The types of friends we have is very important to the type of life we live. When we have authentic, supportive friends, we enjoy life even more when things are great, and we feel a bit better when things are not so great. According to MayoClinic, good friendships can increase your sense of belonging and purpose, boost your happiness, reduce stress, and improve your self-confidence and self-worth. On the other hand, if you have unsupportive and inauthentic friends, you may feel alone and discouraged more often than not. Do you have toxic friends like this? If you are in the process of upgrading your friendships or you want to become a better friend yourself, then here are authentic things real friends do that you should look for or develop in yourself.
1 – They Do Not Judge You
When you are going through tough times or you make a mistake, listening without judgment is what friends do. A good friend will call you out when needed, but they will never look down on you. If you have a friend in your life, and you know that they would or have put you down for screwing up, it’s time to move on.
2 – They Are Your Biggest Cheerleader
When you receive great news or you are about to embark on some new adventure, a great friend will be there cheering you on. This is one of those things friends do that will help you get out of your comfort zone and grow. When you have that support there with you, it’s easier to overcome fear and take risks in life.
3 – Friends Value Your Advice
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had so-called friends in my life who would ask me for advice, then totally blow it off or disappear until they needed more advice. Not even a thank you or an “I’ll consider your advice.” Great friends don’t do this. Even if your advice is not the greatest, they still value your opinion and show it somehow.
4 – They are Still There When Your Life Changes
Have you ever noticed how some people are better friends when things aren’t going well? Do they show up when you lose a job or go through a breakup? However, as soon as things turn around, they are nowhere to be seen. This is not what friends do. Real, authentic friends will be there as your road dog when you are single ready to mingle, and when you are married with kids. Great friends will be there to support you when you are going through difficult times and when things are going well. Because your friendship is so strong, they can adapt when your life changes.
5 – Real Friends Keep Their Word
This is one of those things friends do that really makes a difference in the quality of your own life. Why? Because you have someone you can trust. You know that their word is solid and they will always deliver on their promises. When you don’t have that kind of support in your life and you have no one you can trust, it can cause feelings of loneliness and isolation.
6 – They Know When to Give You Space
A great friend knows when it’s appropriate to give you space. They know that they are only a part of your life, not all of it. Just because someone is a close friend doesn’t mean they are supposed to smother you and be there with you day in and day out. That’s not what friends do. They have their own lives too.
7 – Real Friends Listen
Friends listen with intention and interest. You know they really want to hear what you are saying when they can be silent and absorb what is being said. They aren’t there to give you advice but to lend an ear.
8 – A Great Friend Will Call You Out On Your B.S.
Authentic friends will always call you out on your B.S. They won’t let you get away with things and will hold you to a high standard. I had a friend like this when I was younger; he was one of my closest friends. He never let me get away with anything. I loved his honesty and he kept me on the straight and narrow. You don’t want to surround yourself with yes men or be a yes man or woman. You’ll never grow as a person if you do.
9 – Good Friends Stand Up for You
Good friends will always stand up for you. If someone is trying to put you down or talk behind your back, they will stick up for you. They won’t let others try to take advantage of them or demean them in any way. This is especially important in this digital age. It’s so easy to get bullied on social media or have rumors spread like wildfire about you. It’s nice to know that you have someone that will have your back and stand up for you in person or online.
10 – They Go Above and Beyond to Support You
It’s one thing for a person to be supportive but another to go above and beyond. For instance, instead of just cheering for you to lose weight, a real friend will go to the gym with you or go for a walk by your side. They will check on you to see how you are on your goals.
11 – They Can Forgive
Just like any other relationship, friendships can get rocky. It’s very easy for two people who are not family or married to go their separate ways after an argument or disagreement. Friends can and do break up, but true friends always forgive and come back. Disagreements come and go, but real, authentic friends last forever.
Good friends are very hard to come by these days, but be picky and particular about the people you surround yourself with. You can see, just by reading these things real friends do, how much better your life would be if you had these types of people in your life. Life is short. Stop wasting your time being around people who are unsupportive.