10 ways to know your real friends.

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Look at this list of real friend signs to know who your real friends are:

1. They are with you in good times and bad.
infographic of signs of Fake Friends2It’s easy to be a friend when things are going well and life is easy.

But it’s during the times when life is hard and things aren’t going so well for you that you really need a friend.

A true friend doesn’t disappear when the going gets rough.

When you are suffering through a divorce or break-up, struggling financially, or dealing with a health challenge, a real friend will be right by your side, offering a listening ear and loving support.

2. They want you to succeed and be happy.
Have you ever had a friend who seems jealous or dismissive of your success or happiness?

Maybe you’ve found a new romantic partner, and you’re wildly happy. But your friend doesn’t share your enthusiasm and finds a way to make passive remarks that are critical and hurtful.

Or you’ve had a recent promotion at work, but your friend diminishes your achievements by ignoring them or putting you down for bragging.

A real friend is authentically happy when you are happy and successful. He or she celebrates with you and is proud of you.

If there is a twinge of jealousy or envy about your good fortune, a real friend makes an effort to keep those feelings from spoiling your joy.

3. They are quick to forgive and forget.
We all say or do things with our friends from time to time that can be thoughtless or hurtful. Maybe we forget to call as promised or make a remark that is less than kind.

Some friends can’t seem to let these things go, even after a sincere apology is offered. They frequently bring up the offense and use it as a weapon to hurt you or make you feel bad.

Maybe they try to use it as leverage to gain the “upper hand” in the friendship and manipulate you.

A real friend is quick to accept your apology and willing to move on without dousing you with guilt or shaming. A real friend wants to heal the connection, especially when you have apologized sincerely.

4. They respect your opinions, even if they don’t share them.
In the past year, I’ve observed how the political climate has torn apart the friendships of some people around me. One or both people are so entrenched in their beliefs that they can no longer talk civilly with each other.

You may have had friends yourself who want to impose their beliefs or opinions on you. If you don’t agree with them, they get angry, frustrated, or critical.

A true friend is able to rise above a difference of opinion in order to preserve the friendship. They are willing to listen and respond respectfully without making personal judgments or attacks.

5. They listen and show interest in you.
Some friends seem oblivious to your moods or state of mind. If you talk about something that’s bothering you, they deflect the conversation to themselves or something unrelated.

They seem too distracted, disinterested, or self-involved to take the time to listen empathically and really understand you.

A real friend wants to go beyond superficial conversation and meaningless chit-chat. They invest the time to listen attentively and become more engaged in your inner life.

They care about who you are and want to know you on a deeper level.

6. They make an equal effort to connect.
Are you often the one in a friendship who is always initiating?

You always make the call to plan a dinner or outing. You make yourself available to your friend, but your friend doesn’t prioritize you the same way.

This uneven balance of effort in the friendship is draining and frustrating. Over time, it makes you feel disrespected and unloved by your friend.

A real friend invests equal time and energy into maintaining the relationship. He or she initiates plans, reaches out to talk, and shows a similar willingness to prioritize the friendship.

7. They love you in spite of your flaws.
We all have our little quirks and flaws. Maybe we talk too much, laugh too loudly, or sing off key.

Some friends latch on to these flaws and try to embarrass or shame us about them. Or they seem irritated or embarrassed, believing our quirks reflect poorly on them.

A friend who truly cares about you can overlook these flaws, knowing that they don’t represent the entirety of who you are. They love and care for the real you and can accept that we all come with baggage and blemishes.

8. They are loyal and trustworthy.
There’s nothing worse than a friend who breaks your trust. They gossip about you, sharing your personal information or confidences when you’ve asked them not to.

They don’t stand up for you in front of others, or they fail to follow through on promises or commitments.

A real friendship must be grounded in trust and loyalty. You need to have faith that your friend will never betray your trust, talk behind your back, or diminish you in front of others.

9. They are non-judgmental.
We’ve all done stupid things or made poor decisions in life, and the last thing we need during these times are friends who say, “I told you so,” or who remind us how stupid we’ve been.

A real friend has a way of helping us through these times without shame or judgment. They will give us a hug, help us get back on solid footing, and laugh with us about it when it’s all over.

They know our true essence and have faith in us that we will get back on track and do better next time.

10. They are fun to be around.
Have you had those friends who are draining to be around? They complain frequently, never seem excited about anything, and always seem to spoil the good mood of everyone around them.

Some people aren’t happy until they infect everyone else with their sour mood or unpleasant attitude. They enjoy stirring the pot and creating conflict.

A real friend lifts you up and wants to enjoy life with you. This friend generally has a positive attitude, is quick to laugh, and makes you feel good just to be around him or her.


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