In all cultures, friendship is considered a greatly important interpersonal relationship that we all need to experience and maintain.
Having a true friend is a blessing, and you probably already know that. But like in any other relationship, having a healthy and satisfactory friendship requires effort from both sides.
Below, we discuss a topic everyone cares about, but many are not quick to discuss out loud – the signs of a true friend standing by your side.
How Can You Tell if Someone is Really Your Friend?
How you feel about yourself when you are with someone tells a lot about that person. A real friend will help you feel good enough and totally comfortable in your own skin without making any extra effort to achieve that. This is a sign that this person is a really good friend of yours and someone worth your reciprocal engagement.
When you are with a genuine friend, you will never feel judged. In fact, you will feel accepted exactly the way you are – with your positive and negative traits. If you can be your most authentic self around someone, then this someone is a valuable friend you can rely on.
Finally – another sign of true friendship is that you don’t feel like you need to pick your words carefully when you’re with someone else. You know that your friend is accepting you the way you are – you can share a burst of laughter, sadness, good news, and joyful moments. In any situation, your friend will encourage you without needing to ask for it.
What are the True Characteristics of a True Friend?
Spending time with a friend, sharing exciting news, or just sitting in silence is a unique experience where you connect on a different level with another human being.
Fortunately or not, quality shared moments are not the only and not the most fundamental aspects of having a true friend. Some other common characteristics you can find in every genuine friend include, for example:
- They are empathetic. Listening to your friend and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes builds up empathy between you and strengthens your friendship. Sometimes we don’t need advice; we need someone to hear about our struggles and pay attention. You can always share your difficulties and happiness with your true friends, knowing they share the same emotions.
- They are always ready to help. A true friend will always help you when in need, even if they are also in a bad situation. This is a very key moment in a friendship. Next time, don’t ask yourself, “who are my true friends” but ask yourself, “who is always ready to help me and at the same time he or she needs help.” A true friend is selfless, grounded, and caring.
- A true friend keeps a secret. We all have secrets. Sometimes we need to share them without being judged, rejected, or afraid that our secrets might leak. Being able to share a secret with a friend is like taking a massive weight off your shoulders. Also, it would be best if you warned your friend – they can only respect your privacy if they know its boundaries.
How Do You Know if Someone Isn’t Your Friend?
Here are some signs you need to pay attention to if you want to determine who is not your genuine friend:
- You feel tired and drained after hanging out with them. This is a very strong sign that these people are toxic and just consume your positive energy – consciously or not.
- They make you feel less than them when you are around them. If you feel you are not worthy, you should stop hanging with those people. They are not your friends. A good friend will always make you feel good about yourself.
- They are not available when you need them, but they are available when they need you. This is an obvious one, but it can be tricky to recognize in real life. People who are pretending to be always “busy” for you when you need them are not your friends. A good friend will always be there when you are in need.
- They don’t show you respect as a person. If you feel like your friends don’t respect you as a human being with a set of characteristics, then they might not be your good friends. Think about the situations where they don’t accept your beliefs and viewpoints, but in a negative way. Everyone has an opinion. But if they make you feel you are stupid or less worthy for what you’re saying and thinking, then it’s a sign that they don’t respect you and they don’t deserve your trust. (1)
Who Is a True Friend?
It is natural to question your friendships. But pay attention to what exactly makes you wonder.
A true friend:
- Will not trigger doubts in you about your friendship;
- Will stand up for you;
- Is honest and trustworthy;
- Is not passive-aggressive towards you;
- Accepts you and encourages you;
- Celebrate your success;
- Shares your sorrow;
- Respects you and your boundaries.
Does it sound like someone you know? Then, you better treasure that person and do your best to do the same for them.
Do True Friends Really Exist?
Yes. True friends do exist. A true friend is someone ready to help and eager to give without expecting anything in return. Anyway, you return them their favor – because it’s what you honestly want and actually need to do.
If you feel like you haven’t met that kind of person in your life, you are wrong. Think about it – who is selflessly ready to give without expecting to receive? These are probably your parents. Even if you don’t have true friends, your parents will always be there for you.
At the end of the day, friends are the family you pick for yourself, which is something huge. So if you still haven’t found your clique, worry not – sometimes, it is better to learn how to live alone rather than with toxicity. But when you find them – cherish them and give them your best because it will all be worth it.
Emotional Recognition exercise will help you to recognize emotions and understand who is your real friend.