“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” -Helen Keller
If you're having trouble deciding whether your friend is a true friend, then your friendship must already be rocky. If you want to decide whether your friend is in the friendship for the right reasons, you have to pay attention to what they say, what they do, and how they make you feel. Just take a look at these simple signs and you'll know the truth.
1) Your friend pushes you to gain more confidence.
One of our greatest faults can be our negative self-criticism, but true friends lift us up when we're down. People feel better about themselves when they have close, supportive and encouraging people in their lives. Whether it's feeling inadequate in a job interview or just not liking what's staring back at us in the mirror, our closest friends are the ones who beg to differ when our self-opinion starts getting low. Real friends naturally boost your self-esteem. Helping out a good friend in this way can help you feel better about yourself as well.
“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” - Aristotle
2) Your friend cares about you and all the things that make you happy.
A true friend is consistently willing to put your happiness before your friendship. It's said that "good advice grates on the ear," but a true friend won't refrain from telling you something you don't want to hear, something that may even risk fracturing the friendship, if hearing it lies in your best interest. A true friend will not lack the mercy to correct you when you're wrong. A true friend will confront you with your drinking problem as quickly as inform you about a malignant-looking skin lesion on your back that you can't see yourself.
“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” - Jane Austen
3) Your friend shares your problems and helps you face them.
A person who truly knows and loves you – a real friend – is someone who sees the pain in your eyes while everyone else still believes the smile on your face. Don’t look for someone who will solve all your problems; look for someone who will face them with you.
“Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” - Albert Camus
4) Your friend accepts you for who you are.
As flawed as you might be, as out of place as you sometimes feel, and as lacking as you think you are, you don’t have to hide all the imperfect pieces of yourself from a true friend. They see your flaws as features that make you interesting and beautiful. The quality of the happiness between two people grows in direct proportion to their acceptance, and in inverse proportion to their intolerance and expectations. True friends love and appreciate each other just the way they are.
“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” - Elbert Hubbard
5) Your friend forgives you for minor mistakes.
Sometimes you royally screw up. With fake friends, a mistake can cost you a friendship. Real friends will know that sometimes you’ll mess up. They will forgive you because they value your friendship more than your (temporary) mistake.
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” - C.S. Lewis
As you go through life, you will encounter many people. Some of them will be only acquaintances, while others will become friends. True friends are rare; you may have only a few true friends in your life at any given time. There are several recognizable characteristics that true friendships posses that other relationships lack.
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