Life revolves around relationships, good or bad, close or distant. We’re surrounded by interaction whether it be with a boss or client or coworker or a relative or spouse or friend. We even have varying degrees of relationships and friendships to help us wrap our minds around it. But what constitutes a good, true friendship that goes past liking the same shows or knowing each other’s favorite color? A friend is someone you can rely on and care for and someone who will do the same for you. How do you know that you trust someone enough to really use the label friend to it’s full extent? Here are five signs that you should hold your standards—and yourself—to in friendships.
You try to talk as much as you can
I don’t know about you, but when I make friends with someone it’s because I want to spend time with them and talk to them. So, for me, a true friend tries to make the effort to talk to you in a way that works best. With some friends that means you text all the time. With others you may text a couple times a week or keep up a snap streak where you actually communicate. But in my opinion, the most important time you can spend with someone is in person and I have some friends that I’m even better at talking to in person anyways. If you don’t want to spend time with this person and really get to know them, why are you around them?
…But even when you don’t you pick it up easily
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not great at consistent long distance communication, so it’s equally important that even after maybe months of nothing more than a few texts and random filter-less pictures that things just fall back into an easy friendship. Just because some time has passed doesn’t mean that either of you are less than a person or less trustworthy and now you have catching up as an instant conversation topic. Also, this doesn’t just mean when you finally see each other. It’s calling in the middle of the night even if there hasn’t been much contact because you need someone to support you. It’s not using someone, but it’s knowing that they’re there even though you don’t speak with them all the time.
You’re not afraid of voicing your opinion
In a society where politics can make or break romantic relationships, being open about your opinion can be dangerous to friendships. However, walking on eggshells when you disagree with a friend isn’t healthy. If you have a true friend, you should be able to agree to disagree or even have a polite conversation about topics you may not agree on. People should be open to seeing new sides of things or creativity is threatened, that can start in friend groups that may not agree on everything, but still choose to stay together and impact their community.
They encourage you to pursue what you love and are with you even if it’s not always their favorite thing
Friends don’t have to do everything together or like all the same things, but someone who will support you and even join in when you’re doing something they may not love as much is someone to keep around. You also need people who care about your well being and may offer you advice you don’t want to take, but have the patience to let you make your own decisions and will still respect and stand by you. But as one of those friends who will give advice, please do try to listen. No one can be right all the time so both parties should be open to give and receive advice respectfully.
They push you to expand your comfort zone and try new things
One of my major values in life is growth. However, growth can’t take place within your comfort zone. Friends should be harbingers of growth because they can with their own personalities, interests, and dreams. So when your friend wants to go to the new sushi place that opened and you’ve never had raw fish, why not take a jump and trust your friend? Doing the same things can get boring, so trying new things and growing together will not only provide entertainment, but will also strengthen your friendship, especially if neither of you have had that experience before.