It’s a good question, isn’t it? What is a good friend? Is it someone who buys you chocolates when you feel sad or perhaps it’s someone who always wants to talk to you and seek your advice? Is it that one person in the world who never judges you regardless of what you tell them? Do they reply to your texts or answer the phone before it’s even dialed for a second? In truth they are all of these. They are the people you can turn to when the world falls apart around you. They are the people who will always know just what you need, whether it’s a bag of crisps, a chocolate or a stern lecture. I am blessed to say I have people like this in my life, they are more family (in fact I refer to them as ‘blood’) that’s how close they are to me.
When a person walks into your house and shouts at you for not having cheese, then you know they’re blood and no longer friends. Then there are just people you meet on the spot and know that they are kindred spirits. These are the people who become some of your closest friends and may even become family to you. We all have these people that we like on the spot. Those are the people who will always stay with you, even if they stay far away.
Then you get people who flit in and out of your life, leaving a lasting impression on your soul. They may have said only a single word of encouragement or seen something perhaps no one else had. These people will never be your friends, but their words will never leave you.
I could look at what leading scientists and psychologists say about how relationships affect us. For now, let’s just look at how to distinguish between a user and a forever friend. The following traits may help you see whether that one friend is worth keeping or leaving before you get involved with them. Sometimes we don’t always see them straight away and may even feel like we are helping them, but you aren’t and they will only drain you and make you feel unhappy. Don’t feel guilty, these traits may lead to toxic relationships and end up destroying both of you.
These are the signs that you need to watch out for:
- The relationship is always one-sided. All relationships require quid pro quo.
- The relationship is mentally and emotionally draining, often including or creating drama.
- These people always talk about what they are going through and never return the favour when you need to talk about what’s going on in your life. This often shows little to no empathy on their part.
- The relationship can often make you feel down as these people may do or say things to degrade you or make you feel inferior.
- These people may feel like they have to be better or the same as you, even to the point of competing with you in everything you do.
- They can often copy or become very jealous of you, this is a very dangerous thing as it may lead to an obsession.
- You never do what you want to do, instead you find yourself doing what makes them happy
- You friend may lie or gossip about you.
There are ways to get out of a relationship like this. You can start by distancing yourself from them, treating it like a break-up and, as hard as it is, you have to move on.
Now that we have seen the signs of a toxic relationship, let’s look at what a good friendship looks like:
- They have your best interests at heart, even when you don’t see it straightaway.
- They respect you and consider you before themselves.
- You love to be around them regardless of what you are doing or where you are going
- They tell you how it is, regardless of whether or not you want to hear it. At the end of the day, you will love them for it.
- They are your rock when life gets crazy and never expect anything in return.
- They love and forgive you unconditionally, showing you how to be better than you are.
- They see the good in you, even if you don’t, and help you see it, too.
- They make the time to really listen to you.
These are the people you want to hold on to. They are the ones who make your friendship a priority. Ofcourse, people get busy and the friends you had in school won’t always be able to stick around, but putting in the effort means all the world to you. I have one such friend, who makes the time to visit all her friends at least once a month. People like that are the ones I hope to have until the day I die. A good friend is a jewel no amount of money can ever hope to purchase. Hang on to these people, but most importantly, to have a good friend you need to be one. If you saw that you matched any of the negative criteria here make sure you make it right with your friends before you lose them forever.
To all my dear avidReaders. I love you and I know I’ve been quiet lately. I apologize for that. I will try to write more regularly for you.
God bless all of you! 🙂