What Makes for a Worthwhile Friend?

(image by Bruce Dixon, from Unsplash.com)

While this topic is far from black and white (since the term “good friend” is somewhat determined by the perspective of the beholder), there are specific traits as well as actions, which make a prospective friend likely worthwhile in putting effort toward building a possible friendship with that person.

To name a few key traits both to be on the lookout for in considering people worth pursuing as friends, as well as in learning and making sure to be a great friend yourself, take a gander below:

Genuine and Honest. While these might sound like one and the same, they are not. Genuine indicates authenticity. Is this a person who behaves in such a way that is contrived? False? Putting on a show? Or, are they real? Authentic. Vulnerable and true. It’s difficult to form meaningful and legitimate connections with people who are not genuine since then, rarely are we seeing who they truly are. And this, of course, connects to honesty. We must be able to trust that someone is not a liar. That they do not present things in such a way to highlight themselves, though which is ultimately not fully honest. That they have our back and can be counted on to be truthful. If we cannot rely on this, there isn’t much of a friendship, let alone even a relationship, to be had.

A Great Listener. This one is far more crucial than we tend to consider. Sadly, great listeners are not commonplace. However, this is a vital trait required for a truly close connection with another. We all know the people who talk and talk, mostly about themselves. Their opinions, their feelings, their experiences. Whenever you speak or share, they routinely jump in the moment you’ve paused and, more often than not, bring the topic back to them. The people who show little sustained interest in who you are, your interests, your life experiences, and feelings. Unfortunately, this is not going to make for a satisfying or great relationship (friend, or other). This is a person who will quickly lead you to feel resentful and frustrated by their inability to see beyond themselves. Eventually, this type of connection will feel exhausting, one-sided, and shallow.

They Are Present. Off the above point, the greatest gift any friend can give is full attention and awareness — and true friends make their presence and focus a priority. A great friend…