Having a true, good friend is one of the best things in life.
It feels great when you know you have someone you can trust and consider a brother or sister.
Perhaps that’s why they say your friends are the family you choose. However, it’s not always easy to tell if a friendship is genuine.
What follows are seven signs of a good friend.
1. A Good, True Friend Makes You Feel Understood
Feeling understood is one of our basic, most important needs.
In fact, as psychologist Leon F. Seltzer Ph.D. explains, it’s crucial for our well-being.
This is why we tend to feel good around people who listen to us, who don’t judge us, and who empathize with us.
And a good friend does precisely that: they always try to see the world through your lenses. They’re able to put themselves in your shoes and if you need help or need to vent, you know you can count on them.
2. They’re Natural Givers
People who are not afraid to give and who don’t demand anything in return whenever they do something for you are simply the best.
And they’re the people most of us actually love to have as friend, because they’re authentic.
See, a true friend does things out of love, not because they need something from you.
They’re selfless with you, because they just want the best for you.
3. They Don’t Talk Behind Your Back
Gossiping is a pretty common habit.
And most people have this habit, unfortunately.
However, a good friend is loyal, always.
So they would never talk badly about you, especially in your absence.
If someone tries to put them against you, they will bring it to your attention. And if they hear rumors about you, they’ll want to listen to your version of the story.
If someone tries to paint you in a bad light in front of other people, they’ll protect you.
Fake friends believe in rumors. Real friends believe in you.
— Yolanda Hadid
4. They Don’t Judge You
As psychologist Jill P. Weber explains in Psychology Today, the fear of judgement is something most people have in common, and it’s linked to the desire to be liked by everyone, at all times.
Probably this is why we tend to feel good around people who don’t judge us.
We feel comfortable and we know we can be the most authentic version of ourselves when we’re with them.
And a real friend is exactly this: someone who would never put you down for being who you are, and someone who doesn’t judge your choices, your opinion, or what you like.
A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.
— William Shakespeare
5. A Good, True Friend Doesn’t Have Childish Expectations
A good friend is someone who is able to put themselves in your shoes and who also has realistic expectations.
Picture this: Lara just broke up with his boyfriend, Luke, who doesn’t seem to accept her decision and has started to stalk her.
One day Lara is organizing a girl’s night, however, she doesn’t feel safe, so she asks her friend Mary if she can take the car and give her a ride back home.
Mary reminds Lara it’s actually her time to take the car and accuses her of using her situation with Luke as an excuse.
At this point, another friend, Emma, tells Lara she would be happy to take the car, if that makes her feel safer.
See what’s happening here? Mary’s expectations are unrealistic and even a bit childish. While Emma instead, is understanding Lara’s concern and showing empathy.
And she’s behaving like a true friend.
6. They Take Real Pleasure in Helping You
Someone who just sees you as an acquaintance, who has a shallow relationship with you, will never see you as a priority — unless they need something from you; in that case, you’ll be a priority, but only temporarily.
If you ask them for help, they will probably ask, “What’s in it for me?”
A good friend instead, is always happy to help, if they can. Like I said before, a true friend normally wants the best for you.
Recommended read: What Is a Platonic Soulmate and 17 Signs You Have Found Yours
7. They Can Be Genuinely Happy For You
As I mentioned in a recent article, fake friends can’t be happy for your achievements, small wins, or joyful moments.
They normally find a negative side to the things that make you enthusiastic, often because they’re jealous.
In a true friend’s eyes, instead, you’ll see genuine happiness whenever you tell them those things you couldn’t wait to share with them.
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
Signs of a True, Good Friend – Bottom Line
Like I said, a good friend wants the best for you, and this is why they usually show these signs:
- A true, good friend makes you feel understood,
- They’re natural givers,
- They don’t talk behind your back and are loyal,
- Don’t judge you,
- Don’t have childish expectations,
- They take real pleasure in helping you,
- And are genuinely happy for you.