When it comes to finding friends, perhaps the first step is understanding what exactly friendship is. Does it mean you like one another on Facebook? Or that you see each other every week when you go to the gym or the bar with one another? I don’t think either of those constitute a real friendship. A relationship needs to have some key elements in order to be labelled as friendship.
What’s the Difference?
We all know a lot of people, we often talk of those we chat alongside at work or even converse with on an online forum. But the similarities end there, however it doesn’t mean that they don’t act friendly towards you, but are they really your friend? Is there a bond between you? Here’s some tips that show what good friends do, for example they:
- Listen to you intently when you express yourself or talk about a problem.
- Always wants the best for you in life.
- Sees you outside of a forced situation, so places other than work, online, next door etc
- Arranges to meet up with you for a drink, coffee or a meal
- Talks about you and one another in terms of friends and friendship
- Does nice things for you
These may seem simple but sometimes we can assume someone is our friend because they are pleasant to us, then when we try to rely on them, they let us down. This can lead to hurt feelings and being used.
How to Maintain Friendships
Sometimes we have very busy lives and this may mean we don’t make efforts like we used to. However good friends can and will go long amounts of time without spending time with one another and be understanding. But try to keep in mind that it takes only a few seconds to write a text, a few minutes to pick up the phone and have a conversation with your friends and ask how they are.
Make sure that you have the balance of give and take sorted out, if you feel that you may be lacking in giving your friend attention then invite them over. They’ll be ever so glad that you did so and you’ll be able to share some good times with one another and catch up.
Beware the Fake Friend
We’ve all been there, let down by someone we thought was our friend. They started out by fulfilling all the criteria, they asked how we were, gave us attention, wanted the best for us, made the effort but then it changed.
If you notice a friend getting distant from you then you may have to ask why, if they have a lot on their mind or a busy life then that’s understandable. However, if they are leaning on you only to back away when you need them then they’re not being true. These kinds of friendships often end in frustration or in a betrayal of trust.
How to Find True Friends
This is an easy one and makes me think of the Gandhi quote “Be the change you wish to see in the World”. In other words to draw a true friend to you, then act like one yourself. It will make you a better person and bring the right people into your life.