Are they a true friend?
Over the past few months, I’ve been swept up in the throes of love. It’s been a crazy, wild journey, and I’ve loved every second of it. A realisation we all come to at some stage in a new relationship, is how it’s often so easy to take friendships for granted. When you meet someone new, you want to spend every.single.moment with them.
It’s in those first few months you really fall in love with someone, and learn everything about them. During this time, I found myself worrying about what my friends were thinking. Were they angry that I wasn’t spending as much time with them? Annoyed that I wasn’t free for all our catch-up dinners? Fuming that I’d chosen to go for brunch with this newly founded romance?
No, they weren’t. They were brilliant, funny, supportive and gently reminded me of life beyond relationships - and how thankful I am for all of them. If you’re ever trying to work out whether someone isn’t just a fleeting friendship, but rather an individual that will stay in your life forever, here’s what I think defines a true friendship.
The Truth Teller
We all know it can be difficult to hear the honest truth sometimes, and whether it’s regarding friendships, relationships or the workplace, we convince ourselves that our fantasies might come true. “I will get that promotion if I just wait it out another year”, or “Maybe he was telling the truth when he said he’ll never cheat on me again.” Whatever it is, sometimes we get so caught up in it that we convince ourselves that it’s the truth. A good friend will be supportive of your mindset and try to make you happy in the situation. A best friend? They’ll give you a firm slap across the face and let you know you’re being a dickhead. Sure, they’ll try to be gentle, but they are only thinking of you and want you to succeed.
In past friendships, I’ve watched their eyes glaze over as we’ve chatted over breakfast. Their hands reaching for their phones and their minds wandering somewhere else. A best mate listens intently, probably interrupting you and asking you to provide further detail in whatever topic is been discussed. They’ll never try to top your story instantly with a similar one of their own, or change the topic to them at every chance. They’re the friends that will always pick up the phone, and if they don’t, they’ll ring you back instantly. They’re genuinely interested in what you have to say, and actually care about whatever you’re talking about.
A good friend will wish you well on your endeavours, and try to stay in contact. A best friend? If you’re travelling, they send you cool places they’ve found that you should visit. If you’re working, they’ll send you book recommendations for how to get ahead in the workplace. If you’ve just started dating someone, they’ll send you a message saying how happy they are for you. The very definition of friendship is support, and they want the absolute best for you.
We’ve all got friends that send you a “cheer up” text if you’re down, or perhaps give you a pat on the back. What’s rare to come across these days, is the empathiser friend. They’re the ones who are available 24/7 for you when you need them. They’re the ones who turn up on your doorstep with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and soppy movies to watch. They’re the ones who cry with you, because they feel your pain so deeply. They’re also the type of friends that don’t get jealous. Whether you got the new promotion or got chosen for an awesome opportunity, they’ll be right beside you, celebrating every little thing with you! Hold on to these special friends, because they are those that truly embody the meaning of friendship.
Do you have any of these friends in your life? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!