May 12, 2023

The Substance of a Good Friendship

Carlie Fox

"Are they really my friend?" That is indeed a question I have asked myself throughout middle school because I was subjected to a very bad friendship. And unfortunately I thought I would never find another friend so I stayed in that friendship. But now as I am older, I realized that that person did not have any of these components in the friendship.

"What is a good friend?" That is a question we may have asked ourselves when we have had unfortunate experiences with bad friends. Friends come and go, but the good friends are the ones who truly stay. But not all friends are good friends. Our friendships can impact our mental, physical and emotional health so it is important to establish good friendships with others. The substance of a good friendship has an infinite number of meanings, however we are going to discover the key components today.

  1. Unconditional Presence

Being there through the good and bad times. A person just needs someone who they can count on. There will be times where unfortunate events occur, leaving your friend upset and needing someone. Whether that is by distracting your friend with movies, shopping or food when they are feeling down. Or just talking to them, being a listener and letting them express their feelings. They do not need someone who runs away to avoid dealing with an emotional conflict. There will be times where your friend accomplishes something in life and you need to be there. Being there does not necessarily mean physically be there. It also means just showing them you care from a distance if you cannot be there. This unconditional presence provides a good bond between two people. It is truly a good feeling to have someone who is there.  

  1. Unconditional Support

Being that friend that can be counted on. Nobody wants a friend who does not provide that emotional support. Emotional support is a key element in any kind of relationship. When I was in high school, I had a friend who did not want to talk to me when I was sad, because she just did not want to deal with it. While I came to terms with that, I realized she was truly not a good friend because the person I needed the most was not there for me. While being in a friendship you may run into a problem. You may have a friend who does not like expressing emotions or being hugged when they are in a time of need. And that is completely okay. You can still emotionally support by telling your friend that you are there if they need anything, and if they simply do not want to express why they are upset you two can do something as a distraction to take that individuals mind off of it. On the other hand, you may have a friend who does want a hug and emotional support in a time of need, so therefore provide that support. That is a true way to provide unconditional support.

  1. Trust

Trust is one of the most important things in any relationship. It also ruins relationships when it is broken. Unfortunately there are many individuals who trust too easily and it could have a negative impact on their health.  Having a friend you can trust opens a gateway to share intimate information or secrets. This was actually proven to benefit individuals such as reducing anxiety, sadness and overall helping the self-esteem. It creates a sense of safety between two individuals. Trust is also a very powerful element of one's moral character. Those who behave with honesty and fairness will earn the trust of others, and that is how you make friends. It overall provides a healthy relationship and is indeed very rewarding having someone you can trust.

  1. Moral Qualities

A good friend will be sincere, loyal, truthful, honest. These are many traits that describe the behavior of a good friend. They are a genuine person who provides genuine feelings. They do not go behind your back or do anything to betray that trust that was built. They tell the truth, if there is a dispute between you and your friend being truthful is an important part of communication.

Being a good listener is another quality of a good friend. You do not want someone who ignores what you say. Additionally providing advice and guidance towards that friend is a good friendship quality. We go to our friends in times of need and really need to be pointed in the right direction.

Nobody is Perfect

Remember, you and your friend are not perfect. There will be arguments which is not necessarily unhealthy. How you resolve these arguments is what matters. So communicate, be that good friend, and keep the good friends. If you ever feel like an argument may end your friendship just think about the qualities we talked about and ask yourself "are they a good friend?"

Thank you and see you next time!


Policarpo, V. (2015). What Is a Friend? An Exploratory Typology of the Meanings of Friendship. Social Sciences, 4(1), 171–191.

Trust | Psychology Today. (n.d.). Retrieved April 10, 2023, from

My name is Carlie and I am at junior at Miami University studying psychology and sociology. I am a psychology intern at Thaddeus. I love Thaddeus because they are determined and committed to helping others. Their dedication to society is astounding. In my free time I love hanging out with friends, nature walks and studying psychology.

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