A friend, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, is that person to whom you are attached to by affection or esteem. Therefore, friendship is that relationship of mutual affection or esteem between you and two or more persons.
There are many forms of friendship which vary from person to person or place to place with certain characteristics like love, virtue, sympathy, empathy, honesty, loyalty, forgiveness, trust and compassion. Friends enjoy each other’s company and express feelings to each other. There is the absence of fear for being judged when mistakes are made.
We all have friends but do we have true friends? True friendship is an essential aspect of relationship-building. Research has shown that strong social support and bond from friends improve one’s prospect of good mental and physical health. It reduces the rate of suicidal ideation among adolescents.
How do you know if you have true friends? Here are 5 tips.
True friends have your back
They fight for you when others try to hurt you. True friends don’t hurt you on purpose, either physically or emotionally. They help without expecting a reward.
True friends are authentic and honest
True friends show you their true selves. They are honest with you when it matters the most. Their friendship requires some level of vulnerability. They, therefore, go beyond the surface. They share your problems as well as open up to you, showing you their deepest fears. They trust and value you. Lying isn’t a virtue in true friends.
True friends accept you for YOU
Real friends, not acidic friends, accept and love you for WHO you are. They encourage you to become a better you. They see and help you notice your attention inner beauty. Your judgment is trusted, even though, they still encourage you to make the right decisions. Real friends never force a piece of advice down your throat. They accept your personal growth and development because they love and value the REAL you.
True friends want what’s best for you
Acidic friends try to change you, making you who you’re not, giving you the answers you wish to hear. But true friends acknowledge your feelings, point out your not-so-good traits and help you correct them. This leads to a happier and healthier life. Your true friends are your biggest fans and cheerleaders as they hold you accountable for your goals and actions.
Lastly, true friends never abandon you
Fair-weather friends abandon you in your time of need, while your true friends, out of the love and loyalty they have for you, stay with you, assist and uplift your spirit in times of crisis, disappointments, physical illness and emotional breakdown. Your mental, spiritual, academic, physical and emotional wellbeing is of great interest as is your social life to your true friends. They are around you for YOU.
Everyone has their ideal friend. You might want to be friends with another person who is different from you in ways that’ll challenge you to be better or who shares your interests, beliefs and/or goals.
If your best friend or your current friend(s) make(s) you feel less, lie to you for their own selfish reasons or try to change you instead of loving you despite your imperfections, then redefining your definition of friendship is essential. Redefining your friendship can and will open doors to richer, healthier and more rewarding friendships.
Remember, it is your right to choose edifying friends as is your duty to be an edifying friend to others.