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friends.  we all have them, and we all have different kinds.  and i think it's safe to say that we are all friends with certain people for very specific reasons.  but at the end of the day, the friends in our lives that matter most, are the ones that are genuine.  it can be so hard at times get sucked into what i consider the black hole of popularity.  often times, i think we measure our value as a person by the number of "friends" we have and end up loosing ourselves in the process.  i totally used to be one of them.  but it wasn't until i met people like sarah tyau, one of my dearest and truest of friends who has taught me a lot, that i came to realize it is the quality of of our friendships that matters.  not the quantity.  



sure you can be nice and friendly to everyone you know.  in fact, i encourage it!  but, only invest your full energies on people who do the same for you.  and trust me, the more you think about this, the more you will easily be able to decipher the quality of the people you have surrounded yourself with.

so, how do you do that?  how do you determine a good friend from a not so good one?  frankly, i think there are a lot of ways to do that.  but i think there are a few tried and truth methods that really help us gals find our truest of friends.  

So, I give you...


how to recognize true friends




1) warm fuzzies (aka good feelings) are the main priority

think of all the friends you have and how they make you feel when you are around them.  heck, you could even do this with the good old list strategy!  really whatever floats your boat.  but seriously, think about how each friend makes you feel about yourself and life in general.  are they more concerned with building themselves up or those around them?

 if you don't always leave each friend with a bunch of warm fuzzies, then maybe you shouldn't be spending as much time with these people.  

life is already hard and depressing enough as it is.  so why surround yourself with people who exemplify that even more?  true, nobody is perfect.  and there will be times when we disagree and have misunderstandings with our friends.  which leads into my second tip.

2) disagreements and misunderstanding are handled in a classy manner

life is one big learning phase.  and because of that, there will be times when we make mistakes and don't see eye-to-eye with those that we know and are friends with.  and as much as we would all like to avoid those uncomfortable moments, we can't.  

so, in those moments when we or the person we are friends with has been at fault think about how the situation went down. 

 did they take the time to listen to your side of the story, or were they solely focused on just making sure their's was heard?

if they were at fault for anything, did they own it and apologize for it?

did they work things out with yelling and demeaning words?  or did they do their best to be patient with the situation at hand?

when you approached them to work something out, did they completely avoid talking to you; acting as if you didn't even exist?  or did they show a willingness to try and work things out.

the list could go on an on.  but at the end of the day, the main focus is on if they can handle the sticky situations we sometimes face in friendships.

3) loyalty is key

as you think about your various friendships, have you ever thought about where your friends' loyalty stands?  to me, this is a big one.  

do you want friends that are nice to you to your face but aren't afraid to be mean to you behind your back?  i doubt it.  and one way to be a good judge of this is how they other people they are friends with.  if they are continuously nice in person to those around them, but not afraid to say negative things about them when they aren't there.  then, there is a huge possibility that they are doing the same thing to you.

4)  time matters

true friends make time for you.  simple as that.  if you find that you are putting more time and effort into your friendship, then you know where your friend's priorities really stand.  life is busy.  especially for those of us with kids. but if your friend is always too busy to hang out, or always expects you to work your schedule around theirs, then leave the ball in their court and focus your precious time and energy on a friend who does the same for you.  

if the time comes when this busy friend finally reaches out to you to do something, willing to make anything work to hang out, then you can decide and determine how you want to go about things from there.  

5) honesty is the best policy

how good are your friends at keeping their word?  do they follow through on any commitments and promises they make, or do they constantly drop they ball and make up excuses?

true friends stick to their word.  and if a time comes when they don't completely follow through on something, they find a way to quickly make-up for their mistake.  if the people you're friends aren't doing this, and you find you are upholding a bigger majority of the commitments, then they aren't your true friends; because true friendships consist of equality.

6) actions speak louder than words

think about your friends and why you are friends with them.  are these people friends with you because they value you as a person.  or, are they friends with you for their own personal gain?  i think this can be one of the hardest things to figure out.  but a good way to do it is by recognizing how and when these people want to hang out with you.  if they cancel plans the two of you have made because something better has come along or if they are constantly wanting something specific from you, then i think it is safe to say that these people are more like leeches then friends.  Getting from you what they want and then moving on when they get their fill.


7) instincts are a fabulous tool

instincts.  we all have them and can use them to our great advantage when we are trying to decipher a who are true friends are.  if you ever feel uncomfortable or unsettled about a certain relationship you have with someone, then listen to those instincts and tread cautiously with those particular friends.  by doing so, you can save yourself a lot of heart ache and disappointment in the future and spend more time searching out those true friends that we all long to have.

******

golly, i could seriously go on an on about this.  but to keep this post from becoming a novel, i'll stop here and leave you with the meaty pieces.  

i will say this though...friendships are hard.  and i think they are especially hard for us girls because there are so many more complex elements and feelings involved.  which can be a very good thing!  but, it can also get the way and cloud our judgement when it comes to recognizing who our true friends are.

so, remember...it's all about the quality.  not the quantity.  when you take the time to acquire a good handful of true friends, your life will be more full and blessed.  trust me.

and don't forget...

in order to have true friends, you have to BE one too! 











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