A good friend is a treasure worth discovering in the multitude of people who appear in your life. A truly good friend makes life more enjoyable and pleasant. A friend doubles your joy and halves your sorrows, according to John T. Chirban, Ph.D., writing for "Psychology Today." When seeking the best friend life can bring, there are six important qualities to look for.
A good friend loves you unconditionally, accepting you for who you are, writes counselor and pastor Ron Edmondson in “5 Characteristics of True Friendship.” A good friend knows your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your faults and your best points. She loves you on your good days and bad days, knowing that better days will come.
Believes in You
A good friend believes in you and calls forth the best in you, writes Edmondson. When you can’t believe in yourself, your friend is there to encourage you and remind you that you can do it. He is the cheerleader in the corner who knows just what to say to get you off the floor when you fall and motivate you to get back into the game.
Shared History, Interests and Values
You and your best friend share a history of experiences, a commonality of interests, and similar values, according to Dr. Alex Lickerman, M.D., in a "Psychology Today" article entitled “What Makes a True Friend.” You might finish each other’s sentences, share inside jokes, and communicate so much with just a look. What you share forms the foundation for a deep relationship that may continue throughout your life, picking up instantly after time apart.
Forgives Your Mistakes
Friendships would be impossible without forgiveness because everyone does something foolish or hurtful in the course of a relationship. Your friend understands that you didn’t mean to cause harm and that your apology is sincere. Your friend values you more than the foolish things you sometimes do that cause bumps in your relationship.
Keeps Your Confidences
Friends share secrets, but a good friend keeps your secrets and understands how harmful betrayal can be. You know that whatever you tell your best friend won’t get around and won’t come back to bite you later. You know this person can be trusted with the most important things in your life because she proves her discretion time and again.
Present in Need
Everyone has times of need, and a good friend is there asking what needs to be done or just sits with you through the crisis. He might offer a tissue and a hug or sit in silence to listen when you need to talk. He provides the support and comfort you need to get through whatever you face -- and you get through it because he’s there.
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Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.