Friendship plays a crucial role in enhancing emotional well-being, fostering personal growth, and improving your overall quality of life. Genuine friendships provide invaluable support and validation through shared experiences and lifelong companionship. These essential elements contribute to cultivating happiness, building resilience, and nurturing a deep sense of belonging.

What are friendship green flags?

Friendship green flags are the opposite of red flags. They are a good sign that you have a healthy relationship and are a good friend to others.

Understanding the importance of these green flags is pretty important. They help you in promoting positive and fulfilling connections.

Real friends significantly contribute to your emotional and mental health. They encourage and support you during challenging times and inspire us to pursue our dreams.

By taking the time to evaluate our friendships, you gain a better understanding of them.

You can reflect on whether it is balanced and respectful or damaging and unhealthy.

It can help you diagnose any toxic behaviors so that you can be more mindful of what you say around them or determine if you should end the friendship entirely.

It helps you identify and set boundaries to protect your energy and self-esteem.

It can also be beneficial to determine if your values align and if they positively contribute to your life.

Women instinctually know how to nourish each other, and just being with each other is restorative

Tanja Taaljard

Signs You’re a Good Friend

Just like a toxic friend will have bad characteristics, the opposite is also true. There are many positive attributes to be found in a good friendship. Having similar values can build a strong foundation for the kind of relationships that turn into true friendships.

Genuine and active Listening

Anyone can claim they are a good listener. But there is an art of listening without judgment. And that also means listening without giving advice. And I know that can be a hard one. But sometimes you just need a space to vent without another point of view or constructive criticism.

Emotional support and validation

Providing emotional support and validation during both the ups and downs of life illustrates that you care. Your ability to validate their feelings will help them feel seen, heard and valued, even when it comes to difficult topics.

Empathy and compassion

The ability to understand and share the emotions that your friends feel allows you to connect with them on a deeper and more meaningful level.

And compassion shines through in your actions. Offering support, comfort and encouragement during times of need.

Understanding and sharing emotions

Genuine friends provide emotional support and understanding, helping you navigate life’s ups and downs. Having friends who can empathize and share in your joys and sorrows allows you to feel seen and validated, contributing to increased happiness and resilience.

Being there in times of need

Giving up your free time to be there in times of need is a major green flag. Putting your own issues aside in order to help a friend who really needs it is proof of a true friendship.

Respect and boundaries

Creating healthy boundaries around big things like uncomfortable conversations can minimise the fear of judgment for everyone. It can be best to ask new people if they have any boundaries around potentially heavy topics like miscarriage or experiences around traumatic events.

Accepting and supporting individual choices

Sometimes it can be difficult to agree with or support some of the choices your friends make. Making a conscious effort to be accepting and supportive of their decisions, allowing them to be their true self, creates an environment where everyone can thrive.

Traits of healthy friendships 

A long-lasting friendship is often built around common values, mutual interest and more importantly, mutual respect. 

Trust and Loyalty

Trust is an important value in any relationship. And it’s in your best interest to develop a high level of trust in your friendships. To gain trust and loyalty you need to be able to maintain confidentiality around certain topics, apologise when you mess up and be consistent. And don’t forget that building trust and loyalty is a two-way street. It must be reciprocated for it to build. 

Maintaining trust in a friendship means more than just confidentiality. It means being reliable, honest, and true to your word. Trust is earned when your friends know they can count on you. Whether it’s for a listening ear during hard times, help when they’re in need or support their endeavours. Trust means being there when it matters most and being a consistent and reliable presence in your friends’ lives.

Being reliable and dependable

When friends can repeatedly rely on each other, it creates a sense of security and support for the relationship. That means showing up when it matters, during times of celebration or during troubling times.

A reliable and dependable friend keeps their promises, honours commitments and stands by their friend. This ultimately builds trust and loyalty. 

Open and Honest Communication

Good communication is one of those little things that really make a difference in any personal relationship. 

Communicate your thoughts, feelings, and needs honestly and openly with your friends. Open and transparent communication harbours a better understanding for everyone.

Resolving conflicts through healthy dialogue allows everyone involved to address disagreements, misunderstandings, or issues within a relationship This helps to promote understanding, mutual respect, and positive outcomes.

How to Be a Good Friend

If you’re looking for some more tips on how to be the best version of a friend you can be, here are some more ideas.

Be Present and Available

Be present during conversations. That likely means things like putting your phone down and engaging in the conversation where appropriate.

It shows that you value your friend their well-being, especially during tough conversations.

Make time to have meaningful connections

Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to create strong relationships. And sometimes friendships just blossom. Just like flowers when they blossom, friendships often require a bit of maintenance. Here are a few things you can do to create lasting connections:

  • message your friend to ask how they are doing
  • arrange to catch up over a phone call during a mutually agreeable time
  • follow up and ask how things went with a situation they were faced with
  • snail mail to surprise them for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries

Acknowledge and be grateful

Let your friends know how you feel about them. A cheeky written note is a great way to do this!

Let them know what you love about them.

And let them know when they let you down or upset you.

Celebrate them and their achievements.

Taking care of yourself to be a better friend

It can also be a benefit to look after yourself so that you can be a better friend.

Remove yourself from conversations that make you uncomfortable.

Take time for your interest and share them with your friends.

Look after your mental and physical health by unplugging from social media, seeing a therapist and doing things that make you happy.

At the end of the day, whether you are evaluating the kind of friends you have,  trying to steer a new relationship in the right direction, or starting to set personal boundaries, you are well on your way to creating green flag friends.


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