How would you define a healthy friendship?

October 14, 2016

How would you define a healthy friendship?


Friendships come in all shapes and sizes. The same person can be friends with a person in another country, a person who they see every day, and a person who raised them, and each of these friendships will be different! While all friendships are different, some traits are present in all healthy friendships. First of all, friends care about each other. If a person does not care about you, then it is very likely that they won’t be committed to the friendship and probably won’t be interested in maintaining a relationship with you. Second, friends are open with each other. 

Of course, you need to respect your friends’ privacy and personal time/space, but good friends can communicate with each other. You should not find lies, jealousy, or disdain in a healthy friendship. And lastly, healthy friendships can overcome barriers and adapt to new situations. If a friend moves away or if a fight occurs between the two of you and you no longer consider that person a friend, it’s likely the friendship wasn’t very healthy, to begin with. This does not mean someone has to be your best friend forever, but it does mean healthy friendships can change over time, and that you will still be able to consider them a friend.  


When talking about healthy relationships, people often focus on romantic and familial bonds, but having healthy friendships is incredibly crucial as well! If you feel like you can trust your friends, enjoy spending time with them, and that they are positive influences in your life, you’re definitely on track! Good friendships are based on mutual respect, honesty, and support (helping each other with problems, and celebrating each other’s success). Friends should help you grow into an even better person, and love and care for you. Of course, you need to make sure you’re just as supportive and committed to the friendship as well! 

What do you do if one of your friends does something that jeopardizes the friendship and makes you think it might be unhealthy? The important factors are how frequently this kind of warning sign occurs, and how the friend reacts. If unhealthy actions (like sharing confidential information, saying negative things about you, getting too possessive, not being supportive of non-harmful interests you have, pressuring you to change, and many other forms of physical, mental, and emotional violence) are a recurring pattern, you would be better off distancing yourself from this person. If the friend seems genuinely regretful and is actively trying to change their behavior, you may want to give them another chance, but you’re not obligated to do so. Trust your intuition on this and don’t make a decision that leaves you feeling uncomfortable. 

The thing with any kind of relationship is that you have to work at it; you never just reach the status of “healthy friendship” and then get to stop putting in the effort, so don’t ever take your friendships for granted or let your friends take you for granted! 


The first thing you think of when you hear the word “friend” is the person who you do homework with, the person who is there to cheer you up when school gets rough, or the person that you can constantly joke around with. A friend is someone who you can say, “Let’s go eat. I’m so hungry!” and they are the ones that reply with, “You had me at ‘let’s.’” Friends are amazing, but there are toxic and healthy friendships. A healthy friendship consists of many components, but here are a few things that I would consider when defining what a healthy relationship is.  

There is support and encouragement. A healthy friendship draws out the best in you. Your friend acts as support and almost like a mini backbone, where they can cheer you up when necessary. They do not put you down, but instead, bring you up and want to best for you. 

Respect for each other. A certain level of respect needs to be present in a healthy friendship–that goes for any relationship, too! You have to be able to value each other’s time, beliefs, and opinions. A healthy relationship needs to have boundaries that should not be crossed to ensure the other person is also feeling safe and happy. 

Trust in each other. A good friend is someone that you can confide in. They don’t have to be your confidant, but you must be able to trust them to a certain extent. Trust is the building block for all relationships.

Compromise. A healthy relationship requires compromise. Something might not fare too well with your friend, but if they are willing to compromise and meet halfway, that’s optimal. It shows that they are willing to try and make things work!

Acceptance. When two people can accept each other for who they are, amazing things can happen. You two can learn to build off of each other and grow as a pair! 

Comfortable and safe to say and do what either of you wants. One of the most important aspects of a healthy friendship or relationship of any sort would be comfort. You two should feel comfortable and safe around each other. No one should feel subordinate to the other. Equality is important and so are your feelings in a friendship!

Considerate and Forgiving Being considerate is a great characteristic to embody. When it is present in a friendship, both people benefit! You two value each other’s time and opinions. When you throw in forgiveness, this shows that you two are willing to drop grudges and keep each other in your lives. 

You two understand each other. Being able to understand your friend is so rewarding. You feel like you can connect with someone at a deeper level, one that is beyond surface-level knowledge. Understanding each other requires both people to listen and reciprocate. It’s always a two-way street when it comes to friendships. 

Lastly, a healthy friendship should never feel forced. It should be pleasurable to have and one that leaves you basking in the moments where you and your friend can simply enjoy each other’s company.