How to Identify Quality Friends: What Makes a Good Friend and How to Spot a Toxic Friend

Quality friends aren’t always easy to spot.

They're the ones who are there for you in the good times and the bad, who don't judge you or your decisions, and who want nothing more than to see you happy. But how do you know what makes a quality friend? 

Whether it's time to completely cut out toxic friends, find new people to fill their place, or keep the ones you have - here are 4 key signs of quality friendships.

1. Quality friends ask how you're doing

It's important to have a community of people you can count on, and real friends will always ask how you're doing and how they can help. 

A lot of people will only reach out to you when they need something, but quality friends will keep you in their thoughts and will genuinely ask how you're doing and how they can help. 

Real friends care about you. They appreciate what you do, and they aren’t jealous. They listen to what you have to say and they share their thoughts and insights with you.

Quality friendships can be more difficult to find with your busy lifestyle - but as you intentionally work on forming better and more meaningful bonds, you will be more likely to find the right type of people that will make great friends. 

The difference between people who have a few really good friends and those who have a lot of mediocre friendships is that the really good friends are always there when they are needed. 

Are your “friends” sending you emails and/or texts regularly? If you haven’t heard from your “friends” in a pretty long time, then it might be time to cut them loose.

2. Quality friends don't judge you

For your Self Care, it’s important to feel worthy and appreciated by people who aren’t hypercritical (looking for something to be wrong with you). 

These are the friends that you can be yourself around and you feel free to share your opinions with. Friends that judge you and try to change you create conflict and negative feeling around you.

If you can surround yourself with people who are more like-minded, more positive and think positively about you, it will take the pressure off and leave room for you to flourish.

Signs That Your Friends Accept You for YOU

  • They let you be yourself and let you be yourself around them.
  • They accept you for who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, and the challenges you face.
  • They encourage you and listen to your needs without ascribing negativity to them.

3. Quality friends are honest with their opinions.

When it comes to friendships, honesty is important.

If your friends don’t tell you the truth, then you’ll never know if you’ve made a mistake, if you’re headed in the wrong direction or if your friendship is real. The best way to have quality friendships is for your friends to be honest with you, even if it hurts.

Alternatively, if you’re not getting along with your friend, you should be able to have a conversation about what’s bothering you, agreeing on how to address those issues.

An honest friend accepts you when you screw up and they hold you accountable and encourage you to continue on your journey.

Friends don’t just bring you happiness or purpose - quality friends bring out the best in you with their honesty, which can make life more meaningful. 

4. Quality friends value your friendship

True friends don’t come and go, they’re forever. 

This is a saying that’s been around for a long time, but it’s true. The friends you keep are the ones who value your friendship and want to keep in touch with you even if they’re not around you.

They’re the same friends you stayed in touch with after you graduated, moved away, or your relationship status changed.  When the relationships you formed away from them become less meaningful or fall apart, they’re the people you turn to for support and inspiration.
Being with a friend who values you is self care — you feel more appreciated and supported.


The best friendships are built on a strong foundation of respect, trust, and loyalty, whether that's between family or between loved ones not related to you.

Think about these basic qualities when you’re evaluating or considering new friends:

  • Quality friends are always there for you
  • Quality friends encourage you to be your best self
  • Quality friends offer an outside perspective when you need it most
  • Quality friends stick up for you when no one else will
  • Quality friends listen, and they listen to what you have to say

Remember - You can tell the quality of a friendship by the way it makes you feel, and if it doesn't make you feel good, then it's not worth having.

Having quality friends in your life is a wonderful thing, and it's worth taking the time to identify them and their characteristics.

Do you have quality friends?  Are you looking for some?  Which trait of a quality friend do you value most?  Leave a comment below!

New at Dolce Fleur - A Boundaries Workbook

Part of having healthy relationships is having healthy boundaries - Our new Self Care Workbook, “That’s the Line”, contains a collection of questions and worksheets to help readers explore their boundaries and those of others, from multiple perspectives.  Your relationships will flourish when you know what boundaries are, why they're important, how to set them, enforce them, and most important of all: honor them.  Check out the new workbook HERE.


Photo Credit: Sam LionYaroslav ShuraevArtem Beliaikin

Keywords: what is true friendship, types of friendship, what is friendship all about, importance of friendship, definition of true friendship, why friendship is important, friendship in one word

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