10 Qualities of a Best Friend

I can’t even tell you how happy I am to introduce you to my friend Melanie Shankle, aka Big Mama.  I’ll spare you the boring details of how we met, suffice to say it involved much laughter (and a little wine) and an instant realization that she is my kind of people.  She is an expert at finding the humor in the little things, and most days I can hardly wait to read her daily post over my morning cup of coffee.

She just released her third book, Nobody’s Cuter than You, a memoir about the beauty of friendship.  If you’ve read either of her first two New York Times bestselling books, Sparkly Green Earrings (about motherhood) or The Antelope in the Living Room (about marriage), you already know that she’s the real deal–funny, insightful, and not afraid to laugh at herself–and this one is a must read!

Qualities of a Best Friend | Friendship Goals | Defining Characteristics of a Best Friend | Friendship Qualities

This a guest post from Melanie Shankle of The Big Mama Blog

A few months ago my daughter, Caroline, curled up next to me on the couch after a day of school that had left her tired and frustrated.  She began to tell me about some of the girl drama going on in the fifth grade and that she just wasn’t sure who she could trust and who were her real friends.  We talked through it and I wiped her tears as she let out a big sigh and said, “I just haven’t met my Gulley yet”.

And it made me want to cry because one of the things I want the most for Caroline to know is the beauty of female friendship and what it adds to our lives.  Gulley is my best friend and I’m so thankful that our friendship has set a high bar for my daughter because we need those people who will listen to our stories and hold our hand as we go through heartbreak and joy and figure out all that life throws our way.  Those loyal soldiers who will defend us and stand with us when times get hard and it feels like the world is against us.  The women we surround ourselves with and know without a doubt that our name and our heart are no safer than on her tongue and in her hands.


We need our friends, but keeping up our friendships can be a challenge when things get busy or life is stressful. Here are 10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Friendships today!


Here’s the thing, it seems that over the last couple of decades we’ve substituted the joy of real friendship with cheap imitations.  We settle for community on Facebook and Twitter and through a series of text messages that allow us to communicate with someone without the commitment.  We have a tendency to swim in the shallow pool of relationships because we all know that getting deep can equate to being vulnerable.  And more often than not, that’s a risk we’re not willing to take.  It’s so much easier to just text a few happy face emojis .

Qualities of a Best Friend | Friendship Goals | Defining Characteristics of a Best Friend | Friendship Qualities

So instead we like each other’s beautifully filtered photos on Instagram or Facebook and delude ourselves into believing we have a community.

But here’s my question: Do you really?

Do you have those people that will show up on your doorstep with food and Kleenex when the hard times come?  Is there someone in your life that can look into your eyes and ask if you’re okay when they already know you’re not?

Real friendship requires effort.  It’s showing up and laughing loud and crying hard.  It’s forgiving and loving and giving the benefit of the doubt.  It’s a casserole, a carpool pick up, and making sure she knows those cute shoes are now 50% off.

In case you’ve ever wondered how you know if someone is a good friend, I thought this handy list might help you out.  Here are some thoughts for you to ponder about friendship—both in looking for a good friend and becoming one. Some of these may be more important than others. I’ll let you decide for yourself.

Qualities of a Best Friend | Friendship Goals | Defining Characteristics of a Best Friend | Friendship Qualities

10 Qualities of a Best Friend

1.  She’ll let you borrow her favorite dress, shoes, jacket, or top when you need something cute to wear. Bonus points if she actually says in the dressing room, “I’ll buy this, and then we can both wear it!

2. Your name is safe on her lips. She won’t tell your secrets or say anything behind your back that she wouldn’t say to your face.

3. She won’t tell your embarrassing stories without your permission, and she is always laughing with you, not at you.

4. She’ll wait at least six hours before gently telling you that the person you’re mad at may be right.

5. When you ask, “Can you do me a huge favor?” she answers “YES”   before she even knows the rest of the sentence.

6. She forgives you for your PMS moods and occasional general state of grouchiness.

7. She’s there for you when it feels like the whole world has turned upside down and life will never be okay again.

8. Even though she loves Chinese food, she recognizes that you don’t and therefore never suggests it as a restaurant option when the two of you are together.

9. It’s understood that if you’re on a trip together, you share a hotel room. How else are you going to stay up all night talking?

10. On any given day, she’s your sister, therapist, confidante, mother, nurse, chauffeur, hair technician, clothing stylist, nutritionist, and self-help guru who proclaims that you are good enough, kind enough, and doggone it, people like you. Otherwise known as declaring, “Nobody’s cuter than you!”

We all need that type of friend in our life.  They serve as a mirror that allows us the gift of seeing the better version of ourselves.  And on a day when our jeans feel too tight and our chins have decided to embrace hormone-related acne reminiscent of our teen years and our kids have tested the limits of our sanity, a best friend will be there to help cheer us on until we get to the other side.

Qualities of a Best Friend | Friendship Goals | Defining Characteristics of a Best Friend | Friendship Qualities(Check out more cute printables from Melanie’s book here)


Melanie Shankle is the New York Times Bestselling author Qualities of a Best Friend | Friendship Goals | Defining Characteristics of a Best Friend | Friendship Qualitiesof Sparkly Green Earrings and The Antelope in the Living Room, as well as her latest book, Nobody’s Cuter than You. She writes daily on her blog, Big Mama, and is also a regular contributor to The Pioneer Woman blog. Melanie lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband Perry and daughter Caroline.

Qualities of a Best Friend | Friendship Goals | Defining Characteristics of a Best Friend | Friendship Qualities


  1. April 17 at 09:54AM

    I keep seeing posts about best friends, and I really feel like I need to write something about my views on friendship. My best friend really feels like a soul mate, and I love her more than anyone outside of my family. The only time I’ve ever been unsure of our relationship was once in college, but it passed as quickly as it came, and things have been wonderful ever since.

  2. April 17 at 11:51AM

    This is perfect! I never had that ONE female friend growing up. I had a group of friends, but none of them were MY best friend. I grew up with a brother very close to my age, and he and I have always been close. Trust me, it’s not the same. In high school, my best friend was also a guy! I didn’t meet the best friend you described in this post until 21! Even then, it took me until 23 to realize she was that friend! We may not have been there to share the struggles of childhood, but she’ll stand up in my wedding next and month and someday will be the godmother to my kids.

  3. April 17 at 12:03PM

    This is so beautiful. I pray to have a friend like this someday!

  4. April 17 at 04:09PM

    I love this. I have had the same best friend since we were in 6th grade, which means 30 years! She is the kind of friend who even if we have gone way too long without talking, we can pick right back up within a heartbeat. We have had coffee on our calendar three separate times since January and have had to cancel it every time either due to illness or bad weather. Reading this made me realize how much I miss her. I am shooting her an email right now to get something scheduled! Everyone needs a best friend.

  5. April 18 at 06:37PM

    Best friends. True best friends are gifts from the Lord. Proverbs 17:17… I have had the same 3 best friends since middle/high school. The key is that you never keep secrets, open communication and the ability to just love freely. This is so important! We pray together, cry, laugh and just enjoy the other. It is a blessing!! Thankful for these girls and even our husbands get a long too. 🙂

  6. This is just such a great post and such a great reminder! All these points here are so true. Real friends are hard to find, but the best friends stay forever 🙂 Very good post, so inspiring 🙂

  7. April 20 at 06:20PM

    I’m usually cautious with “best friend” type posts, but this one was spot-on! Those who are truly our closest friends will love us in all the ways Melanie listed and more. For most of my life I didn’t have close female friends (I grew up with two brothers in Romania as a missionary kid), and I prayed for years and years for a friend who would “get” me. Now I’m blessed with several women who love me unconditionally and most importantly, inspire me to draw closer to Jesus every day. What a blessing!

  8. April 27 at 03:48PM

    This is so perfect. I think, as women, we want to be close to everyone in our early adulthood. In doing this, we realize we cannot trust everyone we have called friend. If we are lucky, we do find that one – or a very small inner circle – we trust with our heart. I’ve been lucky enough to have friends like this. They are such a blessing. Time spent with them is priceless.

  9. August 14 at 03:06PM

    I can confirm I have two such friends as described in your post. I am so fortunate. My Mom modeled how to be a friend and I noticed how her friends built her up. Meaningful connections take effort and come from a place of pure joy without the expectation of receiving anything in return.

  10. February 11 at 08:11AM

    Great Artilce!
    A Friends Indeed is a Friend In Need.
    Love This

  11. May 5 at 04:38AM


  12. June 6 at 08:26AM

    Nice !

  13. June 9 at 01:51AM

    Ah yes! Sometimes it takes relocation away from your best friend to realize how important all these qualities are in someone, because they can be hard to come by! This post made me miss my bestie!

  14. July 10 at 06:29AM

    This is just such a great post and such a great reminder! All these points here are so true.

    Thank you !

  15. July 10 at 08:16AM

    Real friends are hard to find, but the best friends stay forever Very good post, so inspiring .

  16. July 10 at 05:15PM

    It’s SO true – real friendship requires more effort than liking an Instagram post. I think that’s why it’s so rare these days. Social media has created an atmosphere in which you’re “friends” with hundreds of people whose faces you haven’t seen and whose voices you haven’t heard in years. It’s great to feel connected to those people, but it’s the effort that makes a true friendship. Thank you for this inspiring list of qualities that we should all strive to be for our friends!

  17. July 17 at 03:35AM

    A good friend is like a four-leaf clover; hard to find and lucky to have. I like your post so much.

  18. August 9 at 06:18AM

    Really Amazing post,
    Thanks for sharing informative post on your blog.
    Thanks again

  19. August 20 at 04:04AM

    Thanks for sharing this post.
    Really interesting post
    there is no one like my best friend
    Friends are very important in our life without friends i cant live
    Thanks again

  20. August 22 at 01:05PM

    inspritional post….a good friend is hard to find hope you be together forever

  21. January 29 at 10:49AM

    Is difficult to know who are a real friend and these tips help me a lot, thanks.

  22. February 1 at 04:21AM

    Nice Article,
    It is really informative post on your blog, Friends is very important in the life of every person.

  23. February 6 at 11:12PM

    Best friend! she is my friend from 3 years .we were enemies before and then we are thick friends now.A real friend friendship needs a lot of effort.She knows all the best and worst of mine…

  24. February 12 at 03:45AM

    Nice Article

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