse and if they were willing to go out to happy hour with you. Now that we are older, friendships are harder to come by. But, the older we get, the more we actually need our friends. They share in life’s experiences with you – the good, the bad and the ugly. Plus it’s been proven that people with close friendships live longer than those without.
So, what is the key to finding and maintaining quality relationships in this hurried world where so many people seem to be so wrapped up in themselves and their lives? I encourage you to consider these ten qualities in light of your current friendships, your new friendships, and also to internalize them into your own life in order to become a better friend.


1) HONESTY AND TRUST Friendship is a something that does not come by chance. To make friends, keep them and deepen relationship with them, one essential component should be present and that is trust. Friendships that are built on other foundations are usually short term and often quite shallow. Friendships cannot be built on false images.  Honesty is the best policy to keep a friendship alive; a real friend will always tell the truth and never lie. Everyone wants a “true friend” and you will never maintain your friendship if you don’t tell the truth, even if it hurts. Loyalty is a rare commodity these days and when you find it, consider yourself lucky.  Use your tongue for good and not evil and remember that jealousy, envy, bitterness and anger are all killers of loyalty and friendships.


2) A GOOD LISTENER Every person has an invisible sign around their neck that says “I want to feel important.”  As we listen to others and truly show an interest in what they are saying, a friendship is formed or cemented.   You need a friend to share your problems with. You don’t want to talk with everyone about the problems you have and a real friend will listen and never judge.  And when it is their turn to get on their soapbox, you have to be there to listen too.


Ask not what your friends can do for you, but what you can do for your friends.  What can we give to others?  A hug?  A kind word? Positive affirmations? A prayer? A listening ear? Sympathy?  If you are attentive to your friend’s needs, the list is endless.  Giving takes time.  It takes us out of our way. But giving and self sacrifice are the definitions of love.


Lyrics from “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers to hammer in the point. Now this song is going to be stuck in your head all day.
Lean on me, when you’re not strong  And I’ll be your friend  I’ll help you carry on  For it won’t be long  ‘Til I’m gonna need  Somebody to lean on 


4) RESPECT Everyone has different opinions and it is important your friend shows respect for your point of view. It is not necessary that she agrees with what you say and can sometimes try to change your mind but she need always to respect you, even if she disagrees with you. Remember, variety is the spice of life and vanilla isn’t the only option. Appreciate and respect your differences.


People who consistently bring us down with their problems and complaints and drama are generally not the ones we want to hang around with for any length of time.  Of course people go through difficult times and we need to be ready and willing to hold a hand and provide an ear for listening or a shoulder to cry on.  But a friend in need is different than a habitual complainer.  Our friendships should be positive and lift us higher. One way to determine if your friends are having a positive effect on you is to gage your mood after you’ve spent with them. Do you leave feeling energized and happy? If so, chances are your friends are a good influence to your mind and body. It has been said there are two types of people – those who brighten a room when they enter and those who brighten it when they leave. Demonstrate a positive attitude and a encouraging spirit and let your presence be bright.


6) COMMON INTERESTS What is it that brings you together in the first place?  There is usually some activity that attracts us to another person.  In this day and age it is difficult to create times to get together with people.  But if we take advantage of the common activities and interests we have in each other we can fit friendships into our schedules.  Lucky for me the commonality I have with many of my good friends is we like to drink wine.


7) PATIENCE There are circumstances where patience of your friend is necessary. It is possible that you complain about certain issues that you can’t share with someone else. Your friend might be tired of hearing about it but still helps you through the process. There is the real reason why patience is considered a virtue. Appreciate a friend who is always there for you helping you through trying times where even you can admit to yourself that you are pushing the boundaries of what should be legally required by a true friend.


8) FORGIVENESS All of us do stupid things from time to time, all of us occasionally fail in keeping promises to our friends and we need forgiveness from the people who are close to us. We also need to forgive our friends when they fail us in some ways. In friendship, being accepting goes a long way.  A true friend rolls with the punches and knows how to deal with your faults and shortcomings.  No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes they say things they don’t mean. Learning to forgive is a mature and peaceful quality to have.


9) ENCOURAGEMENT A good friend will always be supportive of your goals and your accomplishments. They will always encourage you to be your best and cheer you on to victory.Jealousy is the root of all evil and certainly has no place in a friendship.  Words of encouragement also play a very important role in motivating a friend to solve the problems he is facing. They help him fight his difficulties and get out of the situation he is stuck in.


10) CARING Caring is being helpful, kind, and compassionate towards others.A real friend will always care for you, in good and bad situations. If you are sick your friend will try to visit you or call as much as possible. She always care for you no matter what problem you have and will give you the necessary support to reach certain goals and overcome obstacles.


If you can say with conviction that your friend has all of these qualities, he/she is a keeper.  Treat them well.

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