The CognoZen Column

10 Signs Your BFF is a Keeper (And How to Be One, Too!)

Keep reading to learn the 10 signs your BFF is a keeper, and how you become an incredible BFF, too!

Best friends are the greatest gift given to mankind (at least in my humble opinion.)

Everyone needs a ride-or-die friend. Someone who will text you paragraphs of decent advice (with some terrible advice sprinkled in) while simultaneously bombarding you with hilarious memes on IG when you’re having a mental breakdown.

That person who’s always down for a gym sesh and a late-night pizza run.

The first person you call when you’re going through a breakup or need to bury a body (hypothetically speaking, OF COURSE…PLEASE don’t harm anyone!!! NOBODY is worth spending the rest of your life wearing fluorescent orange! But I digress.)

But how can you tell if your bestie is the real deal, or if they’re just around for the good times? And more importantly, how can you be that kind of friend?

Let’s break down the top 10 must-have qualities that define true friendship. Get ready to discover what sets the creme-de-la-creme of best friends apart from the rest (and level up your friendship game in the process!).

10 Signs Your BFF is a Keeper (And How to Be One, Too!)

1. Loyalty

Having a best friend is like having a platonic spouse.

They hold all your secrets, get more of your time, energy, and attention than pretty much anyone else in your life, and reap the benefit of your unending love and support.

So you need to choose wisely when it comes to them!

Think of your most embarrassing secret or your wildest dream – would you trust your friend with it?

Loyalty is that unwavering confidence that they’ll always have your back, no matter what. They’ll defend you when you’re not around, pick you up when you’re down, and celebrate your wins like they were their own.

(HEAVY on the “they’ll defend you when you’re not around” part!!!)

It’s that unspoken pact that you’re in this thing together, for better or for worse. Is your BFF living up to that?

Why Loyalty Matters

  • Loyalty is the foundation of any solid friendship, building mutual trust and respect.
  • It provides a sense of security, knowing you have someone that loves you in your corner.
  • It creates a safe haven where you can be vulnerable and authentic.

3 Ways To Tell If You Have A Loyal BFF

  • They stick by you, even when you make mistakes or face challenges.
  • They defend your reputation when you’re not around to do it yourself. (Thisssss one is SO important…I cannot stress this enough!)
  • They celebrate your achievements with genuine enthusiasm, not jealousy.

3 Ways To Be A Loyal BFF

  • Keep your friends’ secrets confidential, showing them you can be trusted.

    Pro Tip: If you and your BFF decide to go your separate ways in the future, still choose to protect their secrets. There is nothing tackier or shadier than an ex-best friend who spills all of their former bestie’s tea on the internet after a falling out. Not only is this a totally sh*tty thing to do, but it’ll also make people think twice about trusting you because they know that you’ll likely do the same to them in the future.
  • Offer unconditional support, even when it’s inconvenient or difficult. Good times are great, but people always remember who was there for them during hard times when they needed support the most. This doesn’t mean overextend yourself…it’s okay to rest and prioritize self-care when you need to. But it’s always great to be the one who shows up, when you can.
  • Never speak negatively about your friends behind their backs. Be their biggest advocate and supporter. If they’ve pissed you off, learn to address the problem with them directly instead of venting to all of your mutual friends. If you can’t have uncomfortable conversations with them and work through your issues together, then you guys probably aren’t as close as you think you are.

2. Honesty

Honesty and respect are the foundation of every healthy relationship.

We all need that friend who isn’t afraid to tell us when we have spinach in our teeth or when our outfit is a total fashion disaster (while also respecting our unique POV and taste, ofc).

But real honesty goes deeper than that.

It’s about being able to share your true thoughts and feelings, even when it’s uncomfortable.

A true friend will give you constructive criticism, challenge you to grow, and always be real with you – even when you don’t want to hear it.

Why Honesty Matters

  • Honesty encourages personal growth. A friend that’s honest with you helps you become a better version of yourself. And isn’t that the whole point of life, to become the best version of ourselves that we can be?
  • It deepens understanding between friends, leading to stronger connections.
  • It prevents misunderstandings and resentments from festering beneath the surface.

3 Ways To Tell If You Have An Honest BFF

  • They aren’t afraid to tell you the truth, even when it’s not what you want to hear. And they do so in a way that shows that they genuinely love you and want the best for you.
  • They own up to their mistakes and apologize when they’ve wronged you.
  • They aren’t afraid to have open and transparent conversations, even about difficult topics.

3 Ways To Be An Honest BFF

  • Speak your truth with kindness and tact, but don’t shy away from difficult conversations. Learn to be gentle when talking about uncomfortable topics. Try to infuse love into everything you do or say, even when you don’t feel like it. (Easier said than done, but worth the effort!)
  • Be open to receiving feedback from others, even if it stings a little at first. This doesn’t mean you have to base your life on it. You’re allowed to decide what’s best for you and release the rest. But at least be willing to listen.
  • Admit your mistakes and apologize sincerely when you’ve messed up. Everyone makes mistakes, and we all hurt each other sometimes. People will appreciate when you’re willing to own up to it and try to make things right. Everyone appreciates a person that cares about how they make them feel.

3. Empathy

Ever had a friend who just gets you?

They know when you’re feeling down even before you say a word. They offer a shoulder to cry on without judgment, and they can sense when you need a hug or a pep talk.

That’s empathy in action!

It’s the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, to feel their emotions as if they were your own.

It’s a key component to building lasting, loving connections with others, and more of it is needed on this earth, if I do say so myself.

Why Empathy Matters

  • Empathy creates a deep emotional connection, making both people feel truly understood.
  • It builds trust, allowing you to be vulnerable with each other.
  • It creates comfort and support during hard times.

3 Ways To Tell If You Have An Empathetic BFF

  • They listen attentively to your concerns and validate your feelings without judging them.
  • They offer support when you ask for it without trying to fix your problems or tell you what to do.
  • They show compassion and understanding, even when you make mistakes.

3 Ways To Be An Empathetic BFF

  • Practice active listening. Put your dang phone away and give your friend your full attention when they’re speaking to you. Show them that their thoughts and feelings matter to you.
  • Ask open-ended questions to show you’re genuinely interested in their experiences. Listen to their responses without interrupting or changing the subject. (My fellow ADHD babies, this is something we always need to be mindful of!)
  • Offer comfort and support, even if you don’t have all the answers. Most of the time people don’t want to be “fixed”; they just need to know that someone cares enough to listen to them without judging them.

4. Supportiveness

A true friend is your biggest fan, always cheering you on and celebrating your accomplishments.

They believe in you even when you doubt yourself. They push you to reach your full potential, and they’re always there to offer a helping hand when you need it.

They’re the person that you KNOW, without a shadow of a doubt, is always in your corner, praying for all your dreams to come true and genuinely excited to watch you win.

Having a supportive best friend is the best. Truly.

Why It Matters

  • Having supportive friends builds your confidence and self-esteem. Yes, you should aim to feel confident without needing external validation. BUT it’s so great to have people around you who remind you of how amazing you are when you need to hear it!
  • It motivates you to chase your dreams and overcome challenges. Knowing that someone will be there to catch you when you fall makes it easier for you to go out on a limb and try something new.
  • It creates a positive and uplifting environment where you can flourish.

3 Ways To Tell If You Have A Supportive BFF

  • They celebrate your wins, big or small, and share in your excitement. No jealous vibes!
  • They offer encouragement and constructive feedback when you face setbacks, and they always remind you that you CAN achieve whatever you want to if you get back up and try again.
  • They believe in your abilities and push you to reach your full potential. A REAL best friend won’t let you slack off or half-ass life. They want to see you become everything that you were created to be and nothing less!

3 Ways To Be A Supportive BFF

  • Be genuinely excited when your bestie does something great. Remember, you’re a team! Celebrate their wins as if you were celebrating your own, because when one wins, we all win!
  • Offer words of encouragement and support when they’re struggling. Remind your bestie of how incredible, brilliant, and talented they are, even in the moments when they don’t need to hear it. You don’t have to kiss their butt, but you should never hesitate to shower them with words of affirmation when you can.
  • Be their biggest cheerleader and believe in them, even when they don’t believe in themselves. Be the support system you’d want to have!

5. Trustworthiness

A true friend is someone you can confide in without a second thought.

You never have to worry that what you say is repeated in conversations you’re not present for or during pillow talk. (Yes babes…pillow talking with your man/girl about your bestie’s business is a NO-GO!!! Them telling YOU their secrets is NOT the same as them telling Y’ALL their secrets. Be their safe space!)

A great BFF will keep your secrets safe, is reliable, follows through on their commitments, and never gives you reason to doubt their intentions.

Why It Matters

  • Trust is the cornerstone of any strong relationship. No successful friendship or relationship can exist without it.
  • It allows you to be vulnerable and share your true self without fear of betrayal.
  • It creates a sense of security and stability in your friendship.

3 Ways To Tell If Your BFF Is Trustworthy

  • They keep their promises and follow through on their commitments. They show up when you need them to and don’t bail on you last minute (unless there’s a REALLY good reason. And even then, they make it up to you as soon as they can!)
  • They respect your boundaries and never pressure you to do anything you’re not comfortable with. They care about your mental and emotional well-being and do what they can to protect it.
  • They demonstrate consistency in their words and actions. Nobody’s perfect, but they at least try not to say one thing and do another. They strive to show you that they love you through their words and actions.

3 Ways To Be A Trustworthy BFF

  • DON’T GOSSIP ABOUT THEM. Whatever they tell you should stay with you and ONLY you. (Unless they’re in some sort of danger and you need to get them help.) Respect your friends’ privacy and keep their secrets confidential.
  • Always be reliable and dependable. Show up when you say you will. Do what you say you’re going to do. Be the person that you say you are.
  • Be honest and transparent in your communication.

6. Respect

True friends treat you with kindness, consideration, and respect.

They value your opinions, even when they disagree, and they never belittle you or make you feel inferior.

I know that it’s become a common habit to make deprecating jokes about others, and, in some communities, people love you more when you’re able to “read them for filth”. Soooo I guess decide if that’s your kind of thing and, if it is, manage your expectations accordingly.

But the bottom line is, it’s about recognizing each other’s worth and treating each other with the dignity you both deserve. It’s about acting in ways that make one another feel loved, and knowing when to stop the jokes before you cross any lines.

Why Respect Matters

  • Respect is the foundation of a healthy and positive friendship. In my experience, the moment you lose respect for one another, the friendship is over, and there’s typically no going back.
  • It builds a sense of equality and mutual appreciation.
  • It creates a safe space where you both can express yourself without fear of judgment or ridicule.

3 Ways To Tell If Your BFF Respects You

  • They listen to your opinions and value your perspective, even when it differs from their own.
  • They never insult you, make fun of you, or put you down. (Again, if you’re a part of communities where “reading” is the norm then this doesn’t necessarily apply to you. Read away, if that’s your thing!)
  • They consider your feelings and avoid intentionally doing things that might hurt or offend you.

3 Ways To Treat Your BFF With Respect

  • Always be kind and considerate in your words and actions. Before you do anything, ask yourself if you would be okay if your bestie said/did the same to you. If not, it’s best to avoid it.
  • Value your friends’ opinions and listen to their perspectives. Remember that all of our beliefs are shaped by our upbringing, emotions, and personal experiences. Someone disagreeing with you doesn’t automatically discredit your belief. It just means that you’ve had different life experiences that led you to different perspectives. And that’s totally okay.
  • Avoid saying or doing anything that might disrespect or hurt them. If you do accidentally offend them, apologize and try not to make the same mistake twice. Love them enough to care about what hurts them and aim to avoid it.

7. Acceptance

A true friend accepts you for who you are, flaws and all. They don’t try to change you or mold you into someone you’re not. They embrace your quirks, celebrate your individuality, and love you unconditionally.

Why Acceptance Matters

  • Acceptance allows you to be your authentic self without fear of rejection or criticism.
  • It fosters a sense of belonging and self-worth. The most beautiful flowers are the ones that are nurtured and given space to bloom how they need to.
  • It creates a space where you can grow and evolve without feeling pressured to conform. It’s always awesome to have someone that loves all of the many versions of you – the beautiful and the not-so-beautiful – and stands by you as you transform into the best version of yourself that you can be.

3 Ways To Tell If Your BFF Accepts You

  • They love you for who you are, not who they want you to be.
  • They celebrate your unique qualities and quirks. Even the things that you both know gets on their nerves.
  • They support you in your endeavors, even if they don’t always understand them.

3 Ways To Be An Accepting BFF

  • Embrace your friends’ individuality and celebrate their unique qualities. Show them grace when they’re being annoying or doing things you might not like, especially when whatever they’re doing genuinely makes them happy. Learn to regulate your nervous system so you can keep your peace in every setting (as much as possible. After all, you’re still human.)
  • Avoid judging or criticizing them for their choices or beliefs. They’re allowed to be their own person and do what’s best for them, even if you disagree with it.
  • Offer unconditional love and support, even when they make mistakes. None of us are perfect. We’re all a work in progress, and we’re all going to make mistakes. Be the person that your bestie can learn and grow with. If you choose to keep them in your life, make sure they feel loved, even though they’re flawed.

8. Forgiveness

Let’s face it, even the best of friends mess up sometimes.

But like we talked about earlier, true friends understand that nobody’s perfect.

They’re willing to forgive each other’s mistakes, apologize when they’re wrong, and move on without holding grudges.

We all need forgiveness sometimes. Don’t hesitate to extend it. Forgiveness is more for your peace of mind than anything else, anyways.

Why Forgiveness Matters

  • Forgiveness allows you to overcome conflicts and maintain a healthy relationship. And oftentimes the relationship is SO much stronger after you’ve learned to forgive one another and grow from the experience, together.
  • It shows that you value the friendship more than being right. (THIS was such a key mental shift for me!!!)
  • It strengthens your bond and prevents resentment from building up. There’s nothing that can ruining a beautiful connection faster than holding a grudge.

3 Ways To Tell If Your BFF Is Good At Forgiving

  • They apologize sincerely when they hurt you.
  • They don’t bring up past mistakes or use them against you.
  • They’re willing to let go of grudges and move on.

3 Ways To Cultivate Forgiveness In Your Friendship

  • Own up to your mistakes and apologize sincerely when necessary. Never hesitate to offer an apology if you can do so genuinely. (Fake apologies aren’t helpful, so if you need to take a moment to cool off before reconciling, be sure to do that.)
  • Forgive your friends when they apologize and make an effort to change. We’re all doing the best we can, and as long as you’re sure that they didn’t have malicious intent when they made the mistake, try to give them grace.
  • Avoid dwelling on past hurts and focus on the present. If you want to keep them in your life and have a future with them then you HAVE to learn how to let the past go!

9. Fun – loving

True friends are always up for an adventure, whether it’s trying a new restaurant, exploring a new city, or simply having a spontaneous dance party in the living room.

And this doesn’t mean that they have to be the life of the party ALL the time. (Us introverts need love, too!)

What I mean is that they bring out your playful side, make you laugh, and you create unforgettable memories together.

A great BFF is the person that you can have fun doing absolutely nothing with. Just being in each other’s presence should bring you joy.

Why It Matters

  • Laughter and fun are essential ingredients for a happy and fulfilling friendship (and life!).
  • Shared experiences create lasting bonds and memories. It’s always great when you can sit around and say, “Remember when we…” and crack up laughing together!
  • It keeps your friendship fresh and exciting. Nobody wants to live a boring life. Get you some friends that you can have a ball with!

3 Signs Of A Fun-Loving BFF

  • They’re always up for trying new things and having fun. They want to go on adventures with you as much as you want to do so with them!
  • They have a positive attitude and a good sense of humor. You can giggle for hours at nothing together. Spending time with them is the best ab workout you can do!
  • They always know how to put a smile on your face with the little things they do.

3 Ways To Be A More Fun-Loving BFF

  • Be open to new experiences and spontaneous adventures. New experiences can be uncomfortable, especially if you’re a hobbit-type of person who loves their routine. (No judgment…I have some of that in me, too!) Try to keep an open mind and remember that the fun part is doing something new together.
  • Bring your positive energy and sense of humor to the friendship. Share all the memes, jokes, and funny stories you can to bring joy to your bestie’s day!
  • Plan fun activities together and create lasting memories. Don’t just Netflix and chill with your BFF. Go out and experience life together!

10. Availability

A true friend is there for you, not just when it’s convenient for them. They make time for you, even when they’re busy, and they prioritize your friendship. It’s about knowing that they’ll always be there to listen, offer support, or simply hang out when you need them to.

And this doesn’t mean that they aren’t a great friend if they don’t drop everything when you need them to.

We all have our own lives with jobs, relationships, kids (for some of us), etc. Life happens and things can get hectic and stressful FAST.

But when your bestie has a full schedule but still makes time to send you a text or fit in a 5-minute phone call, you know that you’re loved and valued!

Why It Matters

  • Availability shows that your friendship is a priority in their life. It’s love in action and always feels good.
  • It makes you feel valued and appreciated. It’s always great when someone shows you how much you mean to them.
  • It strengthens your bond and creates a sense of security.

3 Signs Your Bestie Considers You A Priority

  • They make time for you, even when they have a lot going on.
  • They respond to your messages and calls in a timely manner.
  • They’re there for you, not just when it’s convenient for them.

3 Ways You Can Show Your BFF That They’re A Priority

  • Make time for them in whatever way you can. Let them know that you’re thinking about them throughout the week.
  • Respond to their messages and calls. I know life can get crazy, but try not to let too much time pass without at least saying, “Hey! I got this but I can’t respond right now. If I don’t follow up by [X], please remind me that you sent this. Love you!”
  • Show up for them, even when it’s not always convenient. You never know how much one act of kindness can impact someone’s life. Be there when you can.


Finding true friends is a treasure worth seeking, and being a true friend is a gift worth giving. By cultivating these 10 qualities, you can build friendships that will last a lifetime and bring joy, support, and laughter into your life. Remember, they’re like your platonic soulmates. Protect and nurture the relationship as much as you can!

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