What is a friend??? 10 Qualities of an Awesome Friend

After coming up with the name for my blog, My Quirky Friend, it got me thinking about what the term “friend” really means. Any one of us can grab a dictionary and look up the definition. So, I’m not going to go there. I want to explore what a friend is and, more importantly, what it means to be a friend. A mutually satisfying relationship is ultimately our goal, correct? So, what does “friend” really mean?


Some friends are merely acquaintances. You know, the ones you see regularly through work, school, church, or other common interests but aren’t really close to. These are the ones you’re friendly with. You may even only talk on a superficial level. Heck, you may or may not even know their last name, and that’s IF you actually know their first name. Regardless of how little you may know about each other, these acquaintance friends serve a vital role. It could be simply that you have the capability to share a smile, a hug, and/or a warm greeting. These friends fill a void we don’t even know is there until we no longer have those folks around any longer. I’m sure we all have many, many of this type of friend.

Good Friends…

Another group of friends are those you chat with, and possibly hang out with, on a more open level. You may work in the same department at work, or ministry at church, or something similar somewhere else. These are great friends in the moment. They’ll generally jump in, few questions asked, if you need help. You also probably know a bit more about each other’s lives outside your common interest (work, school, sports, etc). These are vital people to our everyday general happiness. Yet, as vital as a role as they play, these friends are not our closest best friends.

Our Closest Friends…

Our closest best friends are a whole other animal. They’ve seen our best and our worst and have chosen to stick around. And after putting up with some of our worst days, they deserve the world’s grandest prize. Am I right?!?!? Lol! This is the level of friendship I think we can always improve upon. This is also the level which most begs the question “What is a true friend?”.

My Non-Exhaustive List….

So what makes a true and healthy “close best friend” relationship? Here are a few thoughts, necessities if you will, that I’ve realized over the years.

1 ~ Reciprocal. The relationship shouldn’t be one-sided or lopsided. Yes, maybe for a time when one party is having some issues. But, it should always balance out over time. If you’re the one always calling or inviting, endlessly, forever… Well, here’s your sign! (Note: I used to be BAD at this. No more. I generally do approximately a 3 call/invite limit, though the limit can vary as situations dictate. If there’s consistently no response, I back off and wait for them to contact me. Then, outside of random contact efforts, I’ll leave them alone.)

2 ~ Confidential. You know everything will be kept private that needs to be kept private, without having to explain why. Just a simple request is all you ever need to state.

3 ~ Safe. There is freedom to be honest with each other. Especially, when its correctional, or a touchy subject.

4 ~ Common activities. Though not a vital point, this is definitely helpful if you enjoy hanging out with your closest friends. Where do you like to meet up for meals? Movie interests? Sports involvement? Getting together and just enjoying a few hours together is sometimes just the reprieve you need to revitalize your everyday life.

5 ~ Fair Sounding Board. Sometimes we just need someone we can spout off to, no matter the subject, without fear of backlash. This gets us out of our own heads and can give us a different perspective through which to view the topic.

6 ~ Encouraging. Our best friends are usually also one of our biggest cheerleaders. You decide you want to climb Mt Everest when you’ve just started working out? Yep, your bestie will champion your decision AND help you research how to make your dream a reality.

7 ~ Honest. They’ll also be your voice of reason when your head gets too far in the clouds, or the ditch. (Ya know, maybe Mt Everest isn’t your brightest goal, but hiking Yellowstone National Park is more your speed for a lofty goal. Just sayin…)

8 ~ Committed. They are there for you. They are there for you in the good times. But, more importantly, they are there for you in your worst times. In a moment’s notice, without hesitation, they are available when you call. They have seen enough evidence.  Ultimately, they have made up their mind.  They have chosen to be your friend. They aren’t fickle. No excuses. They’re there for you.  Period.

9 ~ Mutual Expectations. This might be exactly what makes you friends to begin with, but I think its worth mentioning. You each have the same expectations from the friendship, or close enough. At the least, you have somewhat of an understanding of the other’s expectations. And you’re both ok with them.

10 ~ Reciprocal. Yep. It’s that important to be mentioned again. Keep that thing balanced. Don’t pursue anyone across the continent. If your friendship isn’t reciprocal, then it may not be the friendship you’re dreaming it is.

Do you have anything to add???

That’s some good points to start with. It’s not an exhaustive list by any means. Heck we may not even be all-inclusive of these aspects in every close friendship we have. But it is a start.

Hopefully, this is helpful for you and your friendships. Remember, to have good friends, we have to be a good friend to them.  Always be willing to do anything you ask of others.  Do you have any points to add? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts! 

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