Contributor: Shannon Malkovsky. Lesson ID: 10264

What does the word friend mean to you? What do you look for in a friend? How can you be a good friend? What makes friendship special? Explore here!


Interpersonal Skills

Life Skills
learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio: Image - Button Play
Image - Lession Started Image - Button Start

You made plans to meet your friend Tina at the movies at 7:00. Tina arrives 45 minutes late. When she comes, she does not apologize for being late but blames you and says you should have called her if you were concerned.

When you are standing in line to pay for your movie ticket, Tina realizes she does not have enough money for her ticket and demands you give her some money. You only brought enough money for a ticket and snacks, but you feel pressured to give her your money.

  • Is Tina acting like a good friend?

Smiling Girls Buying Popcorn And Drinks From Seller At Cinema

Relationships are an important part of our lives.

They have the potential to add enjoyment and happiness to our lives, but certain ones can cause sadness and discomfort.

Learn about the characteristics of a healthy relationship and how you can be a better friend!

Your life has many different types of relationships, including the following.

  parents boyfriends girlfriends
  friends teachers coaches
  co-workers classmates family


Consider these questions.

  • Who are people in your life that make you feel good about being yourself, and why?
  • What characteristics or qualities do you look for in a friend?
  • Does it matter if the friend is a guy or a girl?
  • Should you look for the same qualities in a boyfriend or girlfriend as in a friend?

Important Characteristics of Healthy Relationships

It is important to understand what makes someone a good friend and to remember to have those characteristics ourselves to be the kind of person we want others to be.


You should always feel accepted and allowed to be yourself. No one should pressure you into doing things that make you uncomfortable.


It is important to feel emotionally and physically safe.

Emotional safety means you feel comfortable being yourself without fear of being put down.

Physical safety means you are not being hurt or pressured into unwanted physical contact.


Support means caring for and wanting what is best for you. Your friends should understand if you can’t hang out because you have to study or spend time with family.


Feeling like you can be yourself matters. After all, being an individual is what makes you, you!

Fairness and Equality

Having an equal say in your relationships is vital. From the activities you do together to the friends with whom you hang out, you should have an equal say in the choices made in your relationships.


Friends and girlfriends or boyfriends must accept you for who you are. You shouldn’t have to change who you are or compromise your beliefs to make someone like you.

Honesty and Trust

Honesty builds trust. You can't have a healthy relationship without trust!

If you have ever caught your friend's boyfriend or girlfriend in a huge lie, you know it takes time to rebuild trust.


Talking face-to-face (not just by text) about your feelings is key. Listen to one another and hear each other out.

Text and Facebook messages should be respectful, not mean, hurtful, or inappropriate.

However, it is also important to be humble and forgiving of others. Everyone  makes mistakes, and extending forgiveness is critical to relationships.

Now that you know what makes a good friend, ask yourself this question.

  • What sort of friend are you?

Complete the I Am . . . Worksheet located in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar. This worksheet allows you to rate yourself on important qualities of healthy relationships.

Once you have completed the worksheet, add your score and read what it means on the fourth page of the handout.

After you complete the worksheet, address the following questions.

  • Are you surprised by your score? Why or why not?
  • What skills did you discover that you want to strengthen?

Carry what you've learned to the Got It? section for more self-examination.

Image - Button Next