What Makes a Friend

Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/@rawpixel

Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/@rawpixel

I don’t use the word “friend” casually.

I’d rather have a handful—just three or four—true friends than multitudinous people with whom I spend time but on whom I could never rely.

Cultivating my friendships and finding new people to add to the mix has ranked as one of my goals in recent years. Given work demands and trying to find time for current friends and family, nurturing new relationships can prove difficult.

Yet I’ve made an effort. Under a lot of stress and pressure recently, I reached out to a few acquaintances for a vent session. I explained that I needed a kind ear.

A couple people didn’t bother to respond.

Good to know and time saved: I didn't want to get to know these two people better, after all.

What makes a real friend?

  • No matter our backgrounds or tendencies, true friends find common space when it comes to perspectives and activities. (Otherwise, when would we see each other and about what would we talk?)

  • True friends can show each other all their facets—not just their “safe for the world” facades.

  • A real friend will listen when you talk, won’t judge you for what you have to say, and will console and guide you when you need it. Also, she’ll find the right way to tell you the hard things you need to hear.

  • And friends don’t gossip.

  • No matter how busy life gets, friends make time for friends. Maybe they can't connect as frequently as they'd like, but they get together, call, and write when they can.

  • And when you really need her, no matter what else she has underway, a friend shows up. When you say, “I need help,” a friend rises to the occasion.

To you, what makes a friend?