5 ways to spot a real friend

www.istock.com/jacoblund

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been screwed over by a friend. We’ve all been there, huh? It’s like a right of passage. It’ll happen whether you want it to or not, but it’ll make you hella strong (sometimes). When hurt by a friend, the normal response would be to choose better friends, however, that isn’t always the case. If you’re an optimist like me, you always want to see the good in people and you refuse to allow yourself to become judgmental, distrusting and doubtful of the people that surround you. However, I’ve learned that to avoid getting screwed over isn’t that hard if you can spot any of these qualities in your friends.

 

1. Real friends always have time

We’ve all had flakey friends who are always “busy.” And that’s fine we all have busy lives, but a true friend is always going to make time to see you and spend quality time with you. Even if it’s just for a cup of coffee. Real friends don’t blame their jobs, responsibilities, or anything else for being MIA. They simply just don’t go MIA. They look for ways to stay in contact, even if they don’t always have the time to hang out for hours on end. They do little things to continue to be a relevant and active part of your life.

 

2. Real friends are there through thick and thin

Whether your family member just died, you got dumped, you lost your job, you got a raise, you were proposed to, etc, a real friend will always be there to both cry and celebrate with you. When you’re down in the dumps they’ll do anything to make you smile (even if they need to give you a little tough love), and when you’re celebrating a triumph, they’ll celebrate it as if it was their own success — with zero envy attached. If in the happiest and saddest moments of your life, you find yourself alone without any support, it’s probably time to weed some people out.

 

3. Real friends speak truth (lovingly) to one another

If you’re dating someone that is completely wrong for you, a real friend will tell you. If you’re having a bad attitude and taking it out on innocent people, a real friend is going to tell you to chill. A real friend will point out when you’re being a pain in the ass, but will also accept when you do the same to them (in a loving way of course).

 

4. Real friends listen

They hear you out and though they may not always dazzle you with their counseling skills, they will always be around to loan you their ear. They may not always have an answer to your problems, but they’ll always offer support and be there for you, even if it’s just to hold your hand or dry your tears. That’s what good friends do. They’re present, even if it’s just to sit in silence with you.

 

5. Real friends add on to your life

A real friend is a plus in your life. They energize you and add on to your already existing happiness. They won’t suck you dry of your energy, money, or attention. They won’t constantly use you and abuse you to then leave you when they’ve gotten their fill. Real friends know how much to give and how much to take. They balance you, bring joy to your life, and are willing to go that extra mile (just as you would for them).

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