Do you already know who your real friends are? You are lucky enough to have a real friend and you know exactly what it feels like to have one. A real friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is. And most importantly, a real friend would never stab you in the back (or whisper about you when you are not around).
Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a person has your best interest at heart. You may think that someone is a closer friend than they actually are. So how can you separate the cocktail companions from the people you should keep around for the long haul? Here are some red flags to look out for when deciding if someone is a real friend or not:
It’s All About Them
You know the type. When you have a problem and talk to them about it, they comment briefly and nod their head here and there, but you can tell they’re waiting for you to hurry up and finish so they can talk about themselves. Now, we can all be a bit self-centered from time to time, especially if we are going through a crisis like planning a wedding or expecting a child, etc., but a real friend cares about what’s going on in your life too. They support you and are there for you emotionally. A self-absorbed friendbarely listens to you and won’t be there for your in your hour of need. Honestly, they aren’t that invested in your friendship and you shouldn’t consider them to be a real friend, much less any kind of friend at all.
If you’re always the one reaching out to get together, you’re encountering a relationship red flag. Sure, there are things that keep us busy for extended periods of time, but a real friend will make time for you. Whether it’s a lunch date, cup of coffee or a brief phone call, a real friend reaches out to you too. If you don’t hear from someone for ages. If they don’t return your calls, texts, email, etc., and generally don’t have time for you, they’re not a real friend. Look for patterns. Who’s always calling who? Who’s never available to get together? Who’s always making excuses and always promising to reschedule but never getting around to it? If you’re the only one interested in communication, they probably aren’t a real friend and you’re trying too hard to maintain a friendship not worth maintaining.
You’re Constantly Criticized
You want your friends to be honest with you. Honesty is the sign of a real friend. But if you have a friend who is always putting your down or criticizing you, you need to seriously reconsider the friendship. If they always have something negative to say about your actions, words or appearance, they’re not trying to be helpful. Rather, they’re being hurtful and they don’t have your best interest at heart. They either have an ax to grind or they’re projecting their own self-esteem issues on you. An overly-critical friend is not a real friend.
When it comes to friends, it’s not about quantity. It’s better to have a few amazing friends who respect you and treat you well, than a lot of superficial friends who don’t really care about you.