Self Improvement

What Makes a Friendship Work

posted on November 2, 2016 | by Chelsea Becker

What Makes a Friendship Work

As I’ve gotten older, my circle of friends has naturally gotten smaller. I struggled with this at first, but realized it’s part of life; you aren’t in school seeing them daily and everyone picks up adult responsibilities. Bottom line, there isn’t as much free time for as many people.

I’ve watched certain friendships of mine remain strong for decades and also some fade away in a mutual way. What I’ve come to realize is that there are ingredients in each friendship that make it sustainable or not. And what makes up a good friendship is different for everyone, but these are the qualities I value and prioritize most:

Equal Communication

We’ve all had that friend who talks about themselves for 20 minutes straight without a single question about your life. I used to put up with those relationships if the person was fun to be around, but now that I’ve matured, I don’t deal with that. Both parties should have time to vent and talk about their lives, and then time to listen. Of course there are situations when one person needs to be the shoulder to cry on, but it shouldn’t be a constant occurrence.


This is a dealbreaker for me with any type of relationship. If I’m not laughing with a friend, I have a really hard time wanting to hangout with that person. Finding some sort of shared humor or something to laugh about together is important for me.


Hanging out with someone who’s constantly negative is something I can’t stand. I used to be fine having girlfriends who gossiped 24/7 and could be mean, but as I’ve grown up I’ve realized how awful that is. If someone isn’t making me feel good about myself and is a downer, that friendship won’t last. Friends should bring out the best in each other!

Equal Effort

I never want to feel like I’m putting more effort into a friendship than the other person. A good friend puts just as much energy as you do into the relationship. Whether that means you equally contact each other to hang out or you’re equally there for each other when you both need it most.

Ability to Be Completely Yourselves

The friends that will stay in my life forever are those that have seen every little bit of me. They’ve seen me depressed, angry, in love, hungover — you name it. We’re able to truly open up to each other and express how we feel, even if we’re embarrassed by it, because we know neither of us will judge each other. Those are the friends I want in my life forever.

What are some qualities that you look for in a friend?

Today’s post is written by contributor Chelsea Becker, a San Diego native,
living and writing in San Francisco. Follow her on Instagram & Pinterest.

feature image via Barefoot Blonde