Over the past year and a half I have learned the hard way about what makes a good friend and what does not.

I have definitely learned how to be a better friend myself after being betrayed by several so-called good friends.

I’ve also learned that you don’t need a lot of friends in your life, just a few really good ones who you trust and who have your back.

I used to always think that having a large friend circle was a really great thing and as a result, I was always too trusting and welcoming of people. I wound up letting people in my life who never should have been there and ignoring red flags from others.

They also say you are the company you keep, and I noticed some bad habits from one “friend” in particular who was beyond a mean girl and troublemaker. I finally cut her out of my life, and I was able to remove so much unnecessary drama around me.

These women always have my back. They are kind, supportive and let me be me.

Here is a list of qualities that I think are important to look for in a friend at any age. (When you find friends like these, hang onto them.) I also hope this list also inspires you to be a better friend too.

  1. Friends are honest with each other, but not judgmental or unkind.
  2. Friends have each other’s backs. 
  3. Friends support one another in their efforts to achieve their personal and professional goals. 
  4. Friends do not take advantage of each other or disrespect each other. 
  5. Friends make time for each other.
  6. Friends disagree, but they do not undermine, purposely hurt or embarrass each other.
  7. Friends protect and respect each other’s boundaries, and have each other’s backs.
  8. Friends don’t gossip about each other and if they hear gossip about you, they’ll stop it.

Remember that there is always an opportunity to become a better person and a better friend, so if you ever feel like you’re not being a great friend, start today.