When it comes to finding friends, perhaps the first step is
understanding what exactly friendship is. Does it mean you have each other in
your Facebook list? Or that you see each other every Tuesday at book club? Not
really. A relationship needs to have some key elements in order to be labeled
A Personal Relationship That Is Reciprocated It's not enough
to see a person at, say, book group each week and enjoy their company. In order
for a friend to truly be considered a friend, he or she has to also believe you
are their friend also. This can get tricky, because most people have a
different idea of what friendship really means. Some people are instantly
trusting of new people, and accept them into their heart without question. For
these types of folks, they assume someone is their friend until they find out
Other people, however, might act "friendly" with
someone but not consider them a friend for quite a while. Perhaps these types
of people need to get know someone better before they even consider labeling
them as a friend. Or perhaps they already have a lot of friends and therefore
wouldn't consider someone they see at book club and nowhere else a friend.
This can cause issues, especially when someone counts on a
person they believe to be a friend only to find out they were wrong. It's a not
perfect world, but in terms of friendship, someone who is genuinely a friend
Has told you that
you are a friend or has introduced you as their friend.
Has called or
emailed you about meeting for coffee, lunch, etc.
Has done something
nice for you.
interested when you talk about your life.
Roots for you and
wants the best for you.
Is willing to hang
out with you outside of the place you first met (work, book group,exercise
Friends Are Kind and Act As a Positive Influence in Your
Life It should go without saying that real friends make you feel good, as
opposed to bring you down. People who are genuinely your friend put your
relationship above being right or trying to feel superior. If someone
constantly puts you down, he or she is not a real friend.
However, people have bad days and act imperfect, so there
are times when a true friend will be negative or hurt your feelings. The way to
determine if they are really a friend (as opposed to something more negative
like a frenemy) is to look at the whole of your relationship. Don't look at moments alone, but consider:
How does this
person make you feel when you're with them?
Do you look
forward to seeing them?
Can you share your
joy freely? Or do you feel you need keep quiet about your own good news when
you're around them?
If someone is really your friend, they act in a kind manner.
They do nice things for you. (If they kindly ask you to do things for them
without ever reciprocating, chances are they aren't really a friend.) Friends
don't keep score, but there is a balance to the relationship. Sometimes one
friend might be in the "spotlight," while the other is cheering them
on. Friends should trade off in giving each other the "floor" in a
conversation and in life, and should understand when the moment is their
friends and not theirs.
Friends Are People You See on a Regular Basis The other key
component to friendship is a real, face-to-face, relationship. This isn't to
say that after you have established a friendship, you can't still be friends
with them once they move away. However, in order to have a real friendship in
the beginning, you do have to see and spend time with each other.
While online friendships can serve a place in your life,
they aren't the same as a real friendship. To that end, the term
"friendship" does get applied to many situations today, from loyal
customers to people you don't even know and will never meet. But that doesn't
mean these people are truly your friends.
If you need to qualify the definition of a friend in your
life (my work friend, my Facebook friend), then chances are it isn't a real
friendship, but is instead a different type of relationship. Online friendships
can be a bonus in your life, but only if you also have face-to-face friends to
spend time with and be there for you.
In terms of friendship, you cannot
replace the human connection.