What makes a good friend?

Having good friends makes you happy, and being a good friend to others makes them happy, too. Think about your friendships - are you being a good friend? Are your friends being a good friend to you?

Good friends make you feel good

Good friends say and do things that make you feel good, giving compliments and congratulations and being happy for you.

Good friends support each other

If you’re feeling down, a good friend will support you. If you need help, a good friend will try to help you out.

Good friends don’t always have everything in common

Everyone is different, and has different hobbies and interests. Even if you’re not into the exact same things, a good friend will encourage you rather than making you feel bad for liking a different band, activity, TV show or animal! A good friend understands that sometimes you do your own thing, and enjoys doing the things you have in common together.

Good friends listen

A good friend allows you to talk and doesn’t interrupt you. They’re interested in what you have to say.

Good friends are trustworthy

If you tell a good friend something private, they won’t share it. You can trust a good friend not to be judgmental.

Good friends handle conflict respectfully and respect boundaries

Sometimes you and your friend might disagree on something. Sometimes you might have said or done something that upset your friend. A good friend will tell you if you’ve done something to hurt them. If you tell a good friend they’ve hurt you, they’ll be sorry and won’t do it again.

Good friendships go both ways

It’s not a good friendship if one of you is doing all the talking and the other is doing all the listening, all the time. Good friends make each other feel good, rather than one friend receiving all the compliments and the other giving them all the time. In a good friendship, you’re making each other feel great!

Having a group of friends

Don’t limit yourself by having just one “best friend”. Your friendship is something special which you can share with everyone who needs a friend! Sometimes friends drift apart or fall out. That’s a part of life. Having more than one friend means it’s more likely there will be someone who can help you when you need it. See our guide to making new friends to find new people in your life to share friendship with.

Friends not followers

In the digital world you can feel under pressure to have a lot of friends and followers. Remember that you only need a small circle of friends to be happy, and it’s a good idea to keep your most precious (and private) thoughts and moments for those that really care about you.

Help! I have a bad friend!

Sometimes you might realise that someone you considered a friend hasn’t been a good friend to you. Our friendships and frenemies page has advice for what you can do in this situation.

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