6 ways to determine if your friend is a true friend

real friendship

“There is nothing more precious on this earth than true friendship.” ~ Thomas Aquinas

I’ve reached a point in my life where I understand that you shouldn’t expect much from those around you and that you shouldn’t make anyone responsible for your own happiness, health and well-being. And even though this is the ideal way to live a happy, balanced and harmonious life, because there are people in our lives who call themselves our friends, people who say they love and adore us, and people we ourselves love and care about, we inevitably begin to expect “special treatment” from these people.

We inevitably expect them to be there for us when the rest of the world isn’t, and we inevitably expect them to keep us company not only in our good, prosperous, and happy times, but also in our darkest and most unhappy times. And that’s exactly why I decided to write this blog post.

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Here are 6 ways to decide if the people in your life, the ones who call themselves your friends, are behaving like real friends.

1. A true friend walks the talk.

“The emphasis should not be on speech. Talk is worthless. The focus should be on action.” ~ Howard Berman

Love is a verb, and if someone wants you to know how much you really mean to them, and how important your presence and existence is in their life, they will prove it to you not only by using all kinds of beautiful and colorful words, but also by making sure they honor all those words with actions. People who love and care about you, true friends, honor their words with actions.

2. A true friend finds time for you in their busy schedule.

People who tell you they love you but rarely make themselves available to you don’t know anything about love, because that’s not true love. If you truly love someone, and the relationship you have with them matters to you, then you will make yourself available to them. You will find a way to spend quality time with them. True friends find time for you in their busy schedules.

“Your time is your life. That’s why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. It’s not enough to say that relationships are important, you have to prove it by investing time. Words alone are worthless… Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is ‘T-I-M-E’.” ~ Rick Warren

3. A true friend laughs when you laugh and cries when you cry.

I once heard someone say that when you laugh, the whole world laughs with you, but when you cry, you cry alone. And I don’t agree with that statement. From personal experience, I can tell you that there are people in this world who know how to truly love.

People who will be there for you, no matter what. People who will laugh with you, but also cry with you. People who won’t leave you alone, especially in the dark and painful times when you need their love and support the most. True friends laugh with you, but they also cry with you.

“If one day you feel like crying…call me, I don’t promise I’ll make you laugh but I can cry with you. If one day you feel like running away, don’t be afraid to call me. I don’t promise to ask you to stop, but I can run with you. If one day you don’t want to listen to anyone call me I promise to be there for you but I also promise to be quiet but… If one day you call and there’s no answer… come see me soon. Maybe I need you.” ~ Robert J. Lavery

4. A true friend reminds you who you really are underneath it all.

No matter how many times you fail to become that perfect, kind, and loving person you aspire to be, and no matter how many times you behave in crazy, negative, unhealthy, and toxic ways, both toward yourself and those around you, the people who truly love you will never blame you or criticize you for your weaknesses. They will never condemn you for being human and having something we all have – a dark side.

True friends revive your inner spirit by constantly reminding you of who you really are deep down. Because they love and adore you, and because they can see past your angers, doubts, fears, dark side and insecurities, they will constantly remind you of who you really are deep down, helping you tap into your inner beauty, wisdom, greatness and power. And help you live your life from a place of truth, light, love and integrity, no longer from a place of fear and doubt.

“If you treat an individual as he is, he will stay as he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he should be and could be, he will become what he should be and could be.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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5. A true friend gives you permission to be yourself.

Your true friends, the people who truly love you, will never try to control you, change you, or convince you that you should be something other than yourself. They give you permission to simply be. To be yourself, unabashedly, loving you for you, not for what they think you should be. True friends give you permission to be yourself.

“Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who gives you complete freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or not to feel. He or she can accept what you are feeling at that moment. That’s what true love is all about: letting a person be who they really are.” ~ Jim Morrison

6. A true friend makes you better, not bitter.

True friends bring out the best in you. They make your life sweeter through their words, their presence, their actions, and their behavior. They make you better, they make your life better, and they make you want to be a better person.

True friends inspire you to live your life to your full potential, to be better, not bitter, and to constantly look for the good in the bad, and the beautiful in the ugly. Never forget that true friends make you better, not bitter…

“True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its bad. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island…to find one true friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing.” ~ Baltasar Gracian

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