Finding a real friendship is hard. Many times it feels superficial or one-sided. There are a lot of people out there who will only take and never give. When it comes to real friends, you want someone who gives more than they receive; someone you can rely on. On the flip side, you also want to be the best friend you can be so you don’t lose those great friends you already have. Here are some tips about what qualities make real friends.
- Be yourself because no one enjoys bait and swap. Don’t do it to a date, potential date, or friends.
- Don’t hold unrealistic expectations about how your friends should be. High expectations of people you don’t know will always leave people falling short.
- Don’t lie, even by omission – be really real. Being lied to is one of the worst feelings in the world. Lying by omission doesn’t count as lying, but it still feels like betrayal when the truth comes out. And the truth always comes out, sooner or later.
- Don’t judge your friends by their choices. There are many decisions and lifestyles that people make that friends will not agree with, but real friends will still support them through the trials of that choice.
- Be loyal and respect your friends because they deserve it. It is never okay to gossip about your friends. You should also defend your friend if someone else is gossiping about them. You would want your friend to do the same about you.
- Don’t argue and forgive your friend. Everyone makes mistakes. You make mistakes, your friends make mistakes, even those that seem perfect make mistakes. Instead of holding grudges or keeping score, a real friend will forgive a mistake.
- Be there for your friends, at their best and their worst. You always have friends when things are great, but many of them seem to disappear when things get rough. Be reliable for your friends by being there for them when they are at their worst, because you would want them to be there for you. However, set the parameters NOW that if you can’t be there for them ALL the time or most of the time. Also, make it clear you are NOT going to bail them out of jail.
- Find time and stick to common interests. Everyone has more fun when everyone can relate to hang out spots. If they want to do something that isn’t on your favorite list, compromise a bit and agree to one day for them and one day for you.
Keep things 50/50. No one wants to be ignored while your friend only talks about themselves 24/7.
- Make an effort. Just like any relationship, it takes an effort on both sides to keep the relationship strong. There are those rare friendships where you can pick up where you left off years later, but that isn’t true for everyone.
- No negativity zone. Everyday life can be difficult and being negative all the time can wear down friendships. There should always be a positive area and people in your life where you can de-stress. That’s what friends are for.
- Remain independent and boundaries. Even though you want your friends to be there for you when you need them, you shouldn’t rely on them for everything. It’s healthy to be able to handle some things on your own, but not everything. Find a sweet halfway point between totally independent and totally dependent.