Trying to navigate friendship can be overwhelming. Forming real bonds proves challenging, even though, nowadays, meeting new people is easier than ever. People seem to be more cautious about opening up, are less emotionally available, or prefer to keep things to a superficial level.
Life is an act you can play alone, but friends make it more exciting and fun. Real friends are the salt and pepper of life, but what characteristics make a true friend?
More or less, everyone has felt the benefits of having a great friend. Some have also felt the misfortune of investing their feelings in the wrong person. These experiences, however positive or negative, help you realize the qualities you look for in a friend.
Find out about the characteristics of a true friend and some tips on how to actually find one.
11 Characteristics Of A True Friend
They Are Trustworthy
Trustworthiness is a key characteristic of a true friend. Have you noticed that a person you cannot trust can never warm up to you? Trust is the foundation for every healthy relationship of any kind. Friendship is no different.
A true friend is someone whose loyalty is undeniable. They can keep secrets and will not let a word slip without your permission. Trustworthiness provides you with the emotional safety you need to let your unbridled self show.
They Are Honest
Honesty helps friendship bloom. A true friend is someone you can always count on to tell you the truth. They approach you with honest intentions and truthful words.
They do not shy away from speaking their minds when something goes wrong. They do not dress their words in flattery and are eager to give you their honest opinion. You always witness their most raw version, be it positive or negative.
They Are Dependable
Among the characteristics of a true friend, dependability is easily one of the most important. You expect a friend to be accountable and keep their promises. They should be someone you know you can count on.
Find a person who will be there to hold your hand through thin and thick. Everyone is a “friend” when you are on top of your game because you can give back to them. But a true friend does not bail when tough times hit. They remain by your side to support and uplift you without expecting anything in return.
They Know Their Self-Worth
Friendship should be forged on equal terms. Therefore, feeling inferior or superior to someone creates imbalances in the relationship. A person who knows their self-worth will not stand being belittled, nor will they mistreat others. A true friend will not seek to reduce your value to boost their self-esteem. Nor will they demand constant attention. Find someone who values their worth just as much as they value yours.
They Are Giving And Caring
Some people take too much but give back too little. Being friends with these people drains your energy and leaves your emotional needs unsatisfied. Of course, friendship is not a trade. There isn’t a measure of how much you give or get.
But a true friend will know how to care for you without being asked. They will consider your needs and not only prioritize themselves. They will invest in the relationship just as you will.
They Are Not Critical
A true friend can accept you as you are, flaws included. They will not expect you to change to love you. They will not criticize but only offer their honest opinion in a non-judgmental way when asked.
Criticism can take different forms. It can be upright mean comments or concealed words of judgment that fall under the radar. Constantly feeling under the microscope will lift your walls and force you to be cautious and self-protective. And when you do not bring your authentic self into a relationship, it is meant to wither.
Friends do not drive you to build a fort around you. Find someone that will create a safe space for you to express yourself freely.
They Are Emotionally Intelligent
Emotionally intelligent people make great friends. They are willing to lend an ear and try to understand how you feel. Empathy is a bonus characteristic. Empaths can pick up your moods and put themselves in your shoes.
Emotionally intelligent friends don’t shy away from communicating the way they feel. They express their emotional needs and can better understand yours. They are also less likely to be emotionally dependent and know how to set and respect boundaries.
They Make Friendship Look Easy
Good friends are the ones you don’t have to try too hard to be friends with. Existing in each other’s lives does not demand great effort, thus maintaining the relationship comes naturally. For example, you will not have to worry that not texting them back for a couple of hours will cause a misunderstanding.
On the other hand, true friends do not hold grudges and sacrifice their egoism to make things work. A real friend is willing to listen to your side of view and recede when their arguments can’t match yours. This way, fallouts are resolved without scarring the relationship.
They Prioritize Your Friendship
When everyday work is piling up, it can be challenging to maintain a relationship. A true friend is someone who considers your relationship a priority. They might go out of their way to include you in their lives. They will make time and space for you. For example, they will pick up the phone to check on you and care to make plans with you.
They Seek Personal Growth
Always seek to include in your life people who inspire you. Fruitful relationships evolve you, whereas not-so-great ones allow you to remain stagnant. Find a friend with a growth mindset. Someone who believes in our potential to constantly better ourselves.
A true friend will motivate you to work for your improvement. They may encourage you to seek what is best for you, or their presence in your life will be the catalyst.
They Make You Feel Good
At the end of the day, a good friendship makes you feel good. Humans are imperfect by default, and so are human relationships. There will be positive and negative moments. But a true friend is someone with whom time is time well spent.
Humor is one of the vital characteristics of a true friend. Whenever you hang out, good laughs are guaranteed. A true friend will make you smile, be part of your happiness and sadness, and create a safe environment to express yourself.
4 Tips To Find A True Friend
Go Out There
More or less, everyone has been hurt by a friendship that has not worked out. But that should not discourage you from engaging in new relationships. A true friend is not going to land on your doorstep. Go out there, meet new people, and dare to allow people into your life.
You must bring your authentic self to the game to build friendships based on honesty and trust. We become insecure about people not liking us for who we are. But a true friend is a person who will see you as you are and like you anyway.
Be Clear About What You Are Looking For
First and foremost, you must be honest about what you want from a friend. Make a list of what you are looking for in a non-romantic partner. What are you looking for in the other party? What are things you are not willing to compromise on?
Be A Good Friend
You cannot expect others to tick all your boxes but give nothing in return. You will have to meet your friends halfway. You will need to make equal efforts to be a true friend to them. Communicate with your loved ones and understand what they need. To forge better relationships, you must bring forth your better self.
Conclusion Of Characteristics Of A True Friend
Now that you know the 11 characteristics of a true friend, you will be able to recognize them in the people around you and how to be a true friend yourself. This will help you improve your current friendships or find new friends that will give you the deep connections we’re all looking for.