“Friends are like angels who lift you up when your own wings forgot how to fly”.
I’ve always loved this amazing quote about friendship. I think it describes the perfect friendship, as all of us need people that take good care of us, especially when we’re struggling.
Friendship is one of the most important relationships one can have in their life. In Maslow’s pyramid of human needs, the need for affiliation is shown as one of the most important needs.
All people need to feel like they belong somewhere, and that they have a community that supports them and they can build beautiful memories with.
I would even say that the need for affiliation is so important that it has a strong impact on a person’s mental health and wellbeing.
However, being a good friend, finding a good friend, and recognizing a good friend are not always easy.
Friendships, like all relationships, can have ups and downs. If you are looking for advice on how the become the best friend for someone, or how to know if someone is a true friend for you, read on!
I will describe how to be a good friend, the difficulties you may face in a friendship, and ultimately, the 30 most important qualities of a great friend.
Being A Good Friend
You may have wondered at times how to be the best friend possible for the people around you.
You may have faced situations that were full of obstacles, or situations in which you simply did not know how to help your friend. That may have made you feel like you’re failing at friendship, but I have some good news for you.
Being a good friend is simpler than you may think.
In most cases, your friends just need to feel loved and understood. You’re not supposed to become their therapist, you just need to lend them a shoulder to cry on whenever they need it.
Also, if you can help with material things or any sort of support, don’t hesitate to do so, because your friends will be eternally grateful even if they don’t show it.
Also, sharing is a great way to create good dharma for yourself and to make the universe shower you with abundance and gifts.
One trap that you must avoid falling into when it comes to friendship is judging your friend. Remember: what you judge you always become.
Why? So that you can understand what the other person was going through, accept and even forgive them.
We’re not supposed to see the world from a good/bad point of view, so whenever we judge someone, we break one of the most important laws of the universe: the law of compassion.
When it comes to your friends, it’s even more important that you don’t judge them no matter how silly they act and what mistakes they make.
Mistakes are an essential part of growing and evolving, so you shouldn’t expect anyone to not make mistakes, especially your friends. Instead, when they make a mistake, make sure to offer them all your love and support so that they can learn from it, grow and move on.
Finding a Good Friend
There are two main steps when it comes to finding good friends:
Look For People With Similar Interests And Lifestyles
You are more likely to develop a long-lasting friendship with someone who shares the same interests and hobbies as you, however, you shouldn’t underestimate someone’s ability to be your friend if they have different passions and a different lifestyle.
Sometimes, you will become friends with someone who leads a completely different lifestyle, and that’s okay, as long you both show each other empathy and support.
Trust Your Gut Instinct
The gut instinct, or intuition, is always right when it comes to friends. Your gut instinct will tell you exactly who you could be friends with, and who you should avoid.
You can distinguish the two by paying attention to how people make you feel. Around a potential friend you will happiness, ease, enthusiasm, and lots of other positive emotions.
You will also feel that you can be yourself around them because they will never judge you. You will also meet people whose mere presence will make you feel uneasy, unsafe, and judged.
That’s probably where you will not find a good friend, but yet before you jump to conclusions, make sure it’s your intuition speaking to you, and not any judgment or fears of your conscious mind.
Difficulties You May Face In a Friendship
A friendship, just like any other relationship, will face ups and downs occasionally.
Your true friends will stay with you through any difficulty. The most common difficulties faced in a friendship would be:
Going On Separate Paths
It can be painful when, after years of friendship, you and your friend start drifting away from each other.
However, as you grow old, you may change your hobbies and interests a lot, and that can cause you to change the people you spend more time with.
If this happens to you, know that you can still keep your old friends if you are just willing to remain involved and empathetic, and maintain the friendship even if you don’t spend as much time together as you used to.
You can always check in on each other by calling or even by meeting to catch up on everything.
Jealousy can appear in a friendship when one person is doing well, but the other one is dealing with a lot of failure and difficulty in their life.
When you’re at your lowest, is hard to be around people who are at their highest. If you’re the one facing difficulty while your friend is thriving, just think about the fact that life has ups and downs for everyone.
You will be back on your feet soon, and there is no need to be jealous of anyone, as they too had their fair share of difficult experiences.
If you’re the one doing well and you’re the target of your friend’s jealousy, try to act as diplomatic as possible, show compassion for them, and don’t brag in front of them about how well you are doing.
It’s natural for friends to want support, but occasionally one friend could be asking for too much support from you. There has to be a balance between how much support you give, and how much you receive.
If you’re in a situation where you’re doing well and your friend has reached rock bottom, it’s normal for you to offer more support. However, pay attention to impostors.
When I mean impostors, I mean people who only want help from you but are never willing to return the favor. You will recognize them by the fact that they never listen to you, they ignore you whenever they want to, and change the subject when you bring your problems up.
If one person is treating you like that, you should pay attention to how much you’re giving in that friendship, because that person may not be a real friend.
How To Recognize A Good Friend: 30 Qualities Of A Good Friend
The number one quality to look for in a friend is loyalty. A friend should say the nasty stuff to your face and only good stuff behind your back.
This means that if they have any complaint, they will say it to you, not about you.
It also does not mean that they will be rude or to you in a nasty way – it was just a figure of speech. Loyalty is also proven in times when a friendship has survived many tough years and times.
A true friend is always there to support you. If they don’t have time, they will make time for you and they will not come up with excuses or ignore you when you’re facing difficulties.
3. They Make Time
They make time to see you, help you, or spend time with you. They may be busy, but your friendship remains a priority, and they make you feel and see that.
4. They Put The Effort In
A friend will not just meet you or help you when it’s convenient for them to do so. A friend will put the effort in coming to see you when it’s required and to be there for you during important or difficult times.
When you tell your problems to your friend, you will never feel judged. They will show you empathy and will do their best to assist you with the problem.
A true friend can put themselves in your shoes and stay on your side even when you’re the one who has made a mistake.
A true friend will show you compassion even when you are doing something wrong. They will know that one mistake does not define who you are and that everyone makes mistakes.
Your true friends will always show you compassion and assist you with any problem you may have.
By similarity, I mean that a real friend will be somehow similar to you and there will be a lot of common ground.
In a friendship, certain aspects will bond you to your best friend and will make your connection stronger.
Maybe you will struggle with the same problems or will share the same core interests. Whatever it is, it will be the foundation for your friendship.
8. Knows You Better Than Anyone
A true friend knows you better than anyone. You don’t have to tell them when you are sad, as they will instantly know and feel that.
Also, you don’t need to tell them what you’re thinking at most times, as they will know that also.
You can notice a telepathic connection between you and your true friends. You may know when they are going to call you, and very often both of you will know what the other one is thinking.
A true friend is reliable in every possible way. If they say they will show up, then they will.
If they promise support, they will offer it. If you have a problem, you’re not afraid to call them because you know they will help.
By trustworthy, I mean that whatever secret you entrust them with, they keep it, regardless of the situation. A true friend will take all your secrets to the grave with them, and will protect them at any cost.
A true friend will show enthusiasm when they are about to meet you.
You will never feel that they are not interested in seeing you, nor will they seem bored around you.
Your connection will be so strong, that no matter what happens, you will always have more stuff to tell to each other, jokes to make, and amazing memories to recall.
13. Deep love
A true friend will transmit a feeling of deep love towards you.
Some people even tell their friends that they love them, some don’t. But when a true friend loves you, you don’t need them to tell you, as you will feel it with all your being.
14. Positive energy
When you meet your true friend, there will always be a positive vibe between you too. Even if your friend is sad or depressed, because your friendship is based on positive feelings, you will still feel the positive energy around them.
A true friend will never make you feel disrespected. No matter what mistakes you’ve done they will still treat you with the utmost respect.
Also, they could tease you from time to time but will never make disrespectful jokes, bully you or humiliate you.
Your friends should be the people who show you the deepest understanding.
This goes hand in hand with empathy and compassion, and the fact that they will have compassion towards you will contribute towards a friendship based on understanding, respect, and stability.
One core characteristic of a real friend is altruism. A true friend will be sharing, giving, and altruistic towards you.
They will not be afraid to even share material resources with you, as they value you so much they would help you with anything.
How you recognize a real friend from other fake ones, is that you get a strong feeling that this person cares about you.
They will show it in the way they talk to you, the way they treat you, and even the body language they display around you will show that they care about you.
A true friend will dedicate themselves to the friendship.
They will make an effort to see you, speak to you, remember important stuff about you, and help you whenever you need help. You will just know that this person is committed to your friendship.
Honesty is the key to a real friendship. A real friend will be honest with you even when they have to tell you something that you may not like.
They will know that a true friendship is never based on lies, and will do their best, to be honest at all times.
A low-maintenance friendship does not mean that you never do stuff together or never speak. But a true friend will understand if you are going through tough or busy times, and will not end the friendship if at any point you don’t have so much time to dedicate to it.
When you meet them after a long time, you will still feel close and connected to them, as if you just met them yesterday.
A true friend will (almost) always forgive the small (or big) mistakes that you make. We are all human and we all make mistakes, and a true friend will love you too much to end your friendship for one mistake.
Between you and their ego, they will always choose you. However, this does not mean to let you abuse them, but you will always find forgiveness from a true friend.
A true friend will feel the need to protect in the face of any adversity that may arise. That adversity could be people gossiping about you behind your back, abusive spouses, or any other problems from your personal life.
Protection could be shown even through small acts such as borrowing a jacket when you’re cold. A true friend will always defend you firmly and will do the best to protect you because they deeply care about you.
24. Good listener
Because a true friend cares about you, they will be a good listener.
When you tell them about any problem, they will actively listen and try to find solutions to your problems, will show empathy and compassion and you will feel deeply connected to them.
25. A strong connection to you
It’s a bit hard to define the connection, a connection is felt differently by every person.
Connection is a bond, that we all feel with the people that are close to us. It is a mix of everything I’ve listed above, especially empathy, telepathy, protection, compassion, similarity, and dedication, and it is felt like a strong, indestructible relationship, that can survive any adversity.
A real friend will be your most dedicated supporter. They will never discourage you from following your dreams, and they will offer you all the support and encouragement to do so because they want to see you happy.
Even when you’re already very successful, a true friend will continue to encourage you to aim high. If they ever feel any jealousy around you, they will overcome it and continue to encourage you.
Your friend will always show kindness to you no matter what.
When you make a mistake, they will help you correct it. When you are angry, they will help you calm down.
The basic foundation for your relationship will be kindness, no matter what happens. Kindness goes hand in hand with compassion and empathy, therefore, from a true friend you will always receive kindness.
A real friendship is based and equality and balance. This means that there will a balance of power, not a dynamic based on one person being the boss and the other one the servant.
Nor will there be a huge discrepancy in the give and take dynamic. Even if at some point one person needs more attention and support due to personal issues, when they are back on their feet they will make sure to return the favor.
When you meet a real friend, you will always make jokes and laugh together. This will make you feel great as if you’ve just recharged your batteries.
Of course, they will not make jokes about serious or sensible matters, but with a real friend you can always laugh together, have a great time with and build great memories.
A true friend always inspires you to become the best version of yourself.
They will show encouragement for whatever you want to do, will support you in achieving your dreams, and will shower you with positivity, enthusiasm, and love.
After most meetings with your friend, you should feel good about yourself and inspired to achieve more and to do amazing stuff.
A true friend will even inspire you by example because they are on the path of becoming their best possible version as well, therefore, around them, you will feel inspired to do the same.