Signs of a True Friend by Alana Jackson

Choose your friends wisely because not everyone is designed to be your companion.

Choose your friends wisely because not everyone is designed to be your companion.

True friendship is one of the most intimate connections one can attain. Friendship is not just a Saturday morning shopping partner or even a matinee and brunch date, but friendship is a multi-layered recipe containing trust, communication, understanding, support, loyalty, and plenty of love. Friendship is: home after an extended vacation, a nap after a long days work; it is a comfortable situation and relief from the outside world. Are you someone’s relief and how do you know who’s a true friend?

Over time, people change, life changes and with change comes progression. Make sure you progress. Choose your friends wisely because not everyone is designed to be your companion. This will ensure your optimum growth. Here are some tips you may use to assess your friendships.

Do they build you up or tear you down?

  • Do you ever find you or your friends using humor to put each other down? If done excessively, negative humor can deteriorate your relationship by causing feelings of resentment and defensiveness. Check your conversation – do you speak things that edify or degrade?

Do you friends tell you the whole truth or “sugar-coat” things so they are easier to digest?

  • You do your friends a disservice by refraining from the whole truth. Truth parallels the key to an unlocked door and the whole story will allow the friend to make a well informed decision. Honesty is the key to a successful relationship.

Would they do for you what you do for them?

  • Friends are equal. Respect is pertinent in all relationships and the duty of a friend is to be non-discriminatory. If you are the only one actively participating in the friendship stop and ask yourself “Will I remain stagnant because of this connection?” If there is no progress there is no point to the relationship.

Steer clear of toxic friends.

Toxic friends are: Egomaniacs, Control Freaks, Betrayers, Leaners, and Judges. These types of friends have one thing in common they are self-indulged.

The Egomaniacs are so focused on themselves that the friend’s needs are neglected.

Control Freaks can be manipulative and you may find yourself always doing what they want to do. Remember your desires are just as important.

Betrayers do not have a sense of loyalty and duty because they protect only themselves. Betrayal is blatant disregard for guarding or maintaining the expectations of another’s trust. This is a dangerous character trait; they cannot be trusted.

Leaners are those who always have an issue or a problem that warrants immediate attention. They are dependant; everyone else is responsible for answering their questions and solving their crisis.

The Judger is quick to criticize and slow to listen; their opinion is golden and anyone who disagrees is dead wrong.

A healthy solution to ridding yourself of toxic situations is by setting boundaries for your friendships. This avoids dependency and manipulation. Remember, they are limits not rejection! Know what your limits are.

Take time to consider the source of your aggravation and decide what you will tolerate and what is absolutely unacceptable. Stick to your boundaries. For example you may have a friend who never manages their money wisely and you always cover their lack. Tell them, “I can’t give you any additional funds – until you pay me back in full.” This keeps your friend from being dependant. Again, this is not rejection. You are setting boundaries to protect not only yourself but to help your friend be a better person; you are expressing love and not desertion.

“A friendship or any other relationship fails because of three things: unexpressed expectations; undelivered communication; and/or thwarted attention,” says Dallas psychotherapist, Bob Carver.

Be sure you and your friends are clear about what you expect; communicate truthfully and lovingly and give your friendships the attention they deserve.


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