Being a Good Friend: Friendship Quotes About True Friends, Good Friends, and Real Friends

Updated on September 27, 2017
fer-nie profile image

Fernando has intensively studied the sociological and psychological aspects of society. He is continuing to further his undergraduate study.

Two school boys shaking hands.
Two school boys shaking hands.

The best feeling in the world is knowing you have a small army of friends to combat the world with. The funny thing is that most of us would probably tell ourselves and others that we usually walk alone.

Friend's aren't forever. They come and go. You shouldn't worry about having too many friends.

— Everybody and anybody

Yes, it's true, friends do come and go, but that doesn't mean we should give up and assume all of the friends we have now will eventually leave. In reality, sometimes you have to figure out which friends are worth keeping, and I'll explain why.

You have to play your part. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't really try keeping their good friends. In fact, they really don't understand what a good friend is. If you're stuck in the mentality most people have today, especially the mentality of the younger generation, you'll probably just call every person you know a friend. Well, it isn't exactly that easy, and you have to differentiate acquaintances from actual friends.

What is an acquaintance and how could you define one? An acquaintance is basically someone you don't know much about. You are merely acquainted, as many will call it, and don't consider this type of person a close friend.

Differentiating an acquaintance from a real friend is the first step in understanding what a good friend is and isn't because, believe it or not, not all friends are close enough to you to be considered actual friends. I'm sure you know what I mean, as we all know that one person that sticks around until the end but doesn't add essence into the friendship. You can call them acquaintances if you want, but you perhaps have a higher chance of calling that one person an actual friend.

Learn to understand who's a friend and who isn't. In order to completely break down what a friend should and shouldn't be doing, it is vital to take the shots at the right people. For example, you don't want to adhere to 'good friend' standards and use it against a person that isn't exactly a close friend to begin with. If you've met someone in the library, for example, you are merely acquainted and should be careful about labeling that person a new friend. It should take quite a while before both of you truly are friends, but for the sake of being respectful, it's fine to call each other friends. Just don't lie to yourself later when it really matters.

What Makes a Good Friend?

Friends sitting on the couch on their laptop.
Friends sitting on the couch on their laptop.

1. Your Friend is Always There For You

I like good friends, and let's be honest. You like good friends, too. They are always there for you when you need them, especially when you're having a bad day. Throughout our lives, we run into all sorts of people we consider 'friends' and not all of them deliver the aid we need. However, there probably were times where you ran into someone that helped pick you up. At least, that's what happened to me when I used to get bullied in grade school.

Real friends pick you up and help you get back on your feet. Pick a random friend of yours and ask yourself if this person would be there for you. If you've answered yes, you've probably found yourself a candidate for a great friend. I've met a lot of people that refuse to help me when I am in need, and that's okay. Those kinds of people are what we define as acquaintances, although they could be defined as bad friends as well. However, for the sake of being an optimistic bunch, allow me to call them people we aren't close to, really. That way, you can set your mind into a much more optimistic mode.

2. Your Friend Cares About You

Look, if your friend doesn't give a living ship about you, you're not going to be able to float your boat anytime soon.

A friend that takes care of you because he/she cares about you is a keeper, in my opinion. You can never go wrong. In fact, these types of friends are sometimes the type of friends you end up getting in a relationship with. However, this isn't always the case, and it's always recommended to gauge that yourself, obviously.

3. Your Friend is Unconditional

Being unconditional means not having expectations of you. For example, just because he/she doesn't like cars but you do, your friend will stay your friend and won't change the quality of the friendship. This, in my opinion, is what you should be looking for in a good friend.

I have tampered with many friendships that have fallen all because they were far too conditional. For instance, I once joined a band in high school and decided to quit it. Interestingly, I realized the people I thought were my friends ended up not being what I thought they were. Why? Well, the answer to that question is actually pretty simple.

I once joined a band in high school and thought these were my friends. In the end, they back stabbed me after realizing I have quit the band.

You see, there are constant opportunities to label people you meet as friends, but you have to be careful. Being careful means understanding that not everyone is going to be an unconditional friend with you. Although, by definition, these conditional people can still be regarded as a friend, it's not safe to assume they'll be friends with you. After all, both of you are in some sort of friendship because you two have something in common. If that mutual association changes, what does this so-called friend look for in you?

So, without going too off topic, if you've found yourself an unconditional friend, he/she is a keeper. This person will be there for you whenever you need a friend, and they won't force you to choke on conditions. They won't care what you do, what you eat, who you are, what you dislike, and if you like them or not -- well, not exactly.

Now, it's your turn!

Are you an unconditional friend?

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4. Your Friend Offers You Food to Eat When You Don't Have Money

Good friends help their friends. They help take care of each other in dire times, and one of the most interesting events is when they pay for your food. Obviously you're going to pay them back in due time, but the most important aspect here is that they are making an effort to help you.

Bad friends don't trust you. They won't buy you food. They won't feed you because you are hungry. They'll expect you to always pay for you food, which is a perfectly legitimate thought, which I will explain later. However, a real friend will feed you regardless, because they know you well. As a matter of fact, in most cases, friends don't expect you to pay back.

I once went out to a party with my friends and we were all hungry. They wanted to go grab a bite to eat, and I had to explain that I couldn't because I didn't have any money. Instead of leaving me hungry, they decided to help pitch in for me. It's not the food I was after, no. The reason this made me happy was because in my time of need, they understood me and decided to help me. In return, I have repaid my debt and was there for them when they needed me.

If your friend helps you and you're also a good friend, you'll repay them back. Trust me, although a lot of good friends don't expect anything from you after they donate to a charitable cause, which is you, you should return the favor. Show them how much you value them and give them equal, if not greater, value! This doesn't have to be money, but let them know you truly appreciate their friendship!

Friends Laughing Together at a Table
Friends Laughing Together at a Table

5. Your Friend Listens to You

You know, I like a friend that truly listens even though what you have to say isn't exactly the most appealing topic. I know of some friends that talk about movies all day. Interestingly, I also know of a few friends that can talk about games forever. Which ever your topic of interest, your good friend will listen.

Yes, there are limitations to this. People are hard to picture because they are all different and not one person is the same as another. However, it is possible to deviate all of these personas into a general rule.

The rule is simple: they must enjoy talking to you. If your friend doesn't enjoy talking to you, rest assured he/she won't be paying attention to you. Here are a few signs your friend isn't interested in what you have to say.

He/she is:

  • Playing video games in front of you.
  • On their phone constantly.
  • Looking around. Ladies and gentleman, this one is huge. This is by far one of the best means of understanding whether this person is captivated in your conversation with him/her or not. This person is either bored or is feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed by what you are saying.
  • The list goes on!

It's up to you to gauge whether or not your friend is listening to you. Just note that if you suspect foul play, you're better off keeping your distance and waiting for that one person to come to you, rather than seeking entertainment through constant communication.

6. Your Friend Has An Open Mind

Stubborn friends are a recipe for disaster. Being a stubborn friend means locking out everyone and anyone, outside of your mind, from reaching you inside of your walls. Not only that, stubborn people will not listen to you and don't give a living ship about what floats your boat or what you are talking about.

They usually think they are right. This, once again, is disaster because you can't simply talk about whatever you want, nor can you suggest fun ideas for both of you to discover or do. Just because they are slightly stubborn, however, doesn't mean they are bad friends. Of course, it'd be nice for them to understand that having an open mind isn't a bad thing either, you know?

They would rather stick to what they do best instead of walking out of their own bubble. Okay, so this point is a little too broad, so let me explain by telling you yet another story.

I have one friend that is a gamer. Whenever I come over to his house to hang out, he is either playing video games or he is sleeping. It becomes increasingly awkward because it doesn't seem like he wants to get out or do much. Unfortunately, he doesn't like going out too much, though I know he is an outgoing guy. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or if he is just too conformed to his own lifestyle. However, even after confronting him about it, he sees nothing wrong with it.

There is nothing wrong with liking to stay inside. However, if you're going to be friends with someone, you better hope both of you have something in common because knowing your friend would rather play video games and do other sorts of ship instead of hanging out with you can become a ship wreck altogether and all too quickly. At least, this is something that happened to me, personally.

There is something to note, however: I am not merely stating that just because you don't have anything in common with a friend, they are a bad friend. No, on the contrary. I am simply stating that if he doesn't give a living shipwreck about the fact that you're right next to him, and he would rather be playing video games or hiding from you, there's a cause for concern and you should be aware of that.

7. Your Friend Points Out Your Mistakes Without Penalty

Ladies and gentleman, when's the last time you had a confrontation with an old friend that went haywire? Yeah, I'm talking about that one little 'friendship break-up' because your friend, most likely and not you, got tired of a certain something and ended up confronting you about it. In the confrontation, he/she probably ended up tired of a certain something that you were doing.

It's way too common for bad friends to penalize you for something that they could have helped you improve on. For example, if you smell bad, you smell bad. Big deal, right? It's definitely something you can improve on, and no good friend should be penalizing you for smelling like a dirty sock. If you truly had a good friend, that person would watch your back. "You smell. You should go buy some deodorant," a friend could say.

If he is talking to you because you are pretty, then we have a whole different story. This is sort of a twisted concept, as it isn't exactly a bad thing. However, maybe it'll make more sense if I were to talk about it in this way.

If you come out looking horrible the next day because you are having a bad day and he/she avoids you at school or at work, this person is not your friend. Period. Does this make sense, now?

Obviously, being pretty is a good thing. It's attractive in so many levels, and it's evident that like attracts like. If you have a pretty lifestyle, and your friend does too, you'll definitely like that person. However, there are certain boundaries that shouldn't be crossed with this rule. For example, if your friend is having a bad day you shouldn't completely abandon them. We are all human.

I understand these concepts are easy to grasp, so hopefully this doesn't trouble you too much.

A Happy Man
A Happy Man

8. Friends, No Matter What

No matter what happens, he/she will always be your friend.

Even if the terrains change, the wind pushes me out to a different country, you change, I change, our lives change, or even our circumstances of lifestyle change, I will always be your friend.

For me, personally, I haven't had a lot of 'real' friends stick around. Of course, then there are those that have.

Thanks to those friends that have stuck around up to this day. I appreciate all of you, and I hope you do, too. Friends like these are the ones that bring light to a dark day because when we feel like we are alone, they prove us wrong. They are in constant contact with us, or maybe they message us once in a while. Or maybe these friends of ours visit us once in a while. Whatever the situation, they are appreciated, and I'm sure you've found them at some point in your life and haven't regretted being their friend.

Life is just way too beautiful to tread alone. These friends have realized it, and they are here with you. These are the keepers. If they're willing to stick with you til' the end without any reasons to be there whatsoever, and only with the purpose of being your friend and having a good time, they will become one of your best friends. Period.

Just A Thought

I know some of you may disagree with some parts of this list, but I do hope you understand that I have been studying my friends for the past decade or so. I have, through careful analysis, composed this article in response to most of the questions I have been receiving from some of my closest friends. Aside from that, I feel that it's an article that needs to be thrown out into the web, because there seems to be a large amount of disinformation and lack of expertise in regards to friendships.

Thank you, readers, for tuning in and reading with us today. I appreciate your time, and I hope you can either relate to me, what was written here today, or can take something with you home to cherish and, hopefully, to learn from and apply to your everyday life.

Are You a Good Friend?

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© 2017 Fernando Gonzalez


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    • fer-nie profile image

      Fernando Gonzalez 3 months ago from Riverside County, CA

      Ouch, I'm sorry to hear that Emilea.

      Are you referring to a drug addiction?

    • Emilea Andrews profile image

      Emilea Andrews 3 months ago from UK

      some people fail to see they have good friends, i have one who fell apart from his addiction, we were there but he couldnt help himself