Friends are one of life’s biggest blessings. Do you know how many you have? And no, I don’t mean just quickly skip to Facebook and have a glance at the number showing there. We’re talking about true friends. The topic’s been prominently on my mind lately thanks to a lot of those wonderful individuals supporting me all throughout so let’s get Thinking out loud. Before you read on I suggest you put on some good music, specifically Carole King’s ‘Where you lead’.
True friends are interested in you even when you’re not yourself.
Don’t we all feel like the least fascinating person ever occasionally? Unless your ID reads Paris Hilton, Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus and you consider yourself the centre of the universe it’s likely you’ll have those mini life crisises. But a good friends are genuinely interested in what’s going on in your life and ready to listen even if you’re having a Debbie Downer day. They’ll cheer you up and show you that you’re wonderful just the way you are.
True friends make an effort to stay in touch.
Even if you’re bad at it and forget to mail or call them regularly they won’t grieve you about it. Which would technically be another point: they’re forgiving. No resentfulness and this is another one high on top of my list with many of my friends. Sorry to everybody who continously has to wait for my mail replies forever. It’s not about you but me [duh!].
True friends accept you the way you are and stay loyal at all times.
Honestly, sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky. I won’t lie: I can be a snarky, moody – in short: not the person you’d want to be around. And don’t we all have those times? Friends accept and like you with all your ‘flaws’. They overlook them or – see above – have the courage to tell you to stop the bitchy ways and realize what you’re doing.
The truest test of a friendship for me is being able to go through thick and thin. The good and bad times. On either side. Not just listening to your worries but entrusting you theirs, too. I’ve lost contact with several people from school over the years and wondered what I’d done wrong. In the end, I realized the majority of those friendships hadn’t been deep enough. When both try to keep up a happy-go-lucky sunny attitude never admitting to doubts, insecurities and asking for help a friendship can exist – but it won’t be one to count on in rough times.
True friends are brutally honest.
They tell you what you need to hear not what you want to – because they care. It can hurt to have somebody tell you the truth but think about it: Somebody who just tries to please you won’t point out any points of improvement or tell you the colour of the dress you’re wearing makes you look pale [doozy]. I know for myself I wouldn’t have gotten where I am – not just in terms of fashion – if people had approved of everything I did at all times never criticized me. A true friend doesn’t intend to hurt but help you.
True friends don’t always have time. They make time for you.
We know it: Life gets insanely busy for all of us. A true friend finds the time for you even in a tight schedule. Whether lending an ear on the phone, via texts or coming over when you need it*. Time is a gift and a real friend will happily give it to you.
True friends are trustworthy.
This one might seem obvious but I’ve sadly made experiences that proved me wrong. Hence why I appreciate secrecy among friends even more these days. If a friend shares something with you – be it about their cat, stress at work or the name of their secret crush – you keep to yourself. Easy, no?
True friends help you without any expectations in return.
That doesn’t mean you can’t – or shouldn’t – return the favour. Life and at that friendships thrive off the good old rule of give and take. But if you are a true friend to others yourself you already knew and did that.
True friends encourage you to follow your dreams in life.
You want to travel the world even though you’re currently still living at home and can hardly do the laundry or cook yourself? Even though you don’t know how in the world you’ll be able to fund that trip? Friends believe in and will cheer on you. And they might even offer to teach you basic cooking and life survival tips …
Say it with me once more: True friends are one of life’s biggest blessings.
This obviously isn’t an all-encompassioning list by any means. Some friends might fill all of the criteria above, some just one or none of these but others.
In the comments let me know characteristics of a true friend to you.
Happiness-inducing today: An actually funny comedy segment on the radio. They’re usually sub-par so I was positively surprised.
Stay in touch!