The Art of Friendship: How to Make and Keep True Friends
7 mins read

The Art of Friendship: How to Make and Keep True Friends

Unfortunately, these days it seems that the art of friendship is in decline. Who is a true friend and how many do you have in your life?

You can blame social media, the internet or whatever, but it seems that friendship is not what it used to be. Too often we see fights played out publicly on social media, and we see friends who have known each other for years never speak to each other again over something small and petty. I’m left wondering, what is a true friend?

What is going on with us and our view of friendship?

I thought I had a lot of friends, but as time went on, I realized that friendship is more than just existing. It’s about many other things as well. I’ve had a large circle, but every one of them, with the exception of one, has shown me that they can’t be trusted or that they have their own agendas instead of caring about our friendship.

It’s sad, and I’m not looking for your sympathy because all of this has taught me one thing. A true friendship is something to hold on to. I have one true friend that I have known since I was a kid and I treasure that friendship. Everything I went through with fake friends made me think, who is a real friend? And now I know I have one, that’s enough for me!

How many real friends do you think you’ve had in your life? If you’re not sure, break this down: who is a true friend? What characteristics and traits make up this elusive being? Let’s take a look at the situation and let you come to your own, perhaps rather painful, conclusion.

What is a real friend?

  1. A trustworthy person. What is a true friend? Someone you can trust with your life. It’s your ride or die. Someone you know will be there for you and to whom you know you can say anything and it won’t happen again. It’s expensive, and it’s rare these days.
  2. Someone who really knows how to listen. Of course, friendship works both ways, but a true friend is someone who listens to you and really understands not only what you say verbally, but also what you don’t say. This person will know you inside out, read your body language, tone of voice, speed of speech, take the words you use, and put it all together into one realistic conclusion. It’s a special skill that only a true friend possesses.
  3. You know if you need them, they’ll be there. Need to bury a body at 3 a.m.? I hope not, but you get the idea. This is someone who will be there for you when you are in trouble, when you are upset, when you are hurting and when you are sick. A true friend may not be there for you in person because it’s important to remember that they have their own life. But they will be there for you on the other end of the phone, and if they need to drop everything, they will. Of course, you should do the same for them.
  4. An understanding person. Too many people are closed-minded. They think their point of view is the only one. Nothing else exists. If you dare to have a different opinion, you are wrong. That’s not a true friend. A true friend is someone who can see your point of view and do their best to understand it from your side, even if it’s not what they believe or agree with.
  5. Someone who isn’t afraid of tough love. True friendship isn’t always about agreeing with each other and telling each other what you want to hear. It’s about having the courage to call them out and tell them when they’re wrong, or when something seems silly, or when they’re being ridiculous. It can be painful, but it is always done out of your best intentions deep down. That’s the difference between a good friend and an abnormal one.
  6. They have your back even when you’re not around. Someone is chatting behind your back? Your true friend will call them out and deal with them, protecting you even when you’re not around to protect yourself. That’s loyalty. And it’s one of the most important traits on your list.
  7. You say “just because.” Many “friends” only call when they need something or when they’re bored. A true friend calls “just because.” It means sitting and chatting about nothing, but enjoying every second of it. It just means you enjoy spending time together. Whether you do something great or nothing at all.
  8. They know you’re not perfect. They don’t care. A lot of people waste time looking for the perfect mate. They don’t exist. A true friend knows your flaws. They accept them and love you for them. You do the same for them. In the age of so-called “perfection” of social media, everyone seems to be looking for the most beautiful cast or crew that can get them where they want to go. Isn’t that all very superficial and selfish?
  9. You may not talk for a while, but you know they are there. Real friends don’t have to talk every single day. My friend and I talk once or twice a week. It used to stretch longer than that. That doesn’t mean we’re losing touch. It means we live our own lives, but we are always there for each other when needed. Life ebbs and flows. A true friend understands that.
  10. You laugh together at literally nothing. If you find yourself laughing at the little things for no reason other than you want to, you share an atmosphere of friendship that can’t be replaced. Silly moments are the glue that holds friendships together in many ways, and true friends have lots of them!
  11. Time may change, but it doesn’t. People change a bit over time. Their priorities change, and you may find that their personalities do too. A true friend’s life may change, but when they are with you, they stay the same. Your friendship stays the same, always supportive and always there for you, whether you are far apart or side by side.
  12. They do not question or demean you. What is a true friend? Someone who accepts you for who you are and what you believe in. They don’t question your actions unless they believe it will hurt you. A true friend never belittles your choices. Instead, they support you and lift you up. If you fall, they will help soften the blow.