5 Signs of a Real, True Friend

1. Humorous

The best friends are the ones who know how to make you laugh and who are full of life and spirit. They are the ones who bring you joy, hope and comfort, even in the midst of life’s most difficult situations.

When you are with them, you embark on adventures together, experience life fully, and, most importantly, you can laugh together! Laughter truly is the best medicine. A real, true friend makes sure you take that medicine regularly.

Human beings were not designed to live life alone. However, some people are more comfortable being alone or even prefer it. Still, it is important to have at least one real, true friend in your life

The fact of the matter is, having a real, true friend will improve your life drastically. Although it is not always easy, the world is a big enough place that you can find people to be the friends that you truly need.

Some of us have so many friends that it is hard to tell which friendships are genuine. We often align ourselves with people and groups but feel our companionship needs are still not being met. Some friends can be unresponsive or even toxic, and it is best to cut those people out of your life

You may be wondering, what makes a genuine friendship? How do we find and keep friends who encourage and strengthen who we are? How do we maintain friendships with the demands of our jobs, family and other responsibilities?

There is a wide range of traits you will find in a real, true friend. We’ve narrowed it down to five of the most critical aspects of friendship.

2. Trustworthy

Being trustworthy is a trait that is essential for understanding that the deepest relationships are the ones in which we can confide in each other. Trustworthy friends remind you that you are not alone and empower you to be a better person. Free yourself by being honest with your friends, even brutally so in some cases.

People remember honesty. Try to be the person others trust because of that honesty. It’s a rare trait we crave these days. Think of a time where you discovered a person or group of people engaged in gossip with you as the subject. That usually starts when someone betrays trust and reveals a secret or indiscretion that was not intended for public consumption. This is a betrayal a true friend would never commit.

Be the friend that others know will keep certain things confidential. Further, if you are among a group of people who decide to gossip about someone, not present, refuse to participate. People will begin to realize how trustworthy of a person you are.

3. Assertiveness

Assertiveness is not always a sign of someone trying to stir up trouble just for the fun of it. Genuine friends will call us out when we’re wrong. We all have flaws. Real friends mindfully identify them not to be spiteful, but for accountability’s sake.

Be assertive with keeping your friendships. Don’t wait for the other to call you; be first. Don’t always wait for people to invite you, be first.

“One thing that really gets in the way of these bonds is when people don’t make time to be with their friends truly,” says Robert Rowney, D.O., a certified psychiatrist and the director of the Cleveland Clinic mood disorder unit, “if you don’t purposefully make time to see them, it can really hinder the friendships overall and it’s one of the main reasons why friendships fall by the wayside.”

4. Forgiveness

Holding a grudge will not benefit you in any way. It drains your mental energy and makes you seem weak. In nearly every case, a dispute can be resolved. Try to understand the cause of the action with maturity and critical thinking skills.

Ask yourself: What motivated them to act this way? Did something recently happen to them? How can I help them? Approach the person with openness and be humble. If a resolution cannot be achieved, the best thing you can do is forgive. It may plant the seed for reconciliation down the road.

5. Team Players

Being a team player and putting others’ needs before your own for a shared goal is what friendship is all about. Communicating, collaborating and active listening are essential to make the most successful teams unstoppable.

Just like you, your companions have their hopes and dreams. A person who reassures their friends is a true friend. They give you encouraging words and make you feel confident about yourself.

Doesn’t it feel great when someone pats you on the back after achieving a certain goal? The next time a friend crushes an obstacle, celebrate that win with them, however small it may be. Your perception of the level of their hardships should never abstain from showing how proud you are of them.

Something else that shows you are a team player is putting your phone away while you are with a friend. In this day and age, that might be hard, but it is sure to help you be present.

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