The thought of a friend prompted me to write this article about the characteristics of a true friend.
We may not always be in constant contact with each other, but I know deep within my heart, that she's a genuine friend everyone would wish to have.
While having many friends around you has a lot of advantages, building a healthy bond with a single person with whom you can pour your hearts out belongs to a different level of accomplishment in life.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you buy from my link I might make a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay. See the full affiliate disclosure here.
In our fickle-minded society today, it is rare to keep a real friendship because a true friend is like a precious stone, hard to find.
You don't have to be with someone who doesn't give you that feeling of being home just to avoid being alone.
So before you invest more of your time with somebody who you thought a loyal friend of yours, you should also know the definition of a true friend.
True friend definition
Defining a true friend can be subjective because everyone has their own preferences especially when it comes to a serious kind of relationship such as friendship.
But if you were to ask me what a true friend is, as cliché as it sounds, a true friend is someone who knows me and accepts who I am.
That might yet not be enough to know what a true friend is so I prepared a list of characteristics of a true friend in this blog post.
10 Characteristics of a true friend
– A true friend encourages
You know that she's a loyal friend if she wants the best for you and helps you along the way to achieve your dreams and goals. She may not able to help you financially, but she encourages you to reach your ideals in life.
Sometimes we have these unbelievable dreams, and you may see in her eyes the doubt that perhaps it's really impossible for you to hit the target, but at least she doesn't put you down and insult your capacities.
No matter how unreachable your dreams are, this genuine friend of yours would not make it a laughing matter.
She listens to your ambitions and ideas without judgment and offers you help if you need any along the way, as long as she has all the capacities to assist you.
– A true friend is transparent
It might be about you or about her -she always talks to you about it.
If she doesn't like what you did to her or what you said to her, she would directly say it to you.
A fake friend will go to your other friends and tell them about it instead of talking about it with you.
Now, if she has problems of her own, she confides in you because she thinks and knows she can trust you and you wouldn't criticize her.
– A true friend is never jealous
She doesn't forbid you to have other friends and doesn't get jealous when you talk about your times with other people without her.
She knows her boundaries, and she doesn't treat you as her property.
She too has other friends and hangs out with them if she wants to – in short, she doesn't make you her world.
A toxic friend will make a big fuss about it if you hang out with other people and will flip out if you don't answer her messages because you're ”too busy” with other friends.
– A true friend shares something in common
An introverted person can have a very extroverted friend -believe me, I'm the breathing evidence of that.
Two different individuals can be friends as long as they find something in common.
I remembered very well how I and my friend found our common denominator. We were sitting in a chemistry class when we both found out we love using Twitter and like the same singer.
But before that, I knew her already and had even started the first conversation. Yes – introverted people talk too.
– A true friend knows you well
Besides your mother, there's another individual who knows you well, and that's your best friend.
No matter how bad you are or how many bad qualities you have as a person and a friend, she still loves you like your mother.
As long as you don't hatch a plan against other individuals and your bad qualities are not harmful to yourself and others, she has always your side.
A genuine friend knows when you get angry and knows even your facial expressions and every meaning.
A friend who doesn't intend to stay longer doesn't bother to know you well in a more personal manner.
You have a healthy friendship with someone if you know each other, accept each other's flaws and weaknesses and try to be a better person every day, together.
– A true friend knows her boundaries
Being close with someone doesn't mean sacrificing everything. A true friend knows her position in your life and won't try to invade your privacy if you wish it.
She could be your best friend but that doesn't give her all the right to do and say whatever she likes. Keeping boundaries makes friendship or any relationship more healthy and solid.
When I was in college, I used to say to my friend not to visit me at our house anytime or without informing me because I don't feel like entertaining a friend because I'll be having a siesta.
She knows it but sometimes forgets it -because she's someone who forgets always. So I also told her -she can come but she shouldn't find it offensive if I fall asleep but she can do whatever she wants in the room.
Setting boundaries and communication work really well together. Without the latter, your friend may misunderstand you and in the worst-case scenario, may go.
But if she's truly a friend, she stays and tries to handle things with you.
– A true friend respects
You could be weird to some people or maybe you behave in a more bizarre way, but that shouldn't hinder the connection that might lead to a genuine, healthy friendship with someone.
As long as you understand and respect each other, I don't think differences in personalities, hobbies and perspectives can deter the blossoming of friendship between two individuals.
If you love KPOP, you can't force your friend to binge-watch Korean videos with you and expect her to enjoy it too.
You can however suggest but don't expect her to follow your likes and hobbies.
Expecting your friend to change for you, respectively, the way she talks, moves, and dresses, is selfish. You want her to change to meet your needs, no matter how you think it would do her good, but you don't think how it would reflect on her and your friendship.
Instead of changing your friend, why don't you focus on improving yourself? Working for your own improvement can motivate and inspire your friend and it saves you eventually the effort of trying to change her.
– A true friend can be trusted
Women love talking to fellow women they are close with about random things and sometimes private matters.
You might not be spilling secrets which are worth millions but the fact that you're sharing a part of your life with someone really means something and you can only do that with someone you trust so well – a true friend.
Trust between friends means you are confident that she will not betray you with the things she knows about you. And we're not only talking about secrets here but any details of your life you don't usually share in public.
– A true friend is funny
You don't have to be a funny person to have a funny friend. In fact, it is a perfect combination.
When you're down and feeling like the whole world turned their back on you, you don't have to drown yourself in loneliness if you have a humorous friend.
A friend with a healthy dose of humour is optimistic and will always make your jaw hurt from laughing with her silly and crazy jokes.
– A true friend is a good influence
It sounds really obvious but only a few individuals believe and follow this – a genuine friend won't influence you to do things that may be harmful to your well-being.
During high school or even university days, peer pressure is very common. In fact, peer pressure can lead to alcohol and drug abuse which is common among teenagers.
If you're not a teenager anymore, friends with shady characters and hobbies will still attempt to coerce you to do things that will affect your life negatively.
Among these things may be doing drugs, drinking and partying until you're crawling back to your house in the morning, or smoking until you can't stop anymore.
People with bad habits are not bad individuals but if they're influencing you to do the same so you can have good times together, then it's time for you to see the limits of having a true friend in your life.
Frequently Asked Questions on True Friendship
– What creates a strong friendship?
Among the characteristics of a true friend, there is one thing that builds a strong friendship for me and that is a deeper connection. If you have that kind of bond with someone, you will never doubt the friendship you have with your friend.
Having a deeper connection connects you not only physically but as well as emotionally and mentally.
– What defines a toxic friend?
A toxic friend defies everything that a real and true friend has when it comes to characteristics. You recognize a toxic friend when she only gives you feelings of heaviness that have nothing to do with what you have eaten.
– How can you tell a fake friend?
You don't need to know the 100 characteristics of a true friend so you can filter out fake friends in your life. You only need to know the basic and obvious signs which you will find below.
|True Friend…||Fake Friend…|
|knows boundaries and accepts your weaknesses||demands on things you're uncomfortable doing|
|is never jealous||doesn't want you to hang around with other friends|
|respects you as a person with flaws and shortcomings||teases and makes fun of you to other persons about things you can't do|
|is always honest and transparent||lies about things even simple ones that are not even worth lying for|
|encourages you and supports you with your dreams and ambitions||belittles you and tells you to stop being so ambitious and trying to reach impossible dreams|
|shares something in common with you and is always interested in your hobbies||not interested in your hobbies and discourages you from doing them with her|
|always there, if not physically at least, one-call or one-chat away||only there when she needs you or when you have a lot to offer or give|
|laughs with you||laughs at you and laughs about you with others|
|wants the best for you||influences you to do things that are not good for your well-being|
On a final thought…
Having a healthy friendship doesn't form from two people who not only understand each other but also accept each other as who they are.
”Accept me as who I am” – is not at all cliché.
Like any form of relationship, friendship can be toxic too, and if you have a gut feeling that it's going downhill, you know what to do.
Anything that's best for you, matters.
You might like to read: