A friend is always a friend, right? Well no, not exactly. There are different levels of friendship which are never really obvious on the surface; it is only when you reach a crisis point in your life that you find out just who your true friends are. Of course we have our best friends who are often closer to us than family; they share all of our secrets and know us inside out. We all have ‘fair weather friends’ who help us to celebrate and only arrive on our doorsteps when they need something from us, and then there are invisible friends who aren’t really there at all!
If you really believe that you have at least one true friend, who cares about you and will stand by you through the good times and the bad consider this: if you were to lose your job, your car and be on the verge of losing your home would they still be there for you? Would they pop round for a cuppa and a chat for no other reason than to see how you were doing? It is in tough times like these that you discover just who your true friends are, when you reach out for support during your darkest days and find that they are still there to support you.
A Decreasing Social Circle
You may believe that you have a wide circle of friends, but when the time comes that the partying and socialising has to come to an end and instead of sending out party invitations you are issuing requests for help and support, just see how many answer the call. By the end of the process you should consider yourself lucky if can count the friends that are left on one hand and truly blessed if you need both hands to count them.
Signs of a Real Friend
• They never forget your birthday and always make sure that they get to see you, no matter what plans have already been made.
• If your car is off the road they will offer to drive you even if it means that they are going out of their way to do so, neither will they accept any petrol money from you for doing it.
• You can laugh together until you both have tears running down your face.
• You can sit in silence together and still feel comfortable.
• Even if you only see each other two or three times a year, when you are together it’s like you have never been apart.
• They will tell you the truth even if it hurts because they love you.
• They won’t just tell you the things that they know you want to hear to keep you happy.
• They will offer their unfailing support no matter what you try to do, even if they don’t agree with your choices they will support you in them.
• When they offer you a compliment it is genuine and from the heart.
• They won’t say anything behind your back or gossip about you when you are not there.
• They know what makes you happy, your favourite film; sweet treat, your dress size and what colours you prefer to wear.
• They will to listen to you moan and rant and offer you a shoulder to cry on whenever you need it.
• They know about all of your insecurities but won’t broadcast them to the masses.
• When you need advice they will offer straight talking sense.
• You find it hard to imagine your life without them in it.
Signs of a Fake Friend
• You have never felt comfortable enough with them to tell them a secret.
• They have never asked about your family and you have never shared any details of your family with them.
• You normally only spend time with them in a group setting, never on a one to one basis.
• They have never seen the real you, they only see the façade that you put on when you are part of the group.
• They forget your birthday and other important dates.
• You often get the impression that they are only calling you because no one else was available.
• You laugh and have fun but it’s not feel good, belly aching laughter.
• You have never seen each other cry.
• You find it difficult to be yourself when you are around them.
• Any silences between you are awkward and you feel the need to fill them with conversation.
• If you don’t see each other for a few months you would probably forget they existed at all.
• It can feel as though your relationship is all one sided – you are making all the effort.
• They talk about your insecurities in public and embarrass you.
• You find yourself agreeing with them so as to keep the peace and not get into an argument.
• It’s easy to imagine your life without them in it.