Trusting people can be hard, especially if you’ve been hurt in the past. However, true friendships are worth the risk, but how do you know if somebody is really a friend?
Here are a few ways you can tell.
1. They respect your boundaries.
If you’ve told them “no” on something and they actually listen and don’t give you a hard time about it, then that’s a good sign. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re best friends, but it does mean that your friend is a decent person.
Respect is the foundation of any good relationship. If there’s no respect, then the relationship will never evolve past acquaintances. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your safety, security, or morals for a friend.
2. They’re honest.
Often, a comfortable lie is easier than a painful truth. But real friends will be honest with you even when the truth hurts. Most importantly, a true friend won’t use those uncomfortable truths to tear you down.
Their goal is to help you improve yourself, not to win an argument. It can be hard to tell the difference in the moment because the truth can feel like a personal attack but take some time to step back and think. If they’re able to accept honesty as well as give it, that’s a great sign that they value the relationship.
3. They’re present in bad times as well as the good.
When you’re down on your luck and your friends still make an effort to see you, that’s when you know that they’re the real deal. It’s easy to leave people behind when a relationship involves work or isn’t all fun and games. Somebody who truly values you as a person will weather the storm.
Sometimes, people do need a break. They can’t always help with every situation. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t value you. But if they still support you, even from a far distance, that says a lot about their character.
4. They feel like family.
It’s rare to find people outside your family with whom you can let your guard down. If you’re an introvert, even being around people you really like can be draining. But there are some people in the world who give you energy instead of taking it. Those people, regardless of DNA, are your family. One of the most rewarding parts of life is finding these people. Even if you drift apart, you can pick right back up where you left off the next time you meet. And even when they’re far away, knowing they’re out there still makes the world feel a bit easier to deal with.
Trusting others is risky, but finding a true friend is worth the risk. It’s easy to fall into the trap of doubting whether our friends are true and wondering if they’re merely tolerating us, but somebody who is willing to be by your side even when it’s not all fun and games is certainly not pretending. The love of a friend is strong and can’t be easily broken.