The formula for a perfect best friend


What do trust, respect, fun, consistency and empathy have in common?  They have all been revealed as the ideal combination of qualities essential for a best friend.

The formula by leading psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall reveals that if your friendship is brimming with trust, respect, fun, consistency and empathy, and has very low instances of jealousy and gossip, then you can safely say that you have found the perfect best friend.

And here it is:

(T x R) + F + C + E

J x G


So what does it mean? The formula shows that the perfect best friend will keep your secrets, respect you as you are and be fun to be around. They'll be consistent and reliable, understand your needs and support you during hard times. If your friend genuinely cares for you they won't get jealous or talk about you to others, but always be open and honest with you.

The best friend formula was created for women's car insurance specialist Diamond, after it carried out a friendship census. The poll revealed that two-thirds of British men and women believe dependability and honesty are the most important qualities in a friend. However, almost two-thirds also admitted they had lied to their best friend or gossiped about them.

Natalie Grimshare, spokeswoman for Diamond said, "We spoke to 2,000 people and the results of the poll were fairly shocking.  It was clear that we expect a lot from our best friends but perhaps we don't always treat them according to the same rules. So, we wanted to identify once and for all the qualities of the perfect best friend."

Dr Cliff Arnall said, "It was quite a challenge as there are so many qualities people look for in a best friend but the traits in the formula arose time and time again."

According to the research, women are the worst culprits for having double standards. More women than men cited honesty as the most important best friend quality, but they were also more likely to lie to them, fight with them or gossip about them.

However, over three quarters of people said they trust their friend completely and 59% loyally admitted they would lie or cover for their friend to protect them.

However, perhaps more telling is that 26% of people also said that their best friend had betrayed them so much they'd never spoken to them again.

Men are more likely to look for a sense of humour in their friends whereas women are more likely to look for a friend who is a good listener. Unsurprisingly then, men chose Peter Kay as the celebrity they'd most like to be friends with, whereas Fern Britton came top for women.


Share with your friends

Help us improve our website

Is our website easy to use? Does it have all the information you need? Tell us what you think.

Please note, whilst we value your feedback and review it on a regular basis, we do not reply directly to comments submitted via this form.

If you have feedback on our other services or need assistance in any other way, please go to our secure form.

Errors on form:

Your details

Tell us what you think

Thank you

Thank you for your feedback on our website

Tell us what you think...