How do the relationships you currently have with your circle of friends affect you? Is there constant drama among the group? Do you find yourself making excuses for how some of them treat you? Do you feel as though they have your back, especially during challenging times? Have you ever caught any of them saying negative things behind your back?
Those are some very loaded questions that you must ask yourself no matter how painful the answers may be.
You see, there are millions of people who surround themselves with people they call friends, but in reality, they’re nothing more than associates that have been mislabeled.
Do you know the true definition of friendship? If not, let me start by defining it for you:
According to Wikipedia, friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between people. It is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an association.
I wanted to define the term in order to give you some clarity because some people assume that it means something entirely different, which is evident by the bad company they keep.
And this is why they continue to go through all this unnecessary drama.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what the term means, I’d like to share 5 Ways To Tell If A Friendship Is Real.
Read on for the eye-opening details…
Trust is the foundation of a real friendship, because without it, what do you have?
An association, that’s what.
If you plan to develop a friendship with someone, you must be able to trust them with anything such as keeping secrets.
A true friend will never betray you, lie, or deceive you in any way.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Loose Lips Sink Ships?”
Well it’s an old saying used during World War II, which means “beware of unguarded talk"
Your relationship should be one in which you could share any information with the person you consider to be a friend, and they will never tell anyone, under any circumstances.
If you’ve experienced situations where you’ve shared personal things about your life to someone you confided in, and several people ended up knowing your secrets…
That person is not your friend, period!
You should label them as an associate and not as a friend.
Friends don’t tell your business to others, especially after you’ve asked them not to.
The bottom line is that if you can’t trust a person, don’t consider them a friend.
2)) Provides Unconditional Love
A true friend is a person that’s loyal to you, no matter what, of course within reason.
For example; if you’re stranded on side of the road at 2 am in the morning, a friend will roll out of bed, without an attitude, and drive to your location to help you out.
They will do so without expecting anything in return and will not keep score of what they’ve done for you.
Now that’s what I call a real friend.
They’ll be there for you through thick and thin.
Have you had any experiences in which you were in a bind, reached out to so-called friends, but no one responded, or gave excuses?
If so, you’re not alone, because this happens every single day.
Because most of the people that these individuals surround themselves with aren’t real friends.
3)) Makes Time to Interact
In today’s world, most of us have jam-packed schedules that are filled with things such as employment, commuting, running a business, household chores, kid activities, family life, and the list goes on.
With so much on our plates, it’s difficult to achieve Work Life Balance.
This huge workload is one of the main reasons why people grow apart.
In order for a relationship to flourish, you must nurture it by either spending time interacting with people in-person and or via phone, text message, or video conferencing.
Even if you sent a quick text message to ask how the person is doing, is better than going for months or even years with no contact.
The good news is that when you surround yourself with real friends, even if you haven’t communicated in a while when you finally do, it’s as if no time has gone by, and you simply pick right back up where you left off.
That’s truly amazing, isn’t it?
But, a real friend will always make time for you, whether it’s daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly.
Sometimes people have the best of intentions, and are thinking about you, but are usually caught up trying to tackle their own daily list of to-dos.
So, in those situations, don’t take it personally.
A better solution would be to reach out to them, because they may be going through a rough patch in their lives, and hearing your voice or receiving a simple text message may give them joy and could re-ignite the communications between you two.
4)) Genuinely Wants You to Succeed
If you’re a goal-oriented person that never gives up, you’re bound to experience some successes no matter how big or small they may be throughout your life.
As you may already be aware, are the haters, filled with jealousy and envy.
Being surrounded by people who really aren’t your friends can be dangerous because they secretly want to see you fail, and may even attempt to sabotage you every chance they get.
A friend does the opposite by encouraging you to blast through roadblocks and congratulates you when you succeed.
If the people you hang around with don’t conduct themselves in that manner, you’re dealing with associates and not friends.
So you must reclassify them immediately.
From time to time, we all could use a shoulder to cry on, and that’s the beauty of having real friends in your life.
Whether you’re sad, depressed, and going through those rough patches, a friend will always be there to provide you support.
No matter how talented you are, some of the challenges you face in life will require the assistance of others.
Remember, no man or woman is an island…
Meaning that, No One Is Self-Sufficient; Everyone Relies On Others. - John Donne
A friend will go out of their way to make sure you don’t go it alone.
Not only will a friend support you during your darkest hours, they’ll also be there to help you celebrate your successes.
You just learned 5 Ways To Tell If A Friendship Is Real. And now the next thing you need to do is apply what you’ve learned so that you can start attracting real friends into your life.
Life is just too short to settle for people that mistreat and exploit you for their own personal gain.
There’s a modern term used to describe friends that act like enemies, which is called Frenemies.
Unfortunately, these are the type of people most of us surround ourselves with and end up misclassifying them as friends.
You should think of these five ways as filters, which you could use to identify whether a person is an Associate, Frenemy, or friend.
The time you’ve known a person shouldn’t be the deciding factor on whether or not he or she is a friend.
The deciding factor should be based upon how they consistently treat you filtered through what I’ve shared with you in this article.
It’s not your job to train people how to treat you, because decency and being civilized should come naturally.
Why deal with folks that mistreat you?
Instead, seek out people that are genuinely nice, without it having to be forced or faked.
If someone in your life that you consider being a friend is bad for your health, I recommend either cutting that person out of your life or limit the amount of time you spend with him or her if you’re not strong enough permanently part ways.
There’s no need to complicate this.
Before I close out…
You must be certain that you’re being a good friend to others because this friendship thing goes both ways.
Keep in mind that you go to a relationship to give and not expect anything in return.
You don’t have to worry about being taken advantage of if you select the right people.
And the right people will naturally practice the “Law of Reciprocity” by returning the favor without you having to say a word.
Get out there and make some real friends!