“Friends are the siblings God never gave us.” – Mencius
Ever wonder what the difference between a good friend and a bad one is? We are often surrounded by friends every day, but the level of friendship varies from person to person. There are going to be things that a good friend does differently than just a regular run-of-the-mill friend, or even a bad friend. You will most likely see the differences in all kinds of ways, from the way they talk to the way they interact with you and your loved ones. If you’re looking to figure out the difference between a good friend and a bad one, here are some of the best signs.
Here Are 7 Things A Good Friend Does Differently
1. They accept you – flaws and all
They accept you for who you are, no matter what, even if you’re really bad at showing up on time, or if you tend to accidentally say the wrong things. “Trying to change a person never works. People know when they are not accepted in their entirety, and it hurts. A real friend is someone who truly knows you, and loves you just the same,” says coach and author Marc Chernoff.
They’re going to adore you even if you have a couple of flaws that need to be worked on. They won’t ever make you feel bad for being human, and they’ll even help you work on your flaws by being so kind and compassionate to you in the first place.
2. They help you move forward
They’re always going to be there to support you in all of your endeavors. They’re going to push you forward toward your goals no matter what. Even when things seem tough, you never have to worry about a good friend leaving you behind. They’re always going to be your number one cheerleader and they’re always going to help you move forward.
3. They never judge you
They may try to give you advice and guide you, but they’re never going to judge the choices that you ultimately decide to make. You’ll know a good friend from anyone else because you will always feel safe telling them the things going on in your life.
You won’t ever have to worry about being judged secretly, because a good friend cares about you enough not to judge you for what you do. Good friends know that “they are not in your shoes and may have no idea what you are experiencing,” adds life coach Sharon L. Mikrut.
4. They’re there through the hard times
When things get tough and life stresses you out, you can always count on a good friend to be there for you when you need it.
Pastor Justin Jahanshir says, “… a good friend aligns their schedule with the priority of friendship. Developing meaningful, lasting friendships is not a by-product, but is built through intentional, purposed time and energy. Thus, the starting point for any ongoing friendship will simply be time invested into the relationship.”
Even if you end up getting into a disagreement, you’ll know that a good friend is going to be there for you after it’s all over. You don’t have to be afraid of arguments ruining your friendship. They’ll stick it out through the good times and the bad times.
5. They’re honest
Little white lies don’t exist between good friends. “… a true friend doesn’t simply support our every action, but will challenge us to greater ways of thinking and action. This means there will be times for tough conversations,” adds Pastor Jahanshir.
A good friend is going to always be honest with you, even when it’s not something that you want to hear. However, they’re always going to be kind and compassionate with their honesty. You won’t feel bad after having a real talk with a good friend. Their honesty is going to be something that you always value from them.
“If it’s a superficial friend or a new friend, they’re not going to say anything that may be off-putting. But if it’s a real friend — someone you truly trust — they know they can tell you exactly what’s on their mind. People who are open and straightforward are some of the most important types of friends to have,” says psychiatrist Robert Rowney, D.O.
6. They’re a good listener
We all know those friends who seem to be listening with one ear while ignoring you with the other. They will listen to you and really, really hear what you’re saying.
“Whether you are relating a good or bad experience, friends listen. They don’t interrupt or try to make suggestions or recommendations. They simply listen, letting you get everything off your chest,” says Mikrut.
You won’t ever have to repeat yourself or feel like you’re just being humored when you talk about your feelings or the things going on in your life. A good friend will listen to you and you will feel listened to.
7. They always make you smile
When life gets you down, you know exactly who to go to when you’re looking to get a pick me up. They will always be the person that you’re not afraid to talk to when things are getting tough. They will know just how to make you smile when it feels impossible.