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What Is a Friend? How to Enrich Your Life & Build Real Friendships

Want to know what is a friend? Read on to find out about 20 ways you build genuine friendships and enrich your life through the people around you.

what is a friend

Whether you want to know how to become a better friend or are curious as to whether your own friends really are as good as you think, these 20 traits help you determine what is a friend and how to be a good one.

There are many different ways to be a good friend to someone or someone can be a good friend to you. It’s always nice to strive to be a better friend, to think of ways to improve your friendships, and to always have your friends in mind, making sure you look out for them and care for them. [Read: 15 ways to get yourself the friends you want]

What is a friend?

Similarly, it’s important to surround yourself with good friends. If your friends aren’t actually positively impacting your life, consider why you are friends with them in the first place. Has the relationship become too toxic or unhealthy to repair?

Having good friends can be such a joy in your life and to have good friends and build those close relationships which mean so much, you also have to be a good friend, make deep connections that grow over time, and work at your friendships.

So, if you want to understand what is a friend, read on to discover the qualities that make friendships so great.

#1 Trustworthy. Friends should be able to trust one another. A good friend is someone whom you feel you can trust with things that you wouldn’t tell other people. You know they won’t judge you. You trust they won’t just run off and tell everyone else when you confide in them. [Read: 5 unique traits that make a person trustworthy]

#2 Loyal. A good friend is loyal. Fickle friends are super enthusiastic sometimes and then barely talk to you at others. These aren’t the sort of good friendships you should be making. A good friend doesn’t just drop you when something better comes along. Instead, they are loyal to you through thick and thin. [Read: Should you overcompensate for your fickle friends?]

#3 Having fun. Good friendships should be lots of fun. This probably means that you have lots in common with your friends. If you enjoy doing the same sorts of things, are silly together, and make one another laugh then you’ll feel closer to that person, and you want to spend lots of time together too.

#4 Sharing. Good friends share stuff with one another. This is both in a literal and non-literal way. If you have a good friend they’ll be happy to lend you their stuff and adopt a ‘what’s mine is yours’ attitude. They also want to share deep and meaningful things with you too. Remember it’s a two-way street so you need to be willing to share with them as well.

#5 Honesty. Honesty is a massive part of any positive relationship in your life. Your good friends should be honest with you at all times. If they hide things from you, lie to you, or say things behind your back, they aren’t really being a good friend.

The only time it might be different is if they don’t want to hurt your feelings. Even then you must question whether you would prefer your friends to be honest with you, even when the truth might hurt. [Read: The qualities of a good friend that sets them apart]

#6 Making time for one another. Being a good friend does require work. You need to make sure you make time for your friends and that they make time for you. If you don’t, you start to feel resentful, left out, and drift apart.

#7 Being a good listener. Being a good listener is a big part of a good friend. Make sure that this is give and take. Listen to your friends and empathize with them but make sure that they do the same for you. There is nothing worse than a friend who only talks about themselves all the time!

#8 Promise keeper. Good friends won’t let you down and make sure they keep their promises! Of course, sometimes we all break promises, but if this happens regularly you might want to start to question your fickle friendship. [Read: Fickle friends – Should you overcompensate or kick them out?]

#9 Keeping secrets. A good friend is someone you trust with your secrets and know you can tell anything to.

#10 Dependability. Being a good friend means you should be reliable. Your friends are people you depend on no matter what. [Read: How to surround yourself with positive people]

#11 Being respectful. Good friends respect one another. If you have a friend who always takes advantage of you or puts you down, they might not be a very good one!

#12 Apologizing when mistakes are made. With every good friendship, it’s likely you hit a rough patch or argued at some point along the way. This happens to lots of good friends, but it’s how they make up that counts. If you made a mistake, don’t be stubborn. Apologize and learn how to forgive and accept apologies too.

#13 Sticking up for one another. A good friend has got your back and will not let anyone talk badly about you!

#14 Having a balance. Good friendships, like all good relationships, are a balancing act. You should feel close to that person but not inseparable. Having a degree of independence from your friends and not being too needy serves your friendship well. [Read: The nine rules for how to be a nice person]

#15 Being selfless. Sometimes you make sacrifices and do things that you don’t want to do in order to be a good friend. So, remember to be selfless from time to time, to give things up in order to make your friend happy. If they are a good friend they no doubt return the favor when you need it too!

#16 Knowing them inside out. Good friends take the time to get to know one another properly. That means you developed an intuition or instinct about your close friends. You know when they aren’t happy even if they say they are. You’ll be there for them to come to their rescue!

#17 Being there. When times get tough, good friends are the rocks that we rely on to get us through. A good friend will always be there when you are in need. Even if they can’t do anything to make the situation better just by being a rock or a shoulder to cry on. You know they are the kind of friend worth hanging onto.

#18 Give good advice. Good friends give you the best advice—even when you don’t want to hear it!

#19 Celebrate your successes. Being a good friend means being there for the highs and the lows. A good friend won’t get jealous when something awesome happens to you, they’ll be there beaming and cheering you on. [Read: 10 small changes to being a good person and transform your world]

#20 Helping one another. At the end of the day, a good friend will be there to help you, no matter what!

[Read: The tips you need to build lasting friendships]

So what is a friend? A friend is made up of these 20 things and are worth paying attention to. Whether you want to become a better friend or make sure you have good friends, it’s important to understand the qualities that make a friendship strong and worthwhile.

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Bethany Locke
Bethany was born and raised in Scotland and now resides in Brighton where she lives with her partner and rather disobedient cocker spaniel pup. She works as a f...
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