Different People, Different Definitions
Every person would define a ‘good friend’ in their own way. The expectations and qualities people want in their friends vary from person to person. Having said that, there are some qualities, characteristics, and traits, which are pretty generic and are the most common parameters on which a person is considered a good, bad, or best friend.
A Friend in Need is a Good Friend in Deed
Presence is probably one of the qualities that every person demands from their close friends. A good friend is not someone who will be with you all day and night. They are the ones who will be there when you need them. From being a shoulder to cry on after a breakup or giving you a pep talk before an interview, they are just there on your side. They are there with you while you deal with grief, rejections, failure, and also when you win an award, crack an exam, or are getting married. Your true friend will never shy away from being your cheerleader.
Loyalty is the Key
We have all heard the saying that a true friend is the one who criticizes you in private and praises you in public. They would neither talk ill about you behind your back nor let anybody do that in their presence. There are those times when the world seems to be against us or we do something which suddenly turns us into a villain of our friend circle. A good friend will not be among the ones bitching about you but will hold your hand while the world points fingers. Good friends are loyal and stick around no matter how bad circumstances are.
Being Honest is Also Important
If your friend is not honest with you, you need new friends. While it feels nice to have friends always praising you and calling you perfect, it is really toxic. A good friend will call you out for the wrongs you do or the negative traits you have. They will tell you what is needed to be heard, even if it’s not what you wanted to hear. If they don’t like your art, they will tell you. If they don’t like how you treat your partner, they will let you know. Not just a cheerleader but an honest critic is what you must look for in a good friend.
Don’t Forget the Trust
While being honest, loyal, and available are great, what makes the package of a good friend complete is trust. If you cannot count on someone, you can’t really be good friends with them. They need to be a keeper of your secrets, not a teller. And that goes both ways. Mutual trust is the building block of every relationship and friendship is no exception. (See What’s A Better Way To Say “I Appreciate It”?)
Other Things Matter Too
Apart from all these qualities, there are some traits that also matter. Everyone has their own criteria in judging their bonds and friendships. Don’t forget that before looking for all these traits in a friend, make sure you possess them too. Friendships cannot be one-sided, right? You need to respect each other, be up for communication, give them their space and know your boundaries.