Young man, be aware of these four good-hearted friends: the helper, the friend who endures in good times and bad, the mentor, and the compassionate friend. below are the classifications:
The helper can be identified by four things: by protecting you when you are vulnerable, and likewise your wealth, being a refuge when you are afraid, and in various tasks providing double what is requested.
One who is always there to give aid when needed and one who asks for little to nothing in return.
They will always protect you, and show you the way when you are lost or need guidance.
The Enduring Friend
The enduring friend can be identified by four things: by telling you secrets, guarding your own secrets closely, not abandoning you in misfortune, and even dying for you. The friend who stands by you through every event in your life, and will always there for you. The enduring one does not pass judgment but is simply there through it all for you.
The mentor can be identified by four things: by restraining you from wrongdoing, guiding you towards good actions, telling you what you ought to know, and showing you the path to samsaric heavens.
This type is a teacher or parent, someone who teaches through love, kindness, their own actions, and compassion.
This person has the most patience with you, and truly wants to set an example.
The compassionate friend
The compassionate friend can be identified by four things: by not rejoicing in your misfortune, delighting in your good fortune, preventing others from speaking ill of you, and encouraging others who praise your good qualities.
– Taken from the Sigalovada Sutta