The 10 traits that separate good friends from best friends

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Friendships are one of the best parts of life – they bring us happiness, support, and love. 

And while it’s great to have a few good friends to hang out and have fun with, nothing quite beats having best friends to fully be yourself around! 

In this article, we’ll explore the 10 traits that separate good friends from best friends…let’s jump straight in:

1) Unconditional love 

When it comes to unconditional love, we tend to think of the love shared between family members and romantic relationships.

But here’s the thing – best friends often become part of the family!

And while good friends may show you love, they’ll never fully accept your flaws and imperfections and love you unconditionally like a best friend will.

Even when you’re going through a bad time, or you fall out with your bestie, they’ll still love you until the end because your relationship runs deep!

2) Trust 

Here’s the thing – unconditional love often blossoms when two people trust each other no matter what. 

Sure, a good friend may trust you, but to an extent. 

They might not open up and share all their vulnerabilities, fears, and desires as a best friend would.

That’s the beauty of forming such a special connection with someone – you can both trust and 100% yourselves around each other, without the fear of judgment or trust being broken! 

3) Honesty 

Honesty goes hand in hand with trust, and it’s another trait that separates good friends from best friends. 

Case in point:

A good friend might want to tell you something but will hold back because they’re afraid of ruining the relationship or hurting your feelings. 

Put simply – they may hold back from difficult conversations for the sake of “keeping the peace”. 

A best friend, however, knows that your friendship will withstand any truth bomb. They’ll be straight up and honest with you about everything!

And since they know you so well, they’ll approach tough conversations with tact and respect, confident that it won’t affect the relationship you share. 

4) Loyalty 

Another telling trait that separates good friends and best friends is loyalty

In a time of crisis, your so-called “good friends” might not show up in the ways you need them to. 

And while they may offer their sympathies, it’ll probably stop at that.

But a best friend? 

They’ll be there through thick and thin. 

If you’re having financial difficulties, they’ll be offering to help out without you even having to ask! If you’re going through a difficult breakup, they’ll check in with you every day until you feel better

The truth is, there’s no comparison when it comes to loyalty. Best friends come out on top every time

5) Shared history 

Is there a better feeling than spending time with someone who knows you inside and out?

Someone who has seen you grow as a person and can remind you of where you’ve come from?

When you experience this, you’re likely in the company of a best friend! 

They give you that warm, fuzzy feeling, a sense of familiarity that only comes with knowing someone for so long. 

You’ve experienced so much together that you have a deep understanding of each other.

A good friend, on the other hand, while they may be fun to be around, probably won’t know you or your history to such an extent. 

They don’t know the trials and tribulations you’ve been through to get to where you are in life! 

6) Emotional support 

Emotional support is another trait that sets these two types of friendship apart…

When you’re down in life, it’s natural to turn to your friendships for support. 

And a good friend will offer you sympathy and kind words, there’s no doubt about that. 

But a best friend will go the extra mile!

They won’t just hear you out, validate your emotions and express their sympathies but they’ll also:

  • Be there for you every step of the way
  • Offer their help both emotionally and physically 
  • Work to help you find a solution 

You see, a best friend won’t feel relaxed until they know you’re okay. They’ll want to be by your side, no matter how long it takes for your situation to improve! 

7) Willingness to sacrifice 

For a friendship to reach bestie level, there will undoubtedly be some personal sacrifices along the way. 

Good friends will offer to lend a hand, let’s say when you’re moving house or have just had a baby.

But best friends will literally give up their entire week to help you pack boxes, buy diapers, cook food, or do anything else you need! 

That’s because a best friend won’t think twice about sacrificing their own time for you. A good friend also does this, but not to the same extent. 

They’ll do as much as possible within their own convenience levels, whereas a best friend will push through to go above and beyond for you! 

8) Non-judgmental attitude 

We all want to be accepted and loved by our friends. 

But sometimes, even good friends will find it hard to maintain a non-judgemental attitude

For example, a colleague of mine came out as gay. He lost a few friends who he thought were close to him – turns out they couldn’t accept him as he is. 

Fortunately, my colleague has an amazing best friend who stuck with him throughout this turbulent time of coming out to the world. He gave him the support, validation, and love needed to fully embrace himself. 

This is a perfect example of how best friends will refrain from judging you and accept you just as you are!

9) Reliability 

Now, reliability is another trait that highlights the difference between a good friend, and a best friend for life. 

Most of us would think twice before leaning heavily on a good friend, but wouldn’t give a second thought to asking a best friend for support or help. 

That’s because your bestie will show up for you without hesitation. You know it only takes one call for them to drop everything and be there.

Put simply – they’re reliable because they value you and your friendship.

A good friend will also be reliable, but it’ll come with limits. They may not feel comfortable going the extra mile, especially if they have other commitments to see to. 

10) Personal growth 

And finally, a best friend wants to see you grow! 

They’ll be there, encouraging you, rooting for you, and helping you out as you discover and better yourself. 

In comparison, a good friend might take some interest in your personal growth, but they’re not gonna be DMing you at 2 am with a TedTalk they just know you’ll benefit from.

That’s the difference between the two, and why having a best friend is such a blessing!  

So, if this article has made you realize who is really there for you, go and thank them for their incredible friendship. Best friends don’t get enough credit for all they do! 

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Kiran Athar

Kiran is a freelance writer with a degree in multimedia journalism. She enjoys exploring spirituality, psychology, and love in her writing. As she continues blazing ahead on her journey of self-discovery, she hopes to help her readers do the same. She thrives on building a sense of community and bridging the gaps between people. You can reach out to Kiran on Twitter: @KiranAthar1

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