The qualities of a true friend

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Louise Hay
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The qualities of a true friend

True friends have amazing qualities and bring out the best in us. Find out in this article which traits distinguish them.

Last update: February 02, 2022

Friends are a pillar in the life of human beings. We could say that they are our life companions. It is well known that true friendship relationships are not just meant to help us when we need them. But what are the qualities of a true friend?



This assumption is not just part of popular wisdom, scientific research claims that broad and solid social support extends our life expectancy.

But in a relationship of friendship many times doubts arise: what differentiates a true friendship from a simple acquaintance? What emotional requirements must the person have to be unique and enter the category of the friend of the heart?

According to Robert Rowney, psychiatrist and director of the mood disorders unit at the Cleveland Clinic, some habits distinguish true friends from those who aren't.

"Friendship is a single soul that lives in two bodies, a heart that beats in two souls." 

-Aristotle-

In the following lines we present the qualities that allow you to distinguish a true friend from a colleague or acquaintance.

Of course, to these four indicators we must add the ability and confidence to tell the truth or to confront reality even if it hurts or is unpleasant at first.

The qualities of a true friend

1. It encourages us to accept more aspects of ourselves

Human beings have a tendency to be very self-critical and this can lead us to have no constructive thoughts about ourselves.


Psychiatrist Rowney points out that a true friend makes us happy when we are too negative and says that "people feel better when they are surrounded by those who offer support and encouragement when they need it."


The closest friends they will be the ones who express disagreement when they perceive that we are treating ourselves harshly.

"True friends naturally raise our self-esteem and, in turn, cheering on a friend makes us feel better about ourselves."

2. It tells us when we are wrong

A true friend wants the best for us, so he lets us know when we make a mistake. None of us are perfect and our friends recognize our mistakes and share them with us to grow.

True friends point out what we do well and what we do wrong, and are also able to offer us the support we need in both cases.

A true friend is a very special person in our life and plays an important role. “Whether he's a recent friend or not, he won't dare say anything that might upset you. On the other hand, a true friend, someone you really trust, will be able to tell you what you need to hear. It is very important to have friends who are clear and direct ”.

3. We can count on your help and support

One of the extraordinary qualities of a true friend is that they will be happy to share their unending concern and care for us. " A true friend is present to the point of considering your needs as his“Says Rowney.


If you want to check if one of your friends shares the gift of attention towards you, check if they use or put away their cell phones when you are together.


A study conducted in 2012 in the UK argues that the cell phone can distract us when we are with someone else. A true friend will not allow it.


The help and support that is shown and provided in friendship is so great that it even increases the levels of empathy, as revealed by a study from the University of Virginia (United States).

The researchers found that in the presence of a threatening or dangerous situation, brain activity is practically the same as when a friend is in danger.

In other words, the ability to put oneself in someone else's shoes is accentuated to such an extent that show neuronal activation equivalent to his own. Incredible, right?

4. The qualities of a true friend: listen with your heart

It's a classic habit to talk to someone and notice that they can't help but change the subject to talk about themselves. You will agree with us that conversations with true friends are not monologues or soliloquies. This is not how true friendship is built.


When we are able to maintain an open dialogue with a person, we are more likely to strengthen the relationship.

Paul Sacco, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, says the key to a balanced conversation between two people is to actively pay attention to what the other person is saying.

“People who listen well validate the feelings of others. They show others that what they are saying makes sense and is important ”.

-HuffPost Healthy Living-

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