10 Qualities Of A Real Friend

imageSocial media has redefined the word friend. It makes quantity seem more important than quality. Which reminds me of a verse from the song “Friends” by Whodini:

“Friends is a word we use everyday, most the time we use it in the wrong way.”

There are many people on social media with an enormous amount of friends and followers but you get the feeling they are lonely. (I mean, how many selfies do you need to take?) They look popular and that’s what having all those friends on Facebook and all those followers on Twitter does well; make someone look important.

But life isn’t about how important you look, it’s about who you are. I believe we all want to have and want to be real friends. Someone we can trust and be trusted. That’s why it’s important for us to know that the people drawn to us is a reflection of ourselves.

The best way to be a friend that is genuine is to look within. Here’s what you need to keep in mind.

A real friend embrace the real you. It doesn’t matter what you can and cannot do for them. What matter is you understand that they are there for you no matter what. They are the ones when the world is walking out on you they will be walking in. There is no need to try to be someone you’re not in their presence.

Distance and years apart isn’t a factor. No matter how long it’s been since the last time they talked or seen each other, real friends treat each other the same. They pick-up right where they left off. With all that’s going on in their life they have the ability to overcome it and be there for one another.

They are great listeners. A good sign you have a real friend is how they listen. They look you into your eyes while you’re talking. You will notice them nodding their head occasional acknowledging you. What they have to say comes second to what you have to say. They listen to understand and not just waiting to speak. You can tell them anything and you KNOW they won’t go repeating it.

They respect your me time and understand the important of solitude. The quality of your life is what they aim to help you achieve. They don’t want you to be loyal to them only, but to yourself first and foremost. They will encourage you to take care of yourself and will never stop caring for you when you withdraw or shutdown.

Real friends don’t sugarcoat or co-sign your stuff. Many people have lost the potential of having some great friendships but fail to accept the truth about themselves. They had to come to realize that having a good friend don’t mean they will never hear something they don’t like about themselves. Real friends tell you what you NEED to hear not what you WANT to hear.

Patience and forgiveness is a part of who they are. At the forefront of their relationships there is balance. The need to win every battle isn’t important to them. Although they want the best for you, they won’t lose themselves trying to help you. They understand that people mature at different rates so they’re patient. This help them to forgive and forget. Their ability to forget is what makes them unique.

They have no problem saying no. Real friends are so secure they don’t need you to make them feel complete. That’s why manipulation never works on them. And reminding them of their past mistakes say more about you then it does about them. When their mind tells them you don’t have their best interest in mind, they believe it. Real friends can put their foot down while at the same time practice compassion.

They don’t take their friendships for granted. It’s the little things that means the most to them. A thank you card or even a phone call to let someone know they are appreciated are some of the things they cherish and take pride in. What they understand intellectually they put into action when it comes to friendships. It’s a priority to them to let their friends know how important they are.

When they are wrong they admit it. You can tell a real friend the truth about himself because that’s what he wants to hear. Honest communication is the first thing you will notice about them. They believe when it’s done in love and compassion it’s the solution to most relationship problems.

They will teach you how to love yourself. As you continue to share more and more intimate and embarrassing things about yourself with them, you will get closer and closer to the real you. You will find yourself telling them things you thought you would take to your grave. One day you will reflect and thank God for placing that special friend in your life for helping you like and love yourself.

Potential for real friendships are all around you and not hidden in some social media waiting for you to discover them. Life becomes more enjoyable when you accept the people around you for who they are. There’s no need trying to get many friends as you can on social media when all you need is one real one.







Categories: Friendships, Relationships

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24 replies

  1. Hi Vernon these are some really good points that hit home for me. I especially love that a real friend will not sugar coat and co-sign everything our stuff. I would rather have a friend tell me the truth about me in love than to tell me lies and make me think that everything is fine and dandy with me when it is not. I love the mention of patience and forgiveness. It’s about helping the other person to leave the past behind. It is not every battle that is worth fighting.

    Great post and thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Yvonne,

      Sometimes people pick their friends because they know they will co-sign for them. They are being a disservice to themselves and others when they do that.

      When I wrote that part I was actually thinking about my best friend Dee. We would be together everyday rapping and drinking beers. (Yes I was a rapper back in the days..lol) Yet we argued like a married couple.

      Now as I look back at our friendship it was because he told me the truth about me. What was funny was when I would exaggerate telling a story he would stop me in the middle of it and tell me that it did not go down like that, then we would both bust out laughing.

      Yes real friends don’t sugarcoat nothing they keep it 100 as they now say. Thanks and have a great day!

  2. Hi Vernon

    You raise a very important topic. I have seen people with so many friends yet only a few will respond to their update. These days people do crazy things just to get attention. All the points you raised about who are a friend is are so true especially the point where you talk about friends teaching you how to love yourself. This point is so true and that is what most people are lacking on their Social accounts. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ikechi I agree with you when you said teaching people how to love themselves is what’s lacking on social media. It’s a “me first” kind of mentality.

      I can honestly share with you that it irritates me when people put pictures after pictures of themselves on Facebook. Especially when it’s a guy… smh

      That lead me to ask the question on my statue, “Have you ever thought about closing your Facebook account?” I got some really good feedback too.

      My uncle replied, “It’s about who I let in my life and not everyone needs to share in my life” so I stopped following some people.

      Thanks for always leaving a thought provoking comment.

  3. Hi Vernon,
    It is always mentioned that if you have one real friend then its enough. There are many qualities of a real friend as you have mentioned above that a true friend doesn’t take your friendship granted. He/she always supports you and embrace you.
    Taking care of you is the best thing which they do with love.
    Thanks for writing this great article.
    Enjoy your day.:)

    • Hi Ravi

      I can count on one hand how many real friends I have. The best way to know who they are is when you are down on your luck or can’t do for them anymore. I learned that the hard way.

      And what that did was cause me to withdraw from people trying to get close to me.

      Where I grew up people don’t just give from their hearts which is another trait of a real friend so people who give was a red flag to me. Today my attitude has changed toward people who give freely.

      Thanks Ravi and enjoy the rest of your day!

  4. Hi Vernon!

    Great points! And they are so true. We really use the word ‘friend’ quite easy. But when it comes to the question of ‘who would I turn to when I am in need’ the number of friends shrinks. It is a real blessing to have honest friends you can turn to and trust. And I know I am blessed with some really great friends, like the ones you describe in your post.

    And I truly hope I am this kind of friend as well 🙂

    • Hi llka

      I want to let you know that I appreciate you taking the time to visit my blog. Yes it’s truly is a blessing to have great friends like you said.

      One of the surprising things to me about blogging was the fact we can build friendships in the blogosphere also. I never seen that coming when I first started blogging. Although we never see any of our blogging friends, we can tell who the real ones are. Thanks again for coming by!

  5. Hi Vernon,

    That was a wonderful post indeed 🙂

    Yes, good, real friends are the ones who feel for you and are always by your side, through thick or thin. They will never change, no matter what, and always understand you and the situation. I agree, they are there to guide, help, and uplift you, and you too value their such acts, isn’t it?

    They are good listeners and share their feelings while hearing yours out. They have the power to inspire and motivate you to reach greater heights, and are there when you need a shoulder to cry on.

    They will always tell you right from wrong and never hide the facts from you. Real friends are for keeps, and sometimes when it’s tough to meet or catch up with each through the distances or other circumstances, our friends are the ones that understand what we are going through. In short, distances don’t really matter. Reminds me of a few posts I’d written on friendship too, sometime back on my blog.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    • Hi Harleena

      You are absolutely right when you said they share their feeling while hearing yours out. That’s a powerful statement but true. They become vulnerable with you. This allow for empathy and compassion to come into play.

      Also real friends don’t pretend to have all the answers. They don’t pay lip-service to their friendships. When you’re driving them crazy with the same old thing over and over, real friends restrain from telling you to get over it.


  6. Hi Vernon,

    WOW! Fantastic post. This post makes me feel the importance of friend in life.
    Yes! you’re right a good friend always embrace you and don’t let you cry. A one who feel you the importance of your life. A one who understand our pain just by to see in our eyes.

    Such a lovely post love to read it again and again 🙂


    • Hi Mustafa,

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it. There is nothing like a good friend who you can laugh and cry with at the same time. I can remember when my friend first told me that he loved me. It first made me feel uncomfortable. Now we tell each other that all the time.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  7. Hi Vernon!
    I enjoyed reading this post!

    I agree that real friends can pick up where they left off, often years later. I have always found this ability of true friends to be highly fascinating.

    I also really like the idea that true friends have no problem being authentic and tell us what we need to hear and not what we want to hear. I think that everyone needs friends who give them genuine feedback and not just tell them things that they want to hear. The authenticity part is a big one in true friends. This is a quality that is impossible to find in fair weather friends or “yes” friends. The capacity to call someone out on their stuff is indeed the hallmark of true friendship. It is only possible if there is a strong and secure bond of friendship that can weather the ups and downs of life. Great listening is also a sign of a solid friendship. Real friends care enough to not just speak about themselves and have the interest and enthusiasm to listen.

    Excellent post!!

    • Hi Harish,

      I agree when you said real friends don’t just speak about themselves. That’s too funny because I think we all have or had friends like that. Also real friends won’t compete with you. Although they may have a competitive spirit, they know not to take it so far that it would ruin their friendship. Thanks!

  8. Hi Ma’am Yvonne,

    It’s greate one here, and I feel I’ve been a good friend to my best friend, I know he’s not here to say if it’s tru or a lie, but I believe anywhere he is now, probably, he’s proud of me, so am I too 🙂 .

    I’m inlove with your conclusion here in this post, as it ended with asking a question that would judge us ourselves.


    Once more I’ll say this is an interesting article and I’ll like to be your friend, as I like people with quality. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Larry it’s always good to see you here. I’m glad you like the conclusion. I believe if we want to get to the solution to our problems, we must ask ourselves some questions first. I was always told that it starts and ends WITHIN ME. It being the problem or the solution.

      And I appreciate those kinds words too! We are friends because friends encourage and support each other and that’s what you do.

      Thanks for the support!

  9. Such a wonderful piece, Vernon. I just wanted to extend on your piece: friends are there when you need them. Not necessarily when you want them there, but they will be there in your darkest hour. That is the mark of a true friend.

    As one of my good friends put it: “A good friend will bail you out of jail. A true friend will be sitting next to you saying, ‘Ah man. We really messed up.’

    • Thank you Elizabeth! I agree when you said friends are there when you need them. You don’t have to ask either, they’re just there.

      What your friend describe was a true true friend. I don’t know if I could do that one…lol
      Thanks for adding value to the post!

  10. This is a great post, keep up the good works bro…

  11. Dear Vernon,

    That is very thoughtful of you. I will like to add that one of the striking qualities of a friend is to stand with you in worse times but not only in good times. Good friends are one of the important assets everyone should have.

    • Yes! A real friend communicate honestly with each other about their problems. That make them accountable and willing to be there in difficult times.
      Thanks for pointing that out. Great point.

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