There’s a big difference between acquaintances and true friends. You can know many people, but only a few will qualify as true friends. It takes little effort to be with you when times are good and you are happy. However, if you look around when times are tough, you will see that your true friends are still by your side.
A true friend is an irreplaceable gift. Life is filled with challenges and a true friend will stick by you through all of them. They have a knack for knowing what you need without your having to ask. A true friend is supportive without being judgmental.
A true friend accepts you for who you are. They appreciate your good points and overlook your flaws. They don’t try to change you. A true friend won’t impose their own beliefs on you.
A true friend will not always agree with you. They are honest with you, having no problem speaking their mind. At times, they will tell you things you don’t like. But true friends are never malicious. They always have your best interests in mind.
A true friend will not abandon you even if you treat them poorly. They overlook your shortcomings and appreciate your strengths. A true friend is patient with you even when you are impatient with them.
You can have complete trust in a true friend. You don’t have to impress them or prove who you are. They know you and accept you for who you are. They won’t turn their back on you or shun you.
A true friend isn’t perfect. They also have failings. True friendship isn’t always balanced. Sometimes one person requires more understanding, and sometimes the other. For true friendship to be sustained, both people must be true friends to each other.
Friends are not something to accumulate. It’s not how many friends you have that is important, it is the quality of your friends that matters. Just one true friend is an invaluable gift. Dozens of friends that you can’t rely on are of little comfort when facing challenging circumstances.
Although true friends have lots of great qualities, every individual has their own idiosyncrasies. A true friend will probably have quirks that you find really annoying. Always keep things in perspective. It’s not worth jeopardizing a true friendship over minor, insignificant irritations.
There are far too many situations where true friends become estranged over inconsequential issues. They may even wind up never again having any contact. It’s a real shame and a irreplaceable loss for both people when this occurs.
Life’s challenges demand your attention. It’s easy to get distracted by problems. When this happens, your focus is shifted away from the good things in your life and towards your difficulties. Although your troubles have to be dealt with, never neglect your true friends.
Connecting with your true friends only when you have problems is no different than someone being there for you only when you are OK. Your true friends have needs that are as important to them as yours are to you. You must contribute to the relationship with your true friends regardless of your own circumstances.
Don’t take your true friends for granted. A friendship requires input and energy from both people. It is all too easy to take someone for granted who is always there for you. As solid as your true friend may be, they still have feelings and sensitivities. You have to treat your true friends with as much consideration and concern as they show for you.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or write him c/o this paper. 2012 Bryan Golden