What Makes a Good Friend: 6 Inspiring Qualities

The saying ‘a good friend is hard to find’ doesn’t seem true when surrounded by good friends; we don’t think about what makes a good friend.

But during seasons when friendships are hollow or nonexistent, the saying feels especially painful and true.

We have to grow and change to become the kind of people who find and keep good friends.

I am always learning what makes a good friend and fortunately have good friends who help me grow and become a better person.

The proverb, ‘To make a good friend, be a good friend’ has become a reality.

We can be a good friend when we view friendships through the love and freedom we have as accepted, beloved children of God instead of through the lens of personal needs.

Why is it Important to Have Friends?

It is indisputable that friends play a vital role in our lives.

We crave fellowship with people who love and admire us just the way we are and want to spend time with us. Friends offer mutual esteem, affection, and respect.

Why is it important to have friends?

Studies show our lives are richer and more joyful when we walk beside a friend.

“Some people have an easier time establishing and maintaining friendships than others. And some of us long for closer friendships or try to figure out why an existing or promising relationship fizzled out.

In these cases, we may jump first to judge a friend’s behavior, rather than our own. Perhaps we forget that relationships rely on mutual interactions.”

Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D.

Jesus came to be our friend and demonstrate how human relationships work.

Jesus had friends and spoke of their importance. When we embrace our identity in Christ, we can live more like Jesus and become a better friend.

Another reason why it is important to have friends is meeting someone and forming a connection is affirming; we feel loved and accepted.

Deep connections, laughter, building trust, and sharing ideas and secrets, are invigorating.

friends-what makes a good friend

What Qualities Make a Good Friend?

What qualities make a good friend? There are many character qualities that good friends demonstrate.

Personality, chemistry, and availability draw people together, but those are the starting points of friendships.

Six important qualities exist between good friends that are the glue– whether they are friends for a lifetime or a season.

When we understand what makes a good friend and develop loyalty, dependability, generosity, and forgiveness in ourselves, it is easier to attract others who exhibit qualities that make a good friend.

6 Qualities of a Good Friend

Quality of a Good Friend: Loyalty

The first quality of what makes a good friend is loyalty. When we are loyal, we support each other and are committed.

Sometimes it is big acts of loyalty and other times it is the small acts that speak volumes about how loyal someone is; loyalty is measured in the trenches when no one is watching.

After we were finished negotiating for our new home, my husband called.   “Hey, I think I want that mirror in the bedroom.” “Oh no, I said, “we just signed off on the deal.” “Ask Donna if she can ask the sellers anyway.” I dreaded calling my longtime friend and realtor.

She had done a great job house hunting for us and working with the sellers. She could have easily responded, “oh no, that deal is done, we can’t do that”; but when I asked her to jump back in, she said without hesitation, “of course I will help you. You are my friend and I am here beside you until the job is done”.

Good friends are loyal even when it is inconvenient and uncomfortable. Donna stood by us, and of course, we got the mirror!

Quality of a Good Friend: Supportive

The second quality of what makes a good friend is that we are supported through the highs and lows of life.

When we are supportive, we provide encouragement, emotional guidance, and physical help. Being supportive is loyalty in action. We may not always want to jump in, but because we value someone, we do it anyway.

When we moved to another state, I was apprehensive but excited. After a few weeks, I unpacked the last box and put my baby down for a nap. As I sat down the phone rang. My friend Teeny’s voice was just what I needed to hear.

As she asked me how I was doing, an avalanche of tears poured out and I could barely speak. “I don’t know anyone here:what have we done!” She gently encouraged me on the phone until I calmed down. 2 days later she jumped on a plane and was standing outside my door.

Good friends are supportive! Despite what she had on her calendar she rescheduled her plans to support a friend who needed some TLC.

This is another important trait of what makes a good friend.

Quality of a Good Friend: Dependable

The third quality of what makes a good friend is dependability. Good friends are dependable which means they are trustworthy, reliable, and can be counted on to stand beside you.

Being trustworthy is a critical, stand-alone trait, but between good friends keeping secrets without dependability isn’t usually enough for a friendship to flourish.

After being in labor for hours, the Doctor told us our baby would have to be delivered via C-section. I was very disappointed but wanted what was best for our baby. As I was whisked away, the atmosphere changed from a sense of warm community to all business. My baby was born healthy and happy.

Weeks later as we watched a video of what I had missed, I was comforted by a small voice in the background. As the doctor answered numerous questions and spoke to our friends and family about the baby, my sister in law, Michelle, can be heard (off camera) quietly asking, “but how is Mary doing? Is she ok?”

Good friends are dependable even when we are not expecting it!

Something about Michelle remembering me in a moment of celebration is a sweet memory and an example of what makes a good friend. She was an advocate who stood by me without anyone asking or watching.

girls walking-what makes a good friend

Quality of a Good Friend: Generous

The fourth quality of what makes a good friend is generosity; showing a readiness to give to others.

Deep generosity is expressed not from a place of abundance but from a heart filled with gratitude and appreciation.

As we tried to get in touch with friends and family, we were struggling to stay hopeful. We had just learned our home had been destroyed in a hurricane and we had no place to live. I miraculously reached my friend Heidi and she invited us to stay with her. When we arrived, she took us in as family and helped us get back on our feet.

We then moved closer to home and stayed with my friend Laurie (& another friend Cheryl, helped us too!). She embraced us and helped us move away from grief and back toward restoration. It was not convenient for either of these families to instantly take in a family of 5, but they did. Without the generosity of these 2 friends this tragedy would have been unbearable.

Good friends are generous! Good friends give to others for no other reason than we love and appreciate them.

Quality of a Good Friend: Fun

The fifth quality of what makes a good friend is the ability to have fun together. We are all created uniquely, so our sense of humor and what fun looks like is different for different people.

But finding others to enjoy spending time with and laughing together is life-giving.

After the devastating losses we experienced during Hurricane Katrina, several friends and I decided to book a girls’ Christian cruise to Mexico. It promised to be a few days to have fun and enjoy life. We didn’t realize until we got on the ship that the trip wasn’t exactly as we had read in the brochure. We decided to approach the trip with a sense of humor and just have fun.

We met new people, sang karaoke (quite badly) & laughed often. Kristi, Ann, Stacey and I were even featured in the next year’s brochure for the cruise.(which we did not take again!) The cruise was not as we expected, but since good friends are fun and share life’s joy, we still enjoy talking about our crazy vacation.

Good friends are fun because joy and laughter are important. Having fun together is when we are our truest selves in an accepting space.

Finding friends we enjoy doing life with is truly a great treasure. As it says in Proverbs, “A cheerful heart is good medicine”.

Quality of a Good Friend: Forgiving

The sixth quality of what makes a good friend is forgiveness. In many ways, this is the most important quality. Without a steady stream of forgiveness, the other traits will not matter. Love and forgiveness go hand in hand; to experience great love requires great forgiveness.

There are several people I admire that exhibit a spirit of overwhelming forgiveness. One is my friend Stacey who is very forgiving toward family and friends despite adversity. She demonstrates that good friends are forgiving even in painful situations.

But the greatest example of a good friend who is forgiving is our friend Jesus who died to demonstrate His level of forgiveness for us.

John 15:15  

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant, does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

John 15:13  

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

Because of the grace and forgiveness that Jesus shows us every day, we can strive to be forgiving people.

When we let those who have rejected or betrayed us off the hook, we understand that forgiveness is at the core of what makes a good friend.

Forgiveness is a choice that may take our feelings time to catch up with, but there is great freedom and joy in the decision to forgive.

Bible Verses about Friendship

If you are looking for a good friend or want to deepen a friendship, here are some Bible verses about friendship.

These Bible verses and praying for a good friend help you prepare and learn what makes a good friend.

After the loss of a friend or a disappointment, the Bible provides extra encouragement and courage to reach out to someone and start a friendship.

8 Bible Verses about Friendship

“There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 18:24 NLT

“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”

Proverbs 17:17 NLT

“How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!”

Psalm 133:1 NLT

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:12-13 NLT

“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”

1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NLT

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.

1 Peter 4:8-9 NLT

“Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

Matthew 18:21-22 NLT

friends-what makes a good friend

What makes a Good Friend? 

I hope you have one or two people demonstrating what makes a good friend. If not, pray for God to bring you a good friend.

You can work on demonstrating these 6 qualities of what makes a good friend and it should serve as a friend boomerang.

Ultimately what makes a good friend is being a good friend. Don’t be tempted to give up too easily; it is worth persevering for the reward of a good friend.

Also, sometimes we must be willing to take a chance to make a good friend. We can’t let fear or the loss of a friend prevent us from trying to meet people and make new connections.

I recently asked some friends for feedback on what makes a good friend.

Yvette said (Be Real),

“I embrace friends that go beyond “weather talk” (because that is easy). Tackling difficult conversations is the sign of real, solid friendship.”

Bonnie & Jennifer said (Be Accepting),

“Accepts me where I am”

Laura & Susie said (Be Authentic),

“Authenticity; I can’t tell you about my hurts and struggles if you don’t share your own. Willing to journey the path of heart transformation with me in a real, honest & authentic way.

I enjoyed highlighting some friends who have demonstrated what makes a good friend.

I wish I could list everyone who has been a good friend by loving and supporting me along the way; I remember your kindness and one day you may appear in one of my stories!

What qualities do you find important in good friends?


Mary Rooney Armand

Mary is the creator and writer for the faith-based blog ButterflyLiving.org. Her writing is featured on multiple websites. She is the author of “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I Am in Christ”  and “Life Changing Stories“—a collaboration with 34 authors available on Amazon.

Mary Rooney Armand

Mary Rooney Armand is an Author, Speaker, and Creator of the faith-based blog ButterflyLiving.org. She helps others grow in their intimacy with Christ and thrive in their relationships. Her work is featured on multiple websites including Women of Noble Character, Pray with Confidence, and The Brave Women Series. Mary is the author of, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I Am in Christ” and, “Life Changing Stories” a collaboration with 34 authors sharing stories of God’s faithfulness. Besides writing, Mary leads small groups and speaks at retreats. She directed Kids Hope USA, a mentoring program for children, worked in marketing and sales, and has led mission trips to Honduras. Mary is a life coach with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and an MBA. She and her wonderful husband Cory live in New Orleans and are the parents of four children, a new daughter-in-law, and two dogs! Connect with Mary on Instagram or Facebook.

No Comments

  1. Teeny on October 6, 2020 at 9:34 am

    So true!!!! Good friends are a trove of treasures! Shared experiences and rich memories of joy, pain, laughter, support, loyalty and adventure through life. Just knowing someone is there for you in difficult times and willing to walk alongside you can make things easier. So glad I was able to be that friend when you were struggling as you have done for me many times in life. It is always an honor to serve as the kind of friend Jesus calls us to be.
    Friends are the richness in life for me and offer all the diversity and and joy that life has to offer!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on October 7, 2020 at 1:22 pm

      teeny, thanks for reading and being so supportive of me! Many more memories to make!!

  2. Michele Morin on October 6, 2020 at 11:25 am

    Encouraged with each of your 6 points to query my own heart: Am I the friend God wants me to be?
    So glad to have found your writing home today!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on October 7, 2020 at 1:22 pm

      Michele, So grateful my words were encouraging! Thanks for reading!

  3. Collene on October 6, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    Yes! These are all wonderful characteristics of good friends but to find good friends we need to be a good friend. So these are the qualities we need to seek to develop in ourselves. 😉

  4. Pam Morrison on October 7, 2020 at 10:07 am

    This is such a good post. Many times people have lots of other people around them but are very lonely. The connections are shallow. We mostly all hunger for real and sincere friendship. This post points the way for how to find and to be a good friend.

  5. mariel on October 7, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    yes, grateful for the good friends God has blessed me with that sharpen and encourage me! Great post! thank you for sharing this!

  6. robynsnest1970 on October 7, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    I used to be really shy, so making friends was not easy for me. I have developed my confidence as I got to know who I am in Christ Jesus, however, friends are still hard to find in spite of having all of these characteristics and in spite of prayer. I have not experienced the boomerang effect but I am starting to make friends with fellow Christian bloggers on Instagram. Since I didn’t begin blogging until right before the pandemic, I haven’t gotten to actually spend time with them, but I am hopeful since many live nearby. Very good post! 🙂

    • Mary Rooney Armand on October 8, 2020 at 1:48 pm

      Robyn, thanks for reading! I am glad you are growing and continue to pursue good friends. I pray you will find a friend or two. Remember there are others that are looking for a friend too so don’t give up!

  7. Becky Beresford on October 7, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    Love this post! Finding a good friend is a gift from the Lord. And we can be His gifts to others by being a good friend too. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  8. Katie on October 7, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    I am so thankful for the close friendships in my life- they truly are a blessing! And you’re spot on with these 6 characteristics of good friends. Loved this!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on October 8, 2020 at 1:49 pm

      Katie, thank you for reading and I am happy you have good friends!

  9. Donna Miller on October 8, 2020 at 8:43 am

    I LOVE this post, Mary! I am so thankful for the close friendships in my life and treasure them so much! â¤

    • Mary Rooney Armand on October 8, 2020 at 1:50 pm

      Donna, thanks for reading and I am not surprised that you have good friends! You are such an encouraging person!!

  10. Sarah Howley on October 9, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    Good friends are truly a blessing from above!

  11. Teresa Hodge on October 12, 2020 at 9:31 am

    What a lovely post! I loved reading about such precious memories you have of some special people in your life. What a difference a true friend can make! May the Lord help us be that friend! Blessings! 💗

  12. HISsparrowBlog on October 12, 2020 at 11:08 am

    What a wonderful list! A good friend really is such a treasure. I love your real-life examples! What a blessing to have so many friends.

  13. Lisa notes... on October 12, 2020 at 11:19 am

    I’ve really been missing my friends this year! We used to be able to go out for lunch or do things together, but covid-19 put a halt to that. Nonetheless, I did connect with two friends yesterday and have scheduled have some social-distancing visits this week. I need my friends. Thanks for sharing this! Glad you linked up at Grace & Truth.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on October 22, 2020 at 1:52 pm

      Lisa, I hope you get to connect soon! We started going to lunch and having book club and it is wonderful to be together! Thanks for reading!

  14. Yvonne on October 12, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    I appreciate your thoughts. I am an introvert by nature so sometimes I find it difficult to make friends. I found your list very helpful. I look forward to trying them out soon.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on October 22, 2020 at 1:53 pm

      Yvonne, It is definitely a little more challenging when our personality does not cooperate with our need to meet new people. But it is possible and I pray you find some wonderful friends! Thanks for reading!

  15. Victory on October 13, 2020 at 2:49 am

    I have struggled with having true friends around me for years, I believe my standards were too high, so I see everyone as undeserving to be a friend. It happened because if some past hurt I have received from those I called friends, so I vowed not to bring anyone closer.

    I can say, from years gone by until now, there has been a significant change in me. I stop expecting from people, now I start giving out what I expect from them. Things are changing around me, and I like it

    I love how balanced this post is, as always my best friend is JESUS, but it doesn’t hurt to have more physical friends right? ..

    Thank you for sharing this. It was worth my time

  16. sarahjean518 on October 13, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    I love how you balance out being dependable with being fun! Friendship really is a well-rounded relationship.

  17. Ava James on October 13, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    Being real and authentic is so important and l want to be that friend, so much great points here, thanks for inspiring us to be better friends!

  18. Sheryl Mendoza on October 15, 2020 at 4:30 am

    Hello, Mary! Thank you so much for this post. It’s indeed a saving grace to have good friends, and at the same time healing as well to become that kind of friend that we want to have! God bless you! May God bless us with loving and accepting friends forever!

  19. Evangeline Samuel on October 15, 2020 at 9:09 am

    What difference just one good friend can make in a person’s life. This article is such a blessing!! Bless you.

  20. M. J. on October 15, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    I’m so thankful that God has blessed me with a few friends who have these characteristics! Christian friends are such a blessing!

  21. Betty on October 17, 2020 at 11:49 am

    I loved reading this posts and all the characteristics of good friends. We could all use good friends and be one too. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Teresa on October 17, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Everything you write here about what makes a good friend is right on target with what I have found and strive for in my relationships. It took some growth and God’s direction to help me find the right path for the best friendships. I find that the good friends I have made over the years are still there – no matter if we can’t stay in touch like we used to.

  23. Rachel Mayew on October 18, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    I love that you point out good friends are FUN! Sometimes we forget the obvious and how that character trait applies even to God! God definitely brings joy to my heart and my relationships!

  24. kariminter on October 18, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    Such good and wise words that are leaving me evaluating myself to see if I am that “good friend” to others! Thanks so much for writing this

  25. Erin on October 18, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    I love how you pointed it all back to Jesus when you said, “Jesus came into the world to be our friend and demonstrate how our human relationships can work.”

  26. Mamie L. Pack on October 19, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    This is so good! Learning how to be a friend helped me to appreciate my friendships. Even our friendships point us back to Christ.

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