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“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” ~ Thomas Aquinas
I got to a point in my life where I understand that you shouldn’t expect much from those around you, and that you shouldn’t make anyone responsible for your own happiness, health and well-being.
And even though that’s the ideal way of living a happy, balanced and harmonious life, because there are people in our lives who call themselves our friends, people who say that they love and adore us, and people whom we ourselves love and care about, we inevitably start expecting to receive a “special treatment” from these people. We inevitably expect them to be there for us when the rest of the world is not, and we inevitably expect them to keep us company not only in our good, prosperous and happy moments, but also in our darkest and unhappiest ones. And that’s exactly why I decided to write this blog post.
Here are 6 ways to decide if the people in your life, the ones who call themselves your friends, behave as true friends.
1. True friends find time for you in their busy schedule.
People who tell you that they love you but they rarely make themselves available to you know nothing about love, for that’s not true love. If you really love someone, and if the relationship you have with them matters to you, then you will make yourself available to these people. You will find a way to spend quality time with them. True friends find time for you in their busy schedule.
“Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless… Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is “T-I-M-E.” ~ Rick Warren
2. True friends honor their words with actions.
“The focus should not be on talking. Talk is cheap. It must be on action.” ~ Howard Berman
Love is a verb, and if someone wants you to know how much you really mean to them, and how important your presence and existence is in their life, they will prove it to you not just by using all kind of beautiful and colorful words, but also by making sure that they honor all those words with actions. People who love and care about you, true friends, they honor their words with actions.
3. True friends remind you of who you truly are underneath it all.
No matter how many times you will “fail” at becoming this perfect, kind and loving person you aspire to become, and no matter how many times you will behave in crazy, negative, unhealthy and toxic ways, both toward yourself and toward those around you, the people who truly love you will never blame and criticize you for your weaknesses. They will never condemn you for being human and for having something that we all have – a dark side. True friends rekindle your inner spirit by constantly reminding you of who you truly are underneath it all. Because they love and adore you, and because they can see beyond all your tantrums, doubts, fears, darkness and insecurities, they will constantly remind you of who you truly are underneath it all, helping you tap into your inner beauty, wisdom, greatness and power. And helping you to live your life from a place of truth, light, love and integrity, no longer from a place of fear and doubt.
“If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
4. True friends laugh with you, but they also cry with you.
I once heard someone say that when you laugh, the whole world laughs with you, but when you cry, you cry alone. And I don’t agree with this. From personal experience I can tell you that there are people in this world who know how to truly love. People who will be there for you no matter what. People who will laugh with you you, but who will also cry with you. People who will not leave you alone especially in those dark and painful moments when their love and support is what you need the most. True friends laugh with you, but they also cry with you.
“If one day you feel like crying… call me I don’t promise that I will make you laugh but I can cry with you. If one day you want to run away Don’t be afraid to call me. I don’t promise to ask you to stop, but I can run with you. If one day you don’t want to listen to anyone call me I promise to be there for you but I also promise to remain quiet but… If one day you call and there is no answer… come fast to see me.. Perhaps I need you.” ~ Robert J. Lavery
5. True friends make you better, not bitter.
True friends bring out the best in you. They make your life sweeter with their words, their presence, their actions and behaviors. They enhance you, they enhance your life, and they make you want to become a better person. True friends inspire you to live your life to your full potential, to be better not bitter, and to constantly look for the good in the bad, and the beautiful in the ugly. Always remember, true friends make you better, not bitter…
“True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island… to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing.” ~ Baltasar Gracian
6. True friends give you permission to be yourself.
Your true friends, the people who truly love you, will never try to control you, to change you or to convince you that you should be anything other than yourself. They give you the permission to just be. To be yourself, unapologetically, loving you for you, and not for who they think you should be. True friends give you permission to be yourself.
“Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.” ~ Jim Morrison