Friendly vs. True Friendship
How do you define true friendship? I just came back from a whirlwind 2-week vacation with 2 different groups of friends, and we had such an amazing time with both. I was thinking about these friends and how long we’ve known each other and how much we’ve been through, and it got me thinking – what is a true friend? How many true friends do you have?
The first week of my trip, I was with a group of my girlfriends. We’ve traveled together for the last 7 years or so, and what a blessing they are in my life. The second half, I got to hang out with my husband’s fraternity brothers and their wives. These were two very different groups of people, but we had an absolute blast, and it was a wonderful 2 weeks.
So, do you know the difference between what it means to be friendly versus being a true friend? Friendly means you are just cordial with someone. I tell my sons all the time that you should always be friendly to people. There’s too much hate in this world, and I want no part of that. So friendly means being cordial and nice, but mostly just a casual acquaintance.
On the flip side of that is being a TRUE friend. What does that mean to you? What’s the opposite of being just friendly? I got to experience the true friend side for the last 2 weeks, and let me tell you, my heart is full. I truly value these friends. They inspired me to come up with this list of 10 characteristics of a true friend, because each and every one of them embodies these traits.
10 Traits of True Friendship
1. A true friend shows up. They don’t care if it’s inconvenient, or if it’s uncomfortable, or maybe it’s a little dangerous, but they will show up. Those are the friends with whom you have an unwritten permission that you can call them at 3am if you want, and they show up for you.
2. A true friend sees your blind spots, and they love you anyway. They even call you out on those. What is a blind spot? It’s something that we cannot see in our line of vision. Vehicles have mirrors that show blind spots, and in the same way, a true friend can see those blind spots and point them out to us.
Each and every one of us has habits that aren’t very attractive, and that’s where being a true friend comes in. Do you have someone who will point out your flaws and love you anyway? That’s what a true friend does. They can sit you down and say, listen, I’m seeing some things that you need to take a look at! They are honest, but lovingly honest.
3. A true friend is going to root for us. I’ve done videos on this before – they’re not the kind of people that root for us but secretly wish we fail to make them look better. Those friends are uncomfortable when they see others doing great. A true friend roots for us no matter what, because they know everyone is different and everyone has different paths. We all have gifts and talents that are different from each other, and a true friend will root for you no matter what.
4. A true friend is not jealous. They understand that you’re going to do your thing, they’ll do their thing, and you’ll celebrate one another without jealousy or animosity.
5. A true friend laughs with us. We must have friends that will laugh with us, sometimes they even laugh at you, but they laugh. We did so much laughing over the last 2 weeks, and laughter really is the best medicine. True friends have experiences with you that don’t even require words, but you’ll laugh your way through it together.
6. A true friend is not superficial. They are willing to get deep with you. I told my husband when we went on the second trip that I couldn’t wait to really get to know some of the wives even better than I had in the past. I used to only let people in so far, and I put up a facade because I didn’t want people to get to know the real me. I lacked confidence. I’ve done a LOT of growing since then, and I’m able to let people see the real me now. So real friends aren’t superficial, and they will let you see the good, the bad, and the ugly.
7. A true friend keeps us humble. We all want to brag a little bit, right? Our kids, our job, whatever… a true friend will celebrate you, but will also remind you of your roots and where you came from. You’re not any better than the next person, and a true friend keeps us grounded.
8. A true friend makes your friendship a priority. We all have seasons in our lives where we get extremely busy. Some get married, have kids, have very busy jobs that keep us going all the time…but a true friend makes the friendship a priority through all that. I still get together with some moms I met through our kids back in the day. Our kids are all in different places now, doing their own thing, but we moms stay together because we are that close.
9. A true friend wants us to be better. You could also say you look at your true friends and not only see them as a confidant, but also as a role model. True friends can either want us to be better, or we can see our friend and we want to be that kind of person. I don’t mean we want to be them – I just mean we aspire to be like them.
10. A true friend doesn’t disappear when someone better comes along. Meaning that when a better ship comes along, they sail off with that ship instead. True friends stick around.
True Friends Walk In
I truly value the friendships I have now. I used to not let people in. I lacked confidence and didn’t want people to get to know me well, because I wasn’t comfortable with who I was. I limited myself to only a few friends and closed the rest of the world off.
Because of that, I became sort of like an island, and I missed out on a lot of things. Instead of making me better, it stunted my growth. So I’m on here today to pay it forward and share what worked for me. If you’re in a place like I was, where you’re limiting yourself from showing the real you as a protective measure instead of putting yourself out there, then this is for you.
Make a list of things that you’d like in a friend and things that turn you off in a friend. Make a list of your current friends and ask, what can I do to foster this friendship more, and to put myself out there more? I guarantee you that your world will change.
I always like to leave you with a quote, so I found this great quote about friendship. “A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” We all need someone who will walk in when the going gets tough, because there will be plenty of people walking out!
I also wanted to share with you that I’m SO close to having a dream of mine come to life. I have a brand new course coming out about being the confident YOU that you were designed to be. Stay tuned – it’s something that’s been on my heart for months and months, and it’s finally going to be a reality soon! I can’t wait to share it with you!