Remember when we were kids and our social circle consisted of a tiny group of like-minded “best friends for life” and maybe one or two others that we hung out with occasionally? Today, thanks to social media, it’s not uncommon to have 500+ “friends.” While it’s awesome that we can instantly connect with so many people, there’s a big difference between a “Facebook friend” and a real friend. Let’s talk about how to identify a true friend, shall we?
How to Identify a True Friend
If you’re having a hard time figuring out who among your massive social circle is a “true friend,” let me help you out. Below are some examples of things only a true friend will do for you.
1. A true friend accept you for who you are
Rule number one- a true friend accepts you for exactly who you are. No strings, no caveats. Period. If your friend is constantly trying to change you, then it’s time to find a new BFF. There isn’t much more to say about this one. It’s pretty straight-forward!
2. Real friends don’t say, “I told you so.”
We all have that one close friend who asks for advice and never, ever takes it. While we get a little exasperated with her in our heads, we never let it show. More importantly, we never, ever, ever tell her “I told you so!” In turn, she doesn’t do it to us when we inevitably ignore her advice. We all just keep being there for each other, keep listening, and keep offering a helping hand.
3. A true friendship survives the test of time and distance
True friends know that life gets in the way of spending time together, and that’s okay. Even if you move to other sides of the country (or the world) and go months without talking, you both know that you’re still there for each other. You know that you can pick up the phone any time- day or night- and say, “I need to talk,” and just like that, it’s like no time past at all.
4. Real friends don’t wait for you to ask for help
There’s a quote that says, “Hard times will always reveal true friends,” and it’s absolutely correct. It’s easy to be a friend when times are simple. A true friend is there for you when times are really tough. More importantly, they don’t wait for you to ask for help. You just need to turn around and they’ll be there. There’s a reason why friends are the best emotional support we can have, and this is it!
5. A true friendship can survive a fight
At some point in time, you and your best friend will disagree over something. That disagreement may even turn into a major fight. It happens. The main distinction between a fight with a friend and a fight with a true friend, though, is that a true friendship survives the disagreement. Even if you don’t talk for days, one day you’ll pick up the phone and it’ll be like nothing ever happened. Plus, even if you’re in the middle of a fight, rule #4 still applies. True friends let go of petty arguments to be there for each other, no matter what.
6. Real friends don’t count favors
A true friend doesn’t keep track of all the things she’s done for you. Whether she’s helping you clean out your garage, picking you up from the airport, or taking your side in a fight with your spouse, you’ll never hear her say, “You owe me.” It’s a two-way street, though. Neither one of you keeps a running total in your head of what you’ve done for each other.
7. A true friend can tell you what you need to hear
Only a true friend will tell you what you really need to hear, not just what you want to hear. If you got into a fight with your husband and you were clearly in the wrong, she’ll tell you. Oh, she’ll take your side no matter what, but she’ll flat-out tell you, “Look, you’re in the wrong here, sorry pal.” If you’re considering going back to your ex, she’ll be there to remind you why he’s your ex. When you ignore her advice, see #2!
Facebook friends are wonderful, and it’s fun to reconnect with old high school pals, but don’t mistake a massive social network circle for a real social circle. True friendships are like rare diamonds. They’re hard to find, but when you do discover one, they’re made of the toughest stuff on earth. Now, go call your best friend and thank her. She doesn’t need you to say it, but I’m sure she’d like to hear it!