You’re a friendly person. You’ve made some friends. Then one day you wake to discover that there are friends and there are “friends.” So, who are your real friends?
Friends may look and feel similar on the surface, you feel good around them and have fun. When things get lean or rough, or maybe you need a little more support than usual, that’s when you find out who are your real friends.
Real friends have your back no matter what, unlike friends who may not be so genuine who make themselves scarce when times get rough. They are supportive of you, even when you suggest that you might like to try a bit of coloring outside the lines. If you want to explore or experience something new, they may or may not agree, or come along, but they will always support your right to do so and be excited to hear your stories about how it went, without judgment.
Over time friends get increased access to all the different sides of you. As they get to know you and all idiosyncrasies, real friends see these as interesting or “cute” sides of yourself, even that whacky unpredictable side of you that very few people know. They see these as individualities which make you a “cool” person, and they feel a sense of honor for getting to know you more intimately.
Unlike your shallower friends, those who are your real friends accept you just the way you are, however and whenever that might be. You don’t have to get dressed-up or fix yourself up to do a live video chat with your real friends. And they know that it goes both ways. You can meet at a coffee shop in your sweats like it’s “no thing.” It doesn’t matter because you share more than a superficial surface connection.
All your friends want you to make time for them, and you do a pretty good job, but what about when you would like them to come along with you, or meet you to share some quality time? Where are they? Your real friends will make time for you, even if it’s outside their normal schedule because real friends actually care about you, just as much as you care about them.
When you really need someone talk to, to share your heart with, your real friends will be there supporting you even in your toughest of times. If you’re sad, they might feel just as sad as you do but will try to be the strength you need when times get hard. They do not impose their views or advice, nor tell you what to do about whatever it is that’s troubling you. They let you express yourself fully, without judgment, empathetically supporting you along the way, reassuring you that things will be okay.
When all the other friends have faded away, your real friends will still be there. Even after long periods of time of not being in each other’s presence, when you get together again, it’s not like one day has passed and you pick up right where you left off.
And when you step on the wayside, lose your balance and falter, if they are not there to catch you when you fall, they will be there to help you pick up the pieces. Even if you’ve done something that has inadvertently caused harm to your friends, your real friends will not hold a grudge and they will forgive you because they are compassionate and know that they make mistakes, too, sometimes.
Above all your real friends value your confidence. They trust you and you trust them. You can tell your most intimate secrets to a real friend, and they will not tell your tales behind your back. Real friends protect you and respect you’re entrusting them with these sensitive details.
Who are your real friends? They’re the ones who’ve got you, no matter what.
A real friend has the potential to become your best friend.
The other friends, who might not be so genuine, will show their true colors soon enough. Hopefully, you don’t have to learn about them through friend betrayal.
Try not to judge them, for they are only doing the best they can with what they have. Maybe they will learn how to be better friends later in life. Who knows?