What are the traits of a best friend that make you closer to some people more than others? Chances are the person who is closest to you possesses several characteristics of a good friend.

Friendship is one of those things that exist on a continuum. It is very normal for people to have friends who are just casual acquaintances, others who are within one’s inner circle, and those who are in between. So how does one make the cut to being in the inner circle? What makes a good friend? Read on as we explore why one of your friends is your best friend…

Qualities of a good friend

What is the definition of a true best friend? How can you tell that someone is one?

A lot of people have been cultivating wrong relationships with others in the name of ‘friendship’. They have fallen into unhealthy dynamics, all the while missing out on cultivating rich and loving friendships they deserve just because of clinging on to the wrong exploitive relationships. It is easy to be duped and manipulated into thinking that someone is a true friend is when the opposite is the case.

Several qualities set best friends apart from the rest. So to save you from investing in the wrong kind of people who call themselves ‘friends’, here are some core traits of a best friend to check out and weigh for yourself how you and your friends measure up.

Honest and trustworthy

Honesty and being trustworthy are the most significant friendship values. Good friends tell each other the truth as opposed to coming up with white lies that keep you happy for a short time until you get stung by the real truth later. A true friend will not sugar coat something especially if it’s something that’s not in your best interest just to stroke your ego. They will tell it as it is.

When it comes to seeking their opinion about things like clothes, romance, job opportunities or how you behave around other people, they should be upfront, no matter what. So if you realize that one of the people you consider a friend always lies to other people, then chances are, he or she also lies to you as well.

A friend is someone you can trust with your life. A good friend won’t go behind your back to undermine you in any aspect of your life, be it work, family or even a romantic relationship. Even when your boyfriend is texting your friend, she will tell you. They will always have your back and will never betray your confidence.

Supportive, emotionally available and show up during tough times

What makes a good friend is the ability to be supportive and listened to as opposed to ignoring someone or being dismissive. A good friend doesn’t need to be physically available. All that is needed is for one to be emotionally available. That is why most people still manage to maintain friendships even when they are far apart, especially with technological advancements and the internet.

A good friend is supportive and will be one who will go out of their way just to be there for you. Much as we all like to be with our friends during celebratory times, one of the good qualities in a friend is the ability to be there during the not-as-good times as well. These tough times are the true test of friendship.

Accepting – as you are

One of the other qualities of a good friend is that they are accepting no matter how different your backgrounds or opinions are. They will accept some of the choices that you make as an individual especially if they are of value to you.

A true friend won’t force you to change your looks and dressing style or pressure you into doing things that you are uncomfortable with. They might challenge a point of view that you hold but won’t hold it against you if you stick to it.

Someone who makes you comfortable and can be yourself around them is one who possesses the true traits of a best friend. They will accept you unconditionally but will always be straight with you about any situation or unpleasant behavior.

True friends let you feel free and safe enough to open up to them about anything – even your weaknesses. And don’t think that just because they are accepting, they won’t call you out on your BS. They will accept you as well as challenge you to become a better person. Those are traits of a best friend.


This is one of the friendship traits that comes close to being accepting. Good friends need to make you feel confident. So before jumping into conclusions, a friend should listen to you and empathize and put themselves in your shoes especially if it’s something that touches on your beliefs.

If someone you consider a friend tries to convince or coerce you that their way is the right way, then this is not a person who has good friendship values. This is a bully who is out to make you feel insecure about your uniqueness.

Loyal and happy to help out, no matter what

Loyalty is hands down of the most significant good qualities in a friend. A loyal friend will always stick by your side no matter what. Their commitment to you is unwavering. They will drop everything to come and help out no matter what the situation is. They are always when you have and even when you don’t have plenty to give. They try to make our lives easier in times of difficulty. They bring true meaning to the phrase “my ride or die”.  What makes loyalty one of the best friendship traits is because a loyal person will do something for you without expecting anything in return.


Mutual respect is one of the most powerful characteristics of a good friend. A lack of it means a relationship possesses an abusive dynamic. There are lots of aspects to respect. For instance, a true friend should respect you enough to keep your secrets, respect your values, respect your time and generally treat you and speak to you courteously.


Any healthy relationship needs to have a good balance of the give and take dynamic. Reciprocity is an ingredient that helps cultivate satisfying relationships. If only one person does the lifting, then the relationship will topple over.

We understand that we are not all blessed the same way. That said, there are lots of ways to give… not just material things. So you might be giving your friend monetary support but he or she reciprocates with tangible things or emotional support.

They will always have your best interests at heart

Have you ever felt like your friends know you better than you know yourself? Then these are the kind of friends who have your best interest at heart even if they are not getting anything out of it. A good friend will be your greatest cheerleader and campaigner. He or she will keep you focused and on your toes when it comes to important things in your life even when you have self-doubt or when you doubt your worth.

A good friend will always build you up and rejoice in your success. Much as she will cry with you in failure, she will also encourage you to dust yourself up and try again. This is by far the number one on our list of traits of a best friend.

For more advice on cultivating healthy relationships, visit Love is All Colors