Anyone who brings Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough to my door is what I’d call a keeper. If there’s anything that says, “I care about you deeply,” it’s a big tub of ice cream, right? Well, unless you’re lactose intolerant or vegan, of course. Then I’d expect a tasty alternative would be brought over instead, like a dairy-free pizza or something. Anyway, you get my drift.
Most of us go through life calling someone our best friend. Maybe that’s because they write unprompted heartfelt letters to cheer us up when we’re down. It may be the fact that they randomly bake us cakes just because they know we can’t cook for toffee but have been craving a slice of banana bread all week. Or maybe it’s because they’re the one who’s always at the top of our mailing list on messenger, for when there’s something important to share, they’re obviously the first port of call. But perhaps it’s also something even greater than that?
A true friendship runs deeply, so to know that it’s worth such merit means that there must be something very special between both people involved. Aside from the superficial, the vital ability to share with them parts of your identity that are otherwise hidden from others is a major factor. That, whatever crazy thing it is you have to say, you know that your friend understands you and that you understand them. And that no matter what happens to try and challenge that implicit code of understanding, there is nothing and no one that can break it.
So, to know what makes someone a true friend, here are 10 signs that show you’ve found one.
- They’re Wholeheartedly Honest – It may not always be the answer you want to hear, but you value that it’s the truth. Imagine if they’d not told you that, “Yes, your butt does look big in that” and then you’d gone to that important business meeting dressed like a hippo stuck in a pipe. You’d never live it down. Thankfully though, you have an honest friend on your side and they’re ready to give you their opinion when you need it. Big or small, important or insignificant, they’ll tell you the truth, and they’ll do it in a way that will make you feel at ease. You might even laugh at your own silliness for thinking that was a wise choice in the first place. Whatever the situation, they’ll tell you what you need to hear.
- You Trust Each Other Completely – Loyalty, honesty and respect are the major pillars needed to construct the trust triangle. Each one plays a part in knowing where you both stand in your relationship, and if one of them goes, they all go. Therefore, it goes without saying that when the trust is complete with someone, so is the friendship. A trusting relationship means you can share anything and everything together. There are no fears of judgement or betrayal – you know that they always say what they mean and mean what they say because everything they say they are and will do is proven with undeniable action. Thus, once you’re certain you have this with someone, you’ll know you’ve found a friend for life.
- They Support You – From things as big as your creative passions to things as small as your sense of style, a true friend has got your back. Everyone wants to be able to be at ease with their identity, so having a friend that encourages you to be the best of all that you are shows real support. They want to guide you in the right direction so that you can achieve all the things you deserve, they strive to remind you to never give up when the going gets tough and ultimately, they do it for no other reason than because they believe in you and want to see you happy. Friends like this are like gold-dust, so make sure they know how much you appreciate them by doing the same in return.
- They Remember the Little Things – Others may not see those little pieces of information as important, but a good friend certainly does. They remember you telling them that horror story about the dentist as a child, so they offer to go with you to your latest check-up. When they invite you over for dinner, they already know that you hate cheese but love chicken, so always cook you your favourite. And even if they’re not with you, they’ll see something that reminds them of you and want to share it with you later. True friends hear the words you don’t say as well as the ones you do. They can read between the lines because they’re interested in you as a person. For this reason, those who genuinely care will always make that conscious effort.
- Helping One Another Goes Without Asking – Modern-day living can be pretty hectic at times, and handling all the things it throws at you isn’t always easy. You sometimes end up spreading yourself so thin that you become flat. Therefore, having a bit of support really does go a long way. True friends will hear that you’re saying you’re snowed under and think of a way to help. They won’t wait for you to ask, they’ll just do it. They’ll knock on your door armed with a bottle of pop, some of your favourite music and a pair of arms willing to help you finish painting your lounge. Or they’ll call you up and let you know their ideas on how to fix that problem at work. Whatever the case, a good friend will always be there for you however they can be, no excuses.
- They Know The Perfect Way to Cheer You Up – No friend likes to see one another struggle. One of the main aims between friends is to turn that frown upside down! So, using a little bit of wisdom gathered from their time in getting to know you, they’ll concoct the perfect idea on how to make you smile again. Depending on what you like and the circumstances involved, a true friend will do their damndest to work out a way to help. It could be anything from offering an ear to bend right to organising a surprise party. Regardless of what it is, when it comes to restoring your happiness, no mission is too big or too small for a true friend.
- Respect is a Constant – As mentioned in the trust triangle, respect is one of the key pillars in holding it all together. Respect between friends builds a solid unity. A good friend will keep their promises, they’ll always aim to help you as best they can and if any issues ever arise between you then they’ll seek to fix it in a calm and reasonable way. At the end of the day, a true friend doesn’t want to fight you and they won’t ever set out to hurt you intentionally. However, no matter how amazing they are, people do make mistakes and miscommunication can cause an issue. But if the respect between you is true, then there is no doubt that you will both be able (and willing) to sort things out in a heartbeat.
- They Go The Extra Mile – As if this person isn’t already amazing enough, they then go above and beyond the standard expectations of friendship and surprise you in ways you never could’ve imagined. From little treats to kind notes, everything they do is crafted with care, and it is this dedication that signifies how special they really are. To find someone who possesses such a thoughtful disposition is definitely a rare gem, and it’s one I highly recommend you treasure.
- Distance Doesn’t Matter – When people care about one another, distance is irrelevant. True friendship has no boundaries. So while long distances can be a pain, they’re also quite indicative of devotion to the friendship. No matter how far away you may be, if you genuinely care about another person, you’ll keep in touch. By all means, no one says that you have to be joined at the hip for the relationship to be maintained, but it does require contact. Come what may, a true friend will always give you that, whatever space lies between you.
- Time is Something They’ll Always Make For You – By the same token, a true friend will also always give you their time. Time is precious – it can’t be made back. So when someone puts their world aside so that they can help you with yours, know that they care about you deeply. Obviously, it is not always possible to give someone every minute of every day, and in all honesty, a true friend wouldn’t expect that. They understand that life gets in the way sometimes and that there are just some things you can’t get out of. But for every occasion in-between, they do their best to put you first. Because it’s not about the quantity of time they give, but the quality.
In conclusion, a true friend is someone who knows the values you hold deep inside and can combine them with those on the surface, applying them both to each and every new situation you face in order to create the best outcome for you. What is more, they’ll do so without judgement of you or benefit to themselves. And that is due to the fact that they are a genuine, sincere and incredible human being who loves the bones of you (and you of them)
So grab two spoons for that tub of Ben & Jerry’s, because your forever friend deserves a big scoop of that delicious ice cream, too.
“Happiness is grown where the seeds of friendship are planted.” – Sacha Kurucz