Good friends are one of the most important support systems that you can have in your life. Some friends are meant to be comic relief, some are meant to be loyal companions, and some are meant to be people that you can call for a good time but all friends are meant to be supportive, loving and accepting. There are a lot of qualities that make someone a good friend, but these ten traits are some of the most important. When evaluating your friendships make sure these important attributes aren’t missing!
1. Accepting. A true friend loves your for you. They accept your flaws, imperfections and quirks and love you for them. A true friend is someone with whom you can be your fun, weird self around without a moment of self-doubt.
2. Honest. Friends should always be honest with each other. The occasional white lie to spare feelings can be acceptable but if your friend isn’t telling you the truth about things that are important to you, there could be a problem. Honesty is the foundation of a good friendship.
3. Dependable. A good friend is someone who you can count on to be there for you when you need them. True friends are there not only in the good times, but the bad ones as well.
4. Respectful. You cannot be friends with someone without mutual respect. Friends do not always have to agree with one another or share the same opinions, but a true friend will respect your opinion even when it doesn’t line up with their own.
5. Non-judgmental. Friends don’t judge each other. A friend is someone to whom you can show your new less-than-totally-tasteful tattoo without fear of being given the stink eye. You can turn to a true friend with any problem and know that they’ll understand.
6. Thoughtful. Friends should go out of their way to make you feel special, at least every now and then. Whether that means buying your favorite candy at movie night or bringing over tissues after a bad break-up, you know your friend is thoughtful when they go out of their way to brighten your day.
7. Shares your sense of humor. What’s the point of having a friend that you can’t laugh with? Sharing a good laugh builds the relationship up and lets you know that you’ve got a friend who won’t let you take things too seriously.
8. Trustworthy. Friends share a lot of personal details and secrets. When you tell your friend something in confidence, you expect it to stay between the two of you. If you can’t trust your friends, ask yourself- “What am I getting out of this relationship?”
9. Forgiving. At some point, all friends get in an argument, that’s why it’s important that you have a friend who is willing to forgive you after a disagreement. It’s equally important that they are willing to step up and apologize for the sake of the friendship. Don’t forget, this is a two-way street. You have to be willing to apologize and forgive as well!
10. Fun. A friend is someone that you know you can have a good time with. When you hang out with your friends, you want to know that you will be entertained and have an enjoyable time. The best friends are people you can do nothing at all with and still have a blast.
Friends are the family that you can choose. Having strong friendships positively impacts your mental health and social life but the opposite is true as well. Relationships change naturally over time, so don’t hang on to a friendship that isn’t bringing you happiness anymore. If the traits above aren’t being met, ask yourself what’s keeping you in the friendship. If you don’t have a good answer—it may be time to make some changes to your social circle.
Remember, it’s always a great idea to remind your friends why you care about them. In order to have good friends, you have to be a good friend!
Molly Dutmers is a senior at Wake Forest University, where she studies communication and journalism. Originally from Chicago IL, Dutmers currently serves as the editor-in-chief of the Old Gold & Black, Wake Forest’s award-winning student newspaper. When not writing or editing, she enjoys photography and playing tennis.