There are certain groups of people who are necessary parts of our lives: family, co-workers, our friendly crew of Starbucks baristas. For better or worse, we don’t get much of a say in the selection of these people. Not so, when it comes to our friends – we get to choose them.
Statistics show that the average person has between two and five good friends. It’s nice to have a number of companions whom you choose to spend time with, but what makes a good friend a true friend is something different, something beautiful.
There’s something special about having a strong bond with another person. Having a relationship with a friend that is as tight as a family connection can make a big difference in your overall happiness. You can even think of your best friends as family members you get to select for yourself – they’re the people that we choose love. True friendships persist even over long distances and through time spent apart.
Friendship has many benefits including:
- Providing a sense of belonging
- Increasing happiness
- Boosting self-confidence
- Supporting you through tough times
- Encouraging you to make positive changes in your life
There are also quantifiable health benefits that come from strong relationships including a reduced risk of depression and high blood pressure.
While we do not need to have a lot of friends to gain these benefits, it is important to know who your true friends are. True friends are those we can trust, are forgiving, do not judge and always want the best for us. Here are three cute sayings to help you determine who are your real friends.
A Miracle of Real Friendship
“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
A healthy friendship is one where you feel comfortable in just about any scenario. You’re both free of judgement, regardless of how silly you act with each other. True friends are those we can be ourselves with. These are the people in our lives that we can express our innermost thoughts with. Good friends are those to whom we can take off the mask, spill our secrets and know they won’t run away. Chances are your your true friends are the ones who have seen you at your worst and love you anyway.
Real friends share a special bond. Research has shown that companionship and laughter are key to maintaining our health as we age. Laughter releases endorphins, which our bodies use to make us feel good. When we laugh our brains also release an endorphin called serotonin, which is known as a “happy chemical,” used as a component in antidepressants. Laughter creates a sense of well-being and happiness. It can also enhance your bond when you laugh together.
People tend to feel closer to one another if they share a joke. Most importantly, laughter is one way your body naturally relieves stress. This, in turn, has been found to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Real Friendship Comes with a Price
“Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.”Khalil Gibran
True friendship is one where you not only receive support and appreciation, but it is also a responsibility. Friendship is a two-way street. The benefits that you get from a good friendship are also gifts that you give back.
We all know those friends who hang around us in order to get something; be it our attention, time or something else. These are not true friends. With true friends, you give of yourself without thinking about the cost or what you might gain.
For good friends who are going through a rough patch, it’s not just a responsibility, it’s an honor to be there for them and offer support. Same applies to the time when there is something good happening in their lives, we should be there to celebrate with them.
When we need our friends they don’t hesitate to put their busy lives on hold and come to our aid. In turn, we don’t think twice to be there for our friends.
But there’s more expected of a true friend. You’re the one that needs to be honest with your good friend. You may need to be a “cold shower” to a friend who is behaving badly. If you have a friend who’s making a bad choice, it’s your responsibility to be willing to step in and save them from themselves. While they may not appreciate it in the moment, if you have their long-term best interests at heart, there’s no way they won’t see that in time. A true friend is happy to do this, but always with kindness and never with demand.
How to Find Out Who Your Real Friends Are
“Of all possessions a friend is the most precious.”Herodotus
Real friendship is difficult to find, especially in the day and age of social media. You may have hundreds of friends on Facebook or thousands of followers on Twitter and Instagram. Yet, how many of them really know you? Are there any that you could call to help you if you needed? It is likely that only a handful of your social media connections are true friends.
The ability to make friends is an art that too many people are losing. Cultivating friendships as an adult can be tricky and it takes time. If you are looking for new friends, consider joining some social or sports activities or just take a walk and get to know those in your community. Most friendships develop based on common interests.
For those that can find it, friendship is precious, and it is a great achievement to have true friends in your life.
Real Friendships Persist
True friends are those who we trust, feel comfortable with, share memories and fun times with and those who are with us forever, through thick and thin. When we have friends that we can be true with, the ones for whom we would drop anything to help and those who we know is a hidden treasure, then we have found one of the most precious things in life. And it’s an achievement we can be proud of.
One of the nicest things about real friends is that friendship is always alive, regardless of time or distance. True friends will be happy to hear from you, even if it has been years since you’ve seen each other.
If you’re looking to get back in touch with an old friend, Spokeo can help you find a lost connection. Our people search engine can sift through white pages, social media profiles and more to assist you in keeping your friendships alive.