Life’s situations have a way of showing us who our real friends are. Whether we go through a period of injury or illness, are facing career challenges, or simply keep growing and changing, we realize who we are and who is standing next to us in life.
A real friend is someone who offers support, friendship, truth, and the freedom to be yourself within the framework of that relationship. Friends can go months without talking to each other, only to pick up right where they left off again. Some friends live around the world from each other, while others live in close proximity and take advantage of their space to spend time with one another.
Real friends love you no matter what. They stand by you with the knowledge that you will stand by them through the good and the bad times.
Here are a few things to think about when asking yourself which of your friends are in it for the long haul, and which are not.
- Is it all about them? If your friend only calls you when they need something or always talks about themselves, it’s not an equal friendship. We all go through periods in our life where we need to focus on ourselves, but this time should be mitigated between the two of you. There should be support for one another in the framework of your friendship without one person relying on the other one entirely for advice, assistance, or as a sounding board for all their problems.
- Do you always initiate the interactions between you and your friends? Unfortunately, some friends seem to be incredibly difficult to get a hold of, and you might feel like you are constantly pursuing them for a conversation, a hangout, or any indication that they remember you exist. A true friend will make time for you because they enjoy being around you and catching up with your life. If you find yourself growing tired of constantly reaching out to your so-called friends and getting little enthusiasm back, reconsider your friendship. It may not have been that strong in the first place.
- Do you feel criticized and attacked in your friendship? Real friends don’t hesitate to speak the truth into your life. They are honest, and sometimes this honesty comes across as harsh or blunt. However, your real friends want what is best for you no matter what. If you feel like you are constantly the brunt of your friend’s jokes, sarcasm, or criticism, consider why you are still engaging in that friendship.
In the end, it doesn’t matter how many friends you have, but rather how many quality friends you can surround yourself with. Just a few friends can provide the support and fun you need to keep your friendship going for many years to come.
Part of decluttering your life is decluttering the superficial relationships that you have surrounded yourself with. We all have friends we may not quite feel like ourselves around, and these friends can deplete our energy, make us feel small, and decrease our self-esteem. Do what you need to do to surround yourself with people who love and support you, no matter what.