How to be a good friend?

How to be a good friend?

In order to try answering to "how to be a good friend" it is recommended to first discuss what is friendship, what makes people have friendships and which are the qualities of a good friend. Then we'll try to list some of the do's for those who aim to be the kind of friend anyone would like to have. Enjoy!

What is friendship?

Friendship represents a type of relationship between two or more people and is one of the strongest interpersonal bonds.

Many wise people have tried to describe the complex connection created between people and based on various motivations. What most of the philosophers, writers or thinkers have tried to demonstrate is that true friendship is a virtue that is given only to those who are worthy of it.


For the modern social human, always surrounded by people with whom has different associations, friendship is more than a virtue, is a way of life. One recent study found that people with an extended social circle are happier and healthier. So the more the merrier? Not exactly. The British anthropologist Robin Dunbar theorised that a human can    mantain  stable social relationships with no more than 150 people.

Friendship is not only a benefit to one's life but also a responsability as it demands time, effort and understanding of other's feelings.

As any other relationship, this one too has to pass the test of life and time as many connections of this kind are created due to different favorable situations. Two people can act one way at one stage of life and then change to become even the opposite at another stage. It is known that good friends are hard to find and it can be even harder to find a disinterested friendship that lasts a lifetime.

What are the reasons that trigger people into connecting with other people and forming these associations?

C. S. Lewis has an interesting explanation to that: “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”


People with similar demographics that share common backrounds or interests are more likely to become friends. Proximity is one factor that influences the relationship between two people as they probably have more chances to connect if they are near enough to see each other and do things together without much effort.

Other reasons for making friends are the opportunity to share ideas and feelings and receive feedback from a person you find similar to yourself, the feeling of empathy towards someone or the fact that we attach to others in seek for support and to diminish anxiety and stress. Exposure to people and information about them in social situations can reduce stereotyping and favoure befriending. 


What makes a good friend?

Before we proceed to describe how one should be in order to be a more than agreable friend there needs to be mentioned that in a friendship relation each of the parts involved should feel free to be oneself and express one's feelings without fear of judgement.

Being a good friend means being honest, dependable, affectionate, compassionate and forgiving. Qualities of a good friend also include loyalty, trustworthiness, altruism, understanding and unconditional acceptance.

A good friend is someone you can trust, you can depend on, whose company you enjoy, with whom you laugh and cry. Someone who simply sticks around even when fun ends and trouble begins.

Test your friendship with our  Friendship Calculator!


How to be a good friend?

Here's a list of simple practical advice on how to be a good friend, the order has no relevance since all these recommendations are equally important:

  • Support your friends no matter what. This is one of the most important duties of a good friend. you need to be there for your friends both at good and bad times.
  • Respect your friends as you wish to be respected.
  • Be trustworthy and stable, keep your given word no matter what.
  • Don't judge your friends' decisions or acts and try to be understanding and compassionate.
  • Stick around not only when things are convenient, be dependable and loyal.
  • Don' t hurt anyone's feelings. Be considerate and symphatetic to your friends.
  • Laugh when you need to laugh and cry when you need to cry.
  • Be respectful to one's beliefs and values and to what is important to them.
  • Be generous, with your time, energy, anything that can help one's friends.
  • Listen, truly listen and try to understand the situations, events or whatever is described to you showing that you care about your friends speaking.
  • Smile and hug your friends often. It is proven that physical contact that shows support plays an important role in any relationship.
  • Reciprocate! Give back as much and even more than you receive.
  • Accept your friends for whom they are. Don't try to change anyone. You can only try to help someone be better but the choice to change is theirs.
  • To deceive one that is close to you means to cheat oneself so be sincere to your friends.
  • Encourage your friends in their attempts and give them thoughtful advice.
  • Don' t hold grudges and be forgiving and understanding of your friends' actions.
  • Keep in touch no matter where life takes you. If life took you apart it might as well get you together again sometime.
  • Be friendly to your friend's friends. Enlarging your social connections with people similar to you can be very satisfying.


In the end we can only say: choose your friends carefully and live wise!

Test your friendship with our  Friendship Calculator!

29 Dec, 2014 | 0 comments | 4596 views