Is a Facebook friend a real friend? Does a Twitter follow count as friendship? Has your BFF from college stayed loyal over the years since graduation? Real friendship is not about “Likes” and “Follows”. It’s not about “being there” when it’s convenient to be. A real friendship involves people who are there for each other in good times, and who are supportive in times of need.
They have your back, and you have theirs. They don’t get jealous of your other relationships, and they don’t discard you for a new romance. They don’t envy your success, and they appreciate that you’re happy for theirs. They care enough to honestly tell you when you screw up, and they listen when you warn them of their own mistakes. They’re loyal and expect loyalty – as well as deserving of it.
Having said all of that about what a real friendship is about, it makes one wonder if such a friendship is possible today. It seems like people are either too busy, or think they are, to commit to a real friendship these days. Or, perhaps they haven’t been taught what it means to be a friend, which is sad.
Then again, you may never have been taught what you should expect from a friend. If that’s true, it’s time to get a clue.
What is a Real Friend?
A real friend is:
- Someone who likes you – and you like them. Seems pretty obvious but, lives diverge and people change. Just because someone has been around “forever”, doesn’t mean you still have things in common. If you feel your friendship has become stale, or if you no longer feel any particular affection for the individual you call friend, it’s probably time to accept that the friendship is over.
- Never too busy – to be there for you. Regardless of what is going on in their own life, a real friend will be there when needed. They set aside their own immediate needs to be supportive. Friends will make each other a priority, and will be there when the other is in need, as often and as fully as you are there for them.
- Forgiving of differences – and does not hold a grudge. Differences of opinion are normal, even between besties. While you’ll never agree on everything, you should be able to feel that basically, you and your friend see eye-to-eye most of the time, and that you can handle disagreements when they do arise.
- Loyal to you – almost to a fault. Friends don’t “talk s*#t” about each other behind each other’s backs. While we may not always get along perfectly with even our best friends, they should, on balance, be kind, thoughtful, and considerate of your feelings; as you should be of theirs.
- An equal partner – in the friendship. One-sided relationships (of any type) are ultimately harmful. For example, a narcissistic person thinks they’re the center of the world. If your friend always needs to be the focus of attention, and never asks you about your day or what’s going on in your life when you spend time together, you’re likely dealing with a narcissist. At the very least, they clearly don’t value your company and you should probably move on.
You Have to Be a Good Friend Too
Human beings are by nature self-interested, and that’s OK. As long as that self-interest is reasonable and includes you as someone they value in their life, you can be friends. Of course, that’s a two-way street so, it’s incumbent on you to be committed to the requirements of a real friendship, as well.
What do you think real friendship includes? Have you lost friends because they lacked one of the above traits? Share your thoughts below in the Comments Section.