15 traits of a true friend (who will last a lifetime)

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Growing up I loved the TV show Friends. Watching Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Ross, all I wanted when I grow up was to have such a group of true friends.

But what makes a true friend?

In this article, we’ll look at the traits of a true friend who will last a lifetime.

Let’s get started:

1) Loyal

Look, back in primary school, I wasn’t popular.

I wasn’t exactly off to the best start – in second grade, my parents had moved us halfway across the globe, I didn’t speak the language, I was shy…

All I wanted was to have a true friend. I guess that’s why I loved watching Friends so much.

Instead, I got friends only when they needed an extra person for their games.

I got dumped by “so-called” friends with excuses such as, “I can’t be your friend anymore because Miranda doesn’t like you.”

Zero loyalty.

I know we were just kids but it still hurts.

A true friend is your friend no matter what. They don’t dump you just because Miranda – the popular girl – doesn’t like you. If she has a problem, it’s up to her to leave, not you.

A true friend is loyal because they like you and they don’t care what other people think. Anything short of that isn’t true friendship.

2) Supportive

Whether you’ve decided to move to Hollywood to pursue your acting career, you’re going through IVF, or you’ve decided to get a divorce, a true friend will be there to cheer you on or hold your hand.

They’re there to encourage you, to listen to you, and be your shoulder to cry on when times get tough.

In short: A true friend cares about you and they’re with you through thick and thin.

3) Nonjudgmental

When you do something that your friend would never dream of doing themself because they think it’s wrong and it goes against their principles, they don’t judge you.

Instead, they try to understand where you’re coming from and why you did what you did.

But here’s the thing:

Not judging doesn’t mean that they will silently stand by. Not at all. They’ll talk to you about it and tell you that they think you’re wrong. A true friend will give you their opinion, but in the end, they’ll accept that you made your choice.

The bottom line is that true friendship is about agreeing to disagree from time to time.

4) Honest

The truth isn’t always easy to hear, but it’s the job of a true friend to tell the truth. Like in the example above, a true friend won’t hesitate to tell you when they think you’re wrong.

For example, if you pick a fight with your partner because you’re in a bad mood, a true friend won’t lie to you and tell you that your partner is an idiot and that you’re faultless.

No, that’s not the role of a true friend. They’ll stand by you no matter what, but that doesn’t mean lying to you.

They’ll point out the truth – even if it means you may get angry at them – because, if a true friend can’t be honest with you, then who can?

5) Fun-loving

True friends love spending time together.

No matter where they are and what they’re doing, they’re likely to be laughing and having a blast. They can make even the silliest thing like going to the mall turn into a fun adventure.

6) Good listener

And while it’s good to have a friend that’s fun, you also need them to be a good listener.

True friendship is about the good times and the bad. So when you’ve got a problem or you’re going through something difficult in your life, a true friend will be there to listen to you and comfort you.

What’s more, they’re…

7) Generous

That’s right, they’ll put their needs aside to be there for you.

Maybe they had a fun night planned out when you called them in tears. Now, as much as they wanted to go out partying or on a hot date, they’ll cancel their plans and come over to be with you.


Because true friends are selfless.

8) Patient

Do you know what else true friends are?

They’re patient.

They don’t try to rush you to do something before you’re ready.

Let’s say, for example, that you’ve been talking about going on a road trip for some time now.

Your friend can’t wait to go. I mean they’re ready to leave tomorrow!

But, you’re not sure that it’s the best moment to go – you feel like you need to save up a bit more money before you can go on such a big adventure. You’re also feeling a bit unsure about your driving skills…

So, what does your friend do?

Do they try to talk you into going before you’re ready? Do they try to guilt-trip you by saying, “I could have gone with Jenna last year, but instead I said I’d wait for you and you’re still not ready!”

No, they don’t. Not if they’re a true friend that is.

They wait.

9) Compassionate

A true friend is understanding and empathic. In fact, when you hurt – they hurt.

You see, they care about you so much that they can put themselves in your shoes when you’re going through a hard time.

Whatever you’re going through, it’s like they’re going through it themselves.

10) Forgiving

Everyone makes mistakes. And sometimes those mistakes end up hurting the people that we love most.

And do you know what?

A true friend knows that. They know that you’re not perfect. They know that you didn’t hurt them intentionally. That’s why they’re ready to forgive and forget.

And if they can’t? Well, then you have to ask yourself if they’re a true friend after all.

11) Trustworthy and discreet

I think it goes without saying that a friend – a true friend – is someone that you can trust.

This means that you can put your life into their hands without thinking twice.

It also means that they will keep your secrets and protect your privacy.

And even if you have a falling out, you can be sure that they won’t go around telling everyone stuff about you, because a true friend is forever.

Personally, I hate when my “so-called” friends tell me private stuff about their other friends, it really makes me uncomfortable and makes me wonder what they’re saying behind my back.

12) Generous

They’re generous with their time and their money.

No matter how busy they are, they’ll set aside some time in their schedule for you.

And when they buy something nice for themselves – they’ll end up buying you something nice too, because it makes them happy.

In fact, it seems to give them more pleasure to do something nice for you than for themselves.

13) Protective

Oh boy, the person who says something bad about you or does something to hurt you has no idea what they’ve got coming!

I mean your friend will do anything to fight for you and protect your honor, and I mean anything.

When someone makes an enemy out of you – they’re also making an enemy of your bestie, so they better watch out.

14) Reliable

A true friend will never leave you hanging.

If you’re in a jam, they’ll be there to get you out – no matter what.

When they say they’ll do something or be somewhere, you don’t doubt it.

You know that you can always count on them, just like they can always count on you.

15) Positive and encouraging

Look, life doesn’t always go according to plan. Sometimes things get in the way, plans fall through, people disappoint, and success turns into failure…

But that’s ok! Do you know why?

Because you’ve got a true friend who will stand by you no matter what.

They’ll work hard to find the silver lining and to encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing until you get where you want to go.

A true friend will never give up on you which is why they will never let you give up on yourself!

Jelena Dincic

Jelena has a background in photography and film-making and has spent the last few years as a content editor and copywriter. Jelena is a citizen of the world who is passionate about travel and learning about new cultures. She’s a foodie who loves to cook. And, as an art lover, she is always experimenting with new art mediums. When she’s not at her computer, she’s usually out and about in some forest with her dogs.

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