How To Be A Great True Friend

As we tentatively wander our way through life, there are so many great opportunities to meet new people and foster shiny new friendships with them. It’s an exciting state of affairs because often there’s no real way of knowing just how important that girl with the cool hairstyle may become in the long-run, or whether that hilarious evening spent chatting with a colleague might just be a one-off, even though you’re sure it’s the start of a lifelong bond.
One thing I do know, however, is that I’ve been lucky enough to accumulate some absolute corkers when it comes to true friends. So, here’s my handy guide on how to know if your latest friendship is going to go all the way.
true friend from the fringe

1. A true friend will never make you do all of the running:

As the old adage goes; it takes two to tango. So if you feel as though you’re the only one making any real effort, chances are you’re not dealing with a true friend. You should feel secure in the knowledge that if you don’t text them for a few days, they’ll probably text you at some point to see how you’re doing. If you’re involved with a friend who is probably never going to get in touch if you don’t make the first move, then you’re wasting your time. Friendship should be reciprocated!

2. A true friend always lets you know that you’re being thought about:

No matter how busy life gets, a true friend will always send some form of communication to let their friend know that they are being kept in mind. Even if there isn’t time for a meaningful conversation, there will still be a text to see how everything is going, or a stupid meme on Facebook of something that you both find hilarious. It’s a great way to keep that person close even in the most hectic of circumstances, and it’s nice to know that you’re on their mind.

3. A true friend is always honest (sometimes brutally):

No matter how desperate you are for those six inch heels to look fabulous, it’s the duty of a true friend to tell you that, actually, you look more like a baby giraffe taking its first steps. Similarly, they’re allowed to inform you that they aren’t keen on your new boyfriend, or that they think you’re making a silly decision buying a wedding dress from a company with a 10% rating on eBay. You might not want to hear what they’ve got to say sometimes, but BFFs are vital for keeping us grounded. Be grateful that they love you enough to stick their nose in and worry about you.

4. A true friend can be shopped for:

Okay, this may only be applicable to me but I often think that I’m truly someone’s friend if I’d feel confident about going into a shop and picking out something that they’d buy for themselves. You know the thing I mean, right? When you see an item of clothing or a book and you think, “oh, that’s so Jen!” (I don’t actually know anybody called Jen, but you get the picture). This is a sign of true friendship because it’s something that can only come over time through learning what kind of person your friend is.

5. A true friend knows all of your secrets:

There are no boundaries between a pair or a group of true friends. They’ve seen you ugly cry, they know your past, and they are on the listening end of some of the bitchiest, most awful parts of you. Yet, they still love you anyway. If you can find someone who’ll look past the fact that you once had a life-sized sticker of Michael Owen on your bedroom door (absolutely NOT relevant to any real life persons associated with this blog, by the way), then you’re onto a winner.

6. A true friend knows when something isn’t right:

When you’ve had the week from hell and you feel as though everything is falling apart, a true friend will never be fooled when you try and pass them off with a “I’m fine!” That’s because true friends have some sort of sixth sense when it comes to knowing what’s up and are there with a hug before you’ve even had chance to say anything.

7. A true friend doesn’t need entertaining:

I don’t know about you but I have some friends who, although super fun, I find exhausting to be around for any real length of time. Having to constantly think of topics to talk about so that there aren’t any awkward silences or dream up entire itineraries of activities to keep you both amused is tiring. True friends, on the other hand, are happy to sit in companiable silence in front of the tele under a blanket. The odd proffering of a malteaser or an “ohmygosh look at this hilarious cat video” is all the two of you need to get by because you’re totally on the same wavelength.

8. A true friend wants the other person to succeed:

We all get jealous from time to time but when something great happens to us, our bestie will be truly and genuinely happy for us. This applies no matter their own circumstances because a true friend will always wish for you to be successful. There should never be any put-downs or attempts to dampen your shine; a true friend will be there dancing around your brand new living room with you.

9. A true friend will give you another chance:

In long term friendships, there’s a huge amount of scary terrain to navigate because life changes a LOT as we grow older. This can sometimes mean that we forget to perform our friend duties and let our BFFs slip out of our lives. Occasionally, we may have done something so out of line that there’s a full blown row and a lot of upset. Usually though, depending on the severity of the situation, a true friend will give you another chance to prove yourself because they acknowledge that strong relationships sometimes need hard work.

10. A true friend makes you feel marvellous:

Having a true friend is like food for the soul; it will make you feel great. Knowing that there is someone out there who loves you, cares about you and is thinking about you (even if you haven’t spoken in weeks) is a delightful feeling. Having a positive force to pull you through times of difficulty can’t easily be replaced and there’s a simple joy in that underlying understanding that you would both do that for each other.

What do you consider to be the sign of a true friend? Let me know in the comments below!



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  • Jo

    Suzy! I absolutely love this! I was nodding along the whole time, and thinking of various friends! So brilliant. I would also add that true friends don’t need to be local; long distance friendships with true friends can and do work. It can be hard sometimes, but, if the friendship is strong enough, the distance can also not mean anything. With texts, whatsapp, social media, and even letters, two of my mates are two of the truest friendships I’ve ever had, despite not getting to hang out with them in person all that often. When you click with someone and care for each other enough, distance isn’t much of an obstacle.

    Again, such an incredible post, Suzy!

    • Oh thanks for your absolutely lovely comments, Jo! I’m really glad you related to this post; I had a lot of my friends in mind whilst writing it too! You’re totally right about long-distance friendships being easier than ever to maintain – Beth and I run The Olive Fox together and are besties despite being two hundred miles apart haha. It’s a challenge but it’s definitely doable! I might have to write a post about online friendships too because they’re becoming just as valuable as physical friendships. Anyway, I’m just daydreaming now haha – thanks for stopping to comment. So glad you enjoyed it 🙂