What is a true friend? Is it someone who always listens to your stories? Is it someone who constantly gives you gifts? Or is a true friend simply someone who makes you feel good? Well, it’s a little bit more diverse than that. It’s also way better than all those things mentioned above.
See, a true friend is one of those things that may be hard to describe explicitly. You just know them when you see them. However, if you really want to know how to pinpoint when someone is a true friend to you, there are signs that you can watch out for.
That said, here are 19 signs that should give you the answer to this question.
A true friend helps you improve as a person
If you want to know what a true friend is, look for someone who makes you want to become better. They may not tell you this directly, but through their other words and actions, you’ll simply have the sudden desire to be better.
This is because a true friend brings the best out of you. They somehow encourage your good behaviors. It’s almost as if you want to be better for them because they deserve to have a better friend. To that end, you then actively try to improve as a person. That’s one of the clearest characteristics of a true friend.
They know almost every single thing about you
A true friend knows so much about you. Some friends even know more about a person than their families do. They know things based on what they hear and observe from you. You tell them things and they absorb that. They paint a picture of you and that sticks in their minds.
This is the trait of a true friend because they actually pay attention to you. They may even know things you haven’t told them about, but they simply know about them from observing you and by being around you.
They’re honest with you, for better or for worse
One of the staple characteristics of a true friend is that they’re honest, for better or for worse. I say this because they tell you what you need to hear, not want you want to hear. A true friend is honest about the good things you do. They’ll appreciate that. However, if they also notice you doing questionable things, they won’t hesitate to call you out on this.
This is because they simply want what’s best for you. True friends are also unafraid of being honest because they’re comfortable with you. They feel unbothered by the fact that they’ll have to be harsh with you so that you’ll know the truth.
Remember this. A fake friend will tell you what you want to hear, even if that thing is a lie. A true friend isn’t afraid of saying things that may hurt, as long as it’s the truth and it’s something that will benefit you in the long run.
They express gratitude
A true friend will express gratitude when you do something nice for them. They’ll properly thank you when you do a favor for them. Better yet, a true friend will let you feel how thankful they are that you’re their friend in the first place. You would never get this from a toxic friend, who will never get satisfied with what they get from your friendship and always want to take more.
They’ll either verbalize this or they’ll simply make you feel how thankful they are. They’ll make you feel how thankful they are for being their friend by simply being a good friend to you as well. This is something you’ll feel throughout the duration of your friendship.
They know how and when to apologize
If they ever mess up in one way or another, a true friend will always apologize to you. They won’t simply shrug it off or brush it under the rug. They’ll tell you they’re sorry.
A true friend doesn’t want to lose you because they know how important friendship is. A fake friend won’t mind. This is why a true friend will apologize whereas a fake friend won’t bother.
What can be amazing is that this may only happen rarely because a true friend won’t always mess things up. As you’ll learn when you read further in this article, a true friend carries a lot of traits that make them very decent. However, when they do mess up every once in a while, an apology will surely follow.
They’re comfortable with sharing things with you
As much as they know about you, you’ll also end up knowing almost everything about them. A true friend won’t hesitate to share things with you, no matter how personal. There’s a level of comfort that comes with being true friends, after all.
A true friend will share with you their secrets, their history, and their goals for the future. You’ll get a clear picture of who they are as a person as much as they see who you are.
They’re empathetic with you
A true friend is extremely empathetic with you. They’ll find it very easy. Empathy comes with genuinely caring about someone and that’s exactly how they feel about you. Because of this, it’s easy for them to relate to you and feel what you’re feeling.
Because of this empathetic nature, a true friend will often know exactly what kind of advice you need to receive. They’ll also know how to adjust accordingly to what you’re feeling. They become happy if you’re happy, afraid when you are as well, and sad if you’re sad.
They’re interested in your interests
A true friend will show genuine interest in you. A part of this is them showing interest in your interests. Whatever your hobbies and other interests are, they’ll go out of they are to learn more about them from you.
They may not always share your enthusiasm towards those interests, but at least they care enough to know more about them from you. For example, if you’re very into mountain climbing and they’re not, they might not get into it as you do, but they’ll at least be interested in hearing you talk about it.
They’re considerate of your feelings and emotions
A true friend is also very considerate of your feelings and emotions. They’ll never force you to do something you never want to do. They’ll also do their best so that you won’t have to experience something that will physically and emotionally hurt you.
A part of this comes from their empathy towards you, but it’s mainly because they care for your well-being and comfort.
They make time for you
A true friend will always do their best to make time for you. They’ll be there when you need them. Of course, there will be certain circumstances where they’ll be unable to attend to you because of something that’s very important to them, but when they can, they’ll never make you feel unheard and abandoned.
If you’re feeling down and you need someone to be there, a true friend will be there. If they have something to take care of first, they’ll do what they have to do, then go to you once that’s taken care of.
A true friend trusts you
When someone is being a true friend to you, that means they also see you similarly. With that comes trust. That said, a true friend will always trust you and you will always see and feel that.
They’ll trust you with secrets. They’ll trust you with favors. A true friend will even trust you to look out for them. This is a level of bond that can only happen to the closest of friends. If there’s someone in your life who trusts you this much, then you know you have a true friend with you.
You can feel their respect
Aside from their trust, you can also feel a true friend’s respect. They’ll always respect you as a human being. They value your words, they appreciate your actions, and they’re proud to have you as a friend.
You can feel this from their actions. You know a friend respects you if they listen to you speak intently. They tell other people about you. They notice and acknowledge the good things you do for them. A true friend respects your time, effort, and company.
They won’t make you feel left out
If a friend brings you somewhere and you don’t know anyone else there, they’ll go out of their way to avoid making you feel left out. They’ll introduce you to others. They’ll interact with you as much as they interact with others, if not more. You will constantly feel as if you belong there simply because of them.
It’s also very common for true friends to introduce you to their other friends. Once again, this comes from trust and respect. With that in mind, if a friend introduces you to their other friends, you know they have your back. You should see that as a clear sign that they’re a true friend.
You two can comfortably joke around with each other
If you and your friend can joke around with each other comfortably, without offense, pain, and judgment, then you two have officially formed a genuine bond. This is a kind of bond that can only happen between true friends.
You two might even have jokes only you both can understand. In some cases, the way you two joke about each other makes it seem in the eyes of others like you see something wrong with each other. In truth, you two are just playing around. You’re able to comfortably do so because you’re not afraid of offending each other. You two also know that this is never the case when you two joke around.
A true friend is understanding
A true friend is greatly understanding. If they ask you to go out with them and you tell them you can’t, they won’t be pushy nor will they get hurt. They’ll simply understand that you have a reason for not going. They’ll respect that.
That’s just one example. A true friend is understanding in a lot of ways. They’re understanding of your words, intentions, actions, and many more. This is something you’ll feel as you face more situations with a friend. A fake friend will easily find something to argue with or find fault in you, while a true friend will, once again, remain to understand.
You find them dependable
You find it very easy to depend on a true friend. It’s almost an instinct for you to turn to them when all else fails. You’re comfortable with going to them with serious problems or other situations.
You also feel comfortable asking them for favors. Not because you feel the need to take advantage of them, but because you know they’ll do that thing for you properly.
All of this is because a true friend has a lot of traits that make them dependable and trustworthy. They’re someone you can always rely on and you know it.
You miss each other’s presence
If you two haven’t seen each other in a while, it’s natural for you to miss them. A friend will also feel the same way. This is one of the reasons why true friends can never stay away from each other for too long.
Otherwise, if there are circumstances that prohibit two true friends from being together physically, they’ll find other ways to communicate. A true friend will always reach out to ask how the other has been. And when they finally hang out again, it will be almost as if they spent no time apart.
If you have someone in your life where this applies, then congratulations. That is a very obvious sign that you have a true friend with you.
Doesn’t compete with you
A true friend will never feel the need to compete with you. They will never attempt to one-up your achievements. In fact, they’ll be incredibly happy for you. They’ll lift you up and celebrate with you whenever something great is happening in your life.
When they’re also succeeding, they’ll do their best so that you will succeed too. They’ll always provide support and advice. True friends will rise together because one doesn’t want the other to be left behind.
When you have a true friend in your life, be infinitely grateful. Do the same things for them as they do for you. Respect them. Trust them. Don’t compete with them. Be as good a friend to them, if not better. They deserve it just as much as you deserve them.
If you wondered what a true friend is like before reading this article, the picture should be clear to you now. To that end, contact the person in your life you consider a true friend now and ask them to go out with you. Know that they make your life better and you with theirs. Have fun!
Consider reading my ebook, Get The Friends You Want, to learn how to find and develop true friendships.