Signs of genuine friendship and love!
Friendship, it’s a word that we use often and one that many take to heart. These are special relationships, one that is never a one way street, friendship takes two, much like a relationship, minus the sexual intimacy. Friends are the ones who are supposed to help us see through the hard times in life. And did you know that research has shown that friendship even helps us live life longer and happier?
One of my favorite quotes is by Aristotle, he said “friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.” But you have friends and then you have true friends. What makes the big difference between temporary bonds and a life long friendship?
First, a friend must always be willing to help us be more accepting of ourselves. There is no doubt that we are our own worst critic. We can shred ourselves harder than those who may despise you in real life. And the truth is we all have flaws, whether that be anxiety, addictions, co-dependency or even a negative attitude.
A real friend will confidently help point out the negative things we have done to others and ourselves without judgement. This means, showing love while discussing and being as positive as possible during a conversation. Having a friend point out what may be wrong because they care doesn’t make them a bad friend, it just means they are trying to look out for you because they really want you to succeed.
Now, if that friend is making you feel guilty for who you are, there is a problem. And it would be critical to determine whether or not they are truly being a friend or trying to bring you down in life. There are many people we come across that actually want to put us down. But why? Well, it’s been said those types of personalities just want to be above you and that is the definition of an unhealthy friendship.
Real friends will help you boost your self-esteem and this can also help you both feel great.
The call out, especially when we are wrong and in denial.
Truth be told a real friend will call you out on your bullsh*t. And not for the benefit of being above you or because they just want to argue to make you feel bad. Friends that call you out on flaws in order to help you be a better person based on accountability… those are the friends looking to help you grow, strive and to become a better YOU.
The gentle honesty is what truly defines real friendship versus weaker friendships. A superficial friend will never tell you how they are truly feeling but a real one will be open and tell you exactly what’s on their mind. Those that can be straightforward and open are some of the most important friends to have around, even if they are not perfect.
Another question to consider is how ‘present,’ is your friend?
We have all had those times where we attempted to talk to a friend and the topic is always turned back toward the other person. It’s a one way street and you’re always doing all the favors. Does it seem that those venting moments and the catch-up sessions aren’t quite as fulfilling as they were once before?
Remember, conversations should never one-sided.
The friend who is willing to have a two-way dialogue is likely to have a huge heart and really care when conversing about life. After all, that’s what we tend to talk about on a daily basis, no? Paul Sacco, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School and Social Work opened up about this stating “People who are good listeners validate other people’s feelings.” This type of listening shows they care, they want to help and they are appreciative of your love and affection as well.
Adversity, it happens to the best of us in our lives.
Friends love to be around when you’re a good mood and doing great in life. But what about those times when things are not going that great. Genuine friendships are there through all the peaks of our life. The grief, the joy, the failures, the heartache and the inbetween. If you can trust someone enough to let them into your life during the toughest of times, well, that’s a pretty huge sign that your friendship is real. And these people are in your life (sometimes) more than your own blood.
Yes, this is a huge one (and even I do still strive to nail this). A hallmark of friendship is knowing what the other person is feeling, what makes them tick, what makes them smile and what helps them remember to love even when someone has hurt them in life. They will be there to help us make good decision so we don’t act out of anger and frustration and their presence will be calming rather than create a complete full-blown anxiety attack.
Although, no one person is perfect and all friends fight, you have to really feel this one out. Spending time with your friend during high stress times can really help you beat the funk. We are all here attempting to have success in our careers, relationships and personal lives. A true friend will help keep you humble after you have success and not just ditch out on you when “they’ve made it,” or “you’ve made it.” It goes both ways, you must always be willing to stay around after success, even the smallest successes such as a raise can change a person’s mentality and it can be hurtful.
Does your friend congratulate you? Help you achieve your goals when you feel low and make you fight to get to the spotlight with them? If you answered yes, then you certainly have a great friend.
Let’s be real, marriage, work, kids, fur babies and so on… our days become busier, our lives become hectic and because of this we can become “unavailable.” But real friends realize that with all the busy in their life, it’s still possible to make a phone call, send a text or basically check in before you hit the sack.
Genuine friends make EACH FRIEND a priority, not just you, remember you’re not the center of the universe and nor are they, friendship is a two-way street.
Forgiveness is huge.
Life is full of so many difficult situations and (as mentioned) we are not perfect. Forgiveness within judgement errors in friendship is key. Genuine friends know how to “weather the storm.” When a conflict arises, real friends have the courage to reach out directly rather than gossiping and spreading lies, allowing those irritations to grow rather than mend what may be on the mind. Genuinity comes when a friend is capable of being forgiving.
Last, it’s important to surround yourself with those who want to help you be a better person. They stand by you as you grow and they make you want to be a better version of yourself each and every day (this does not mean they need to dedicate their whole life to you) but it means that they will encourage you, be there for you and check in as often as they can because genuine friendship doesn’t just “die.”
This is one of the best gifts a friend can give you in life. So, be genuine, don’t let it be a one street and learn to forgive. Friendship is a work in progress and it’s never just “finished growing.” You’re both flourishing in life, so water one another’s roots with love and you know you have yourself a great lifelong friendship.
The Beatles – With A Little Help From My Friend