21 Qualities That Make A Good Friend, According To Experts

When it involves friendships, you might be at all times going to be nearer to some people than others. While many mates might fall into the “casual acquaintance” class, a particular few sit comfortably inside your internal circle of ride-or-die besties. There are loads of distinctive qualities that set a very good friend aside, however likelihood is, you’ve by no means taken a second to sit down and take into consideration what these traits are precisely.

“Friendships can definitely be found on a continuum, with acquaintances on one side and your best friends on the other, with all different types of friendships in between,” Heidi McBain, licensed marriage and household therapist and writer of Life Transitions: Personal Stories of Hope Through Life’s Most Difficult Challenges and Changes, tells Bustle. So, this begs the question: How does somebody make the lower, so to talk, and turn into one among your closest mates?

The most vital factor, as McBain explains, is that you just really feel like your finest self round them. “There are many different ways [to tell if someone is a good friend], but a big one is that you feel completely comfortable with the other person,” she says. “You can truly be who you are without fear of judgment on their part. Plus, if this friendship truly benefits both of you — which the deepest friendships do — then your closest friends are able to be exactly who they are with you, as well.”

There are many traits that set shut mates aside from the remaining. To assist establish the them, Bustle requested consultants to weigh in on the important qualities of friend.


They’re Trustworthy

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Every relationship wants belief as a core high quality, and friendships aren’t any exception. “They’re trustworthy and genuine,” Jamie Gruman, Ph.D., professor of organizational conduct and writer of Boost: The Science of Recharging Yourself in an Age of Unrelenting Demands, tells Bustle. “They offer us a sounding board to test ideas and show our true selves while knowing they won’t betray our confidences or make us feel ashamed of our weaknesses,” he says. “They offer us caring, honest feedback, even when it might hurt.” This creates a safe setting for each of you to find yourselves and develop.


They’re Supportive

Supportive mates are a lifeline. “Good friends offer us various kinds of support, such as emotional support when we’re feeling insecure and information support when we need to know how to handle problems or deal with ambiguities,” Dr. Gruman says. “This gives us the reinforcement and encouragement we need to face life’s many demands and [helps to] prop us up when needed.”

Darlene Corbett, speaker, therapist, success coach, and writer of (*21*), agrees. “A good friend will go 150% to be there for you,” she tells Bustle. “Life is not always easy and fun, but a good friend will be available.”


They Accept You As You Are

You’re in all probability comfy round your good mates since you will be your self round them; with others, you could put up extra of a entrance or really feel much less comfy. “A good friend is someone who will unconditionally accept you as you are, but will never be afraid to tell you the unpleasant truth of a situation or your behavior,” Lisa Orban, writer of It’ll Feel Better When It Quits Hurting, tells Bustle. “They are the mirror that keeps your life in focus when you’ve lost perspective.”

Corbett provides lack of judgment is a top quality of friend. “Unless your friend commits an egregious crime, you should not judge them,” she says. “None of us leave this earth unscathed from doing something we would rather forget.”


They Actively Listen

While any friend might hearken to what it’s a must to say, an important friend actively listens and engages with you. “A good friend … asks questions and truly listens to the answers,” Susan MacTavish Best, friendship skilled and founding father of life-style web site Living MacTavish, tells Bustle.

Dating and relationship coach Varsha Mathur thinks so, too. “A good friend listens and shuts up,” she tells Bustle. “They’re a sounding board rather than a coach, and [they] won’t give you advice when all you’re looking for is someone to listen.”


They’re Emotionally Available

Just like a romantic partner needs to be emotionally out there, good mates needs to be, too. “They make us feel heard and acknowledge us and our points of view,” Dr. Gruman says. “We feel listened to and appreciated as opposed to ignored or dismissed.” As a consequence, he says, this lets you share your life with one another and really feel related, each of which fight loneliness and provide help to climate distressing circumstances. Even in case your finest friend doesn’t live close by, you continue to preserve a detailed relationship with them.


They Have Similar Interests


Chances are, you and your good mates are match as a result of you will have a number of things in common. “They are similar to us in terms of values, beliefs, and views about things that matter to us,” Dr. Gruman says. “Because our personalities and opinions are similar, it gives us a sense of belonging, which satisfies the fundamental human need to feel connected to others — we feel united, togetherness, and a sense of belonging.”


They Show Up During Tough Times

While it’s straightforward to be there for any person throughout good instances, it’s much more superb to be there for them through the not-so-good periods of life. “Good friends show up for the tough times,” Mathur says. “They help clean up after the party, come to your parent’s funeral, and pick you up from that doctor’s appointment you’ve been dreading. All the fun memories are easy to make, but these critical times are the true test of a friendship.”


They’re Reciprocal

In any sort of relationship, having a stability of give-and-take is vital. “Good friendships have reciprocity so you’ll have a satisfying relationship, which is symbiotic,” Debbie Mandel, writer of Addicted to Stress, tells Bustle. “Sometimes you carry the ball, and sometimes your friend does. If one side is doing all the giving, this relationship will tip over.”

Corbett agrees. “There are the takers and the givers in this world,” she says. “Sometimes one friend is giving far more than the other, and this is fine as long as the other party reciprocates at some point. If you are just giving and they are just taking, how good of a friend is that person?”


They Have Your Best Interest In Mind

Sometimes, you could really feel as if your good mates know you higher than your self. They root for you even once you aren’t feeling like your individual largest fan. “Good friends can be your biggest cheerleaders and your greatest advocates,” McBain says. “They can also serve as accountability buddies, keeping you focused on what’s most important at that point in your life — even during the times when you may doubt yourself and your own self-worth.” Good mates will regularly build you up, remind you the way nice you actually are, and help you as you be taught and develop all through your life.


They Don’t Just Reach Out When They Need Something

You can in all probability consider people who contact you solely when they’re in want of one thing. However, with good mates, contact isn’t only a one-way avenue, in accordance with Claudia Sigala, licensed psychotherapist on the mental health supplier Alma.

“When emotional reciprocity is absent in a friendship, the relationship can feel one-sided, and a friend can start feeling like they do not matter and their needs are not important,” Sigala beforehand informed Bustle. Both people in a friendship ought to really feel valued and heard, however you could come throughout people who see your friendship as a relentless help community for them, with out giving a lot back to you. Reciprocity is a top quality of friend; your bestie gained’t see and use you merely as a method to an finish, solely ever asking things of you.


They’re Loyal & Help You Out, No Matter What


You know that friend who drops all the things that will help you out? That’s the definition of friend. “They are there for us when we need them and make our lives easier,” Dr. Gruman says. “They lighten our load and help shoulder the inevitable hurdles, stresses, and crises life throws at us. Friends can make what seems like an insurmountable mountain into a small hill that’s easily scaled.”


They Understand The Word “No”

It can generally really feel exhausting to say “no” to somebody you care about, however any shut friend will perceive you could’t say “yes” to all the things. A telltale signal that somebody isn’t an important friend is that if they react negatively to you telling them “no” generally, in accordance with Kailee Place, a therapist at Shifting Tides Therapeutic Solutions.

“If there’s any emotional manipulation, such as guilt or some type of other ‘punishment’ — the silent treatment or passive-aggressiveness — then that’s a huge red flag,” Place previously told Bustle. “Friends need to be able to say ‘no’ to each other and respect the other’s boundaries.”


They Respect Your Differences

While it’s vital to share pursuits, even finest mates don’t have all the things in common. The indisputable fact that mates aren’t precise clones of one another is what makes platonic relationships so enjoyable and worthwhile. A good friend will perceive this and respect the variations between you two. “Respect your friend’s values and ask that they respect yours,” Katie Bennett, co-founder and licensed coach at Ama La Vida Coaching, beforehand informed Bustle. “You may not share the same religion, ideas, or political views as your friend, and that’s OK. A healthy friendship allows two people to respectfully believe in very different things.”


They Honor Your Boundaries

As in all relationships, boundaries are important, and friend will respect yours and make theirs clear to you. “It is essential for any relationship that we receive permission first before offering our advice or opinion about someone else’s life decisions or choices,” Jeffrey Sumber, licensed psychotherapist and relationship guide, beforehand defined to Bustle.

A good friend is not going to solely come to understand your boundaries naturally over time, however they may also instantly take into consideration any particular boundaries you inform them you will have. In basic, they may reply positively to any personal requests you make with regards to sustaining the connection.


They Make You Feel Safe

One of essentially the most telling qualities of friend is that you just really feel comfy and safe being round them simply as you might be. “Healthy friendships and relationships provide a space in which we are able to feel safe, supported, and valued as an individual, and as a result, one can get through life challenges, develop healthy self-esteem, and cultivate a sense of belonging and trust in the world,” Sigala informed Bustle. With friend, you’ll really feel safe and comfy whereas expressing your true self.


They Connect Easily With You

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A good friend is one you possibly can join with, whether or not you’re simply hanging out and watching Netflix or having fun with a bestie’s night time out. Dr. Irene S. Levine, a psychologist and the friendship skilled behind The Friendship Blog, tells Bustle that, in interviewing over a thousand ladies about their friendships for her book, Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend,“so many of them used the same phrase ‘we just clicked’” when referring to the bond they felt with their shut mates. “Good friends have an ease of communication that minimizes misunderstandings and allows both people to feel understood,” Dr. Levine says.


They’re Confident In Their Identity

A high quality of friend that always goes unnoticed is their confidence in themselves. Good mates gained’t attempt to sabotage you or really feel insecure about your relationship as a result of they possess a steady understanding of who they’re. Dr. Marisa G. Franco, a professor, writer, speaker, and friendship skilled, emphasizes the significance of id affirmation in friend. “People that can respect your choices for your own identity, even if it doesn’t reflect what they would do for themselves,” are people who’re excessive in id affirmation, in accordance with Dr. Franco. “They affirm you in the identity that you want to be.”


They’re Securely Attached

In her forthcoming book Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make — and Keep — Friends, Dr. Franco discusses the significance of healthy attachment kinds in friendships. Friends who’re securely connected might be direct with you when obligatory — they “bring up conflicts in a non-attacking way, when it comes up, so they can give you a chance to work on it with them, instead of just backing away, or ghosting,” Dr. Franco stated. A good friend notices when there’s one thing incorrect and needs to work the issue out.


They Celebrate You

When your bestie wins, it’s feels such as you win, too. Not solely ought to friend be supportive, however they need to additionally be capable to have a good time you and your successes in life. “When they succeed, we feel like we succeed,” Dr. Franco stated. “That’s what happens when intimacy goes right. The implications of that is in a good friend, you should expect things like they’re happy for you, for your success. They don’t try to cut you down.”


They’re Forgiving

In friendships (and in life) no person’s good, and friend acknowledges that. Dr. Levine shared the significance of forgiveness in a relationship and being mild when a friend doesn’t meet all of your expectations — and vice-versa. “Friends recognize that people make mistakes,” she stated. “They also realize that people are different and even good friends don’t always agree or think the same about every issue.”


They Express Love To You, In Whatever Way They Can

Love languages aren’t only for romantic relationships. Dr. Franco underscored the significance of giving and receiving platonic love as a pillar of , lasting friendship. “They express love towards you in whatever way they like to express it,” Dr. Franco stated, “whether that’s acts of service or telling you how much they love you or how important you are to them.” Tell your bestie you like them, and friend will specific love back.

There are many qualities that make friend, a few of which can be notably vital to you based mostly in your personal values. If you’re hoping to take a casual acquaintance to the following stage, there are many methods to turn into nearer with somebody and (hopefully) elevate them to “close friend” standing. You might even notice that in some cases you could possibly be a greater friend, and it’s by no means too late to make these adjustments and present up for the people you like.


Heidi McBain, licensed marriage and household therapist and writer of Life Transitions: Personal Stories of Hope Through Life’s Most Difficult Challenges and Changes

Jamie Gruman, Ph.D., a professor of organizational conduct and writer of Boost: The Science of Recharging Yourself in an Age of Unrelenting Demands

Darlene Corbett, speaker, therapist, success coach, and writer of (*21*)

Lisa Orban, writer of It’ll Feel Better When It Quits Hurting

Susan MacTavish Best, friendship skilled and founding father of Living MacTavish

Varsha Mathur, dating and relationship coach and founding father of KnowingLuxe Coaching

Debbie Mandel, writer of Addicted to Stress

Claudia Sigala, licensed psychotherapist at mental health supplier Alma

Kailee Place, therapist at Shifting Tides Therapeutic Solutions

Katie Bennett, co-founder and licensed coach at Ama La Vida Coaching

Jeffrey Sumber, licensed psychotherapist and relationship guide

Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., psychologist and friendship skilled, creator of

Marisa G. Franco, Ph.D., professor, speaker, and writer of Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make—and Keep—Friends

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