You Want A True Friend, Be A True Friend

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A very good
friend of mine from way back called me up recently and while talking she told
me of  a recent health challenge, i felt
bad that i wasnt there, really, i felt bad.

The other night
I called another old friend I hadn’t talked to in a while. As we caught up,
shared stories, and laughed over private jokes that would sound ridiculous had
the phone been tapped, I wondered why I let so much time go by since I’d last
given her a call.

We don’t live
close to each other so grabbing a drink or seeing a movie together isn’t an
option. But really connecting with her, sharing pieces of my life, and
receiving the pieces she wants to give doesn’t require specific geography.

We can be great
friends to each other, despite the distance, if we choose to make the effort.
If we remember to make the time, we can have those types of meaningful,
fulfilling conversations that make us feel seen, understood, appreciated, and
supported.

Then I started
to think about all the times when I’ve gotten busy and lost touch with friends
who live right down the street–times when I got caught up in everything going
on in my life and forgot to nurture my relationships.

We need
meaningful connections with other people.

Not everyone
has to be a close friend, but it’s integral to our happiness that we show
people who we truly are, allow ourselves to know them in return, and then
remind each other through actions—small or large—that we care.

We never need
to be or feel alone in this world, but it’s up to us to create and allow
opportunities to be together, enjoy each other, and be there for each other. It’s
up to us to make our relationships priorities.

With this in mind, I recently
asked on Facebook, “What does it mean to be a true friend
?” I compiled some of
the ideas that resonated strongly with me (some of them paraphrased or slightly
altered for ease of reading).

1. Always be there, even in silence.

2. Be kind and listen. Be fun and
light.

Be serious when needed, love extensively, and forgive always.

3. Don’t be scared to tell each
other the truth

no matter how difficult it may be.

4. Guide each other in times of
need

with your honest opinions.

5. A true friend is someone who
always listens and is genuinely interested in the good and bad, and
someone who calls or writes just to say hello.

6. Be loyal in confidence and
character
,
always open and inviting to share concerns, always honest even if you disagree.

7. A true friend tries his best
to cheer you up

when you are upset and makes you feel special.

8. Try and improve their life though your friendship.

9. Be who you truly are—be that
vulnerable–
and
provide the other person the space, safety and choice to do the same.

10. Be genuinely happy when they
get, receive, or achieve something you truly desire.

11. Share the truth in your heart, without the fear of
misunderstandings.

12. Be loyal and forgive but above all: love and
respect.

13. Accept the person as they
are, as an individual, without conditions.
Also, as important as
it is for you to be there for them, sometimes you have to be willing to let
them be there for you.

14. Remain friends despite a
person’s choices in life
and don’t bail on them when they aren’t who you
want them to be.

15. A true friend always supports the person but doesn’t feel compelled to support the situation. A true friend knows how and when to say the firm, “No.”

16. Help yourself and those
closest to you grow.
To live means to grow, and a true friend is someone that
you can honestly say has helped define you as an individual.

17. Celebrate the wins and being
there to support the losses.
Keep your word and acknowledge it when you
don’t.

18. Walk in to a friend’s aid
when others are walking out.

19. Don’t hold grudges over petty
disagreements.

20. Show up! You can pretend to care but you cannot pretend
to show up.

21. A true friend is someone you
feel as comfortable with as you do when you are by yourself.
No illusions, no
holding back.

22. Be there for the other person in the same way you would be there for
yourself
. Granted, if you can’t be there for yourself, that’s
probably something you should address first.

23. Don’t let your own stuff get
in the way.

The ego is powerful.

24. Know someone’s least
admirable characteristics and still love and support them
. And I’ll add the last:
share how honest appreciation every chance you get.

Do you have
anything to add to the list?

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