When my friend Anne shared my blog about our thanksgiving dinner on Facebook, she said, among other things: “Amidst all that happened, I realized who my true friends are.”
That line struck me because that was exactly how I felt!
For those who don’t know, there was a 3-week war in my hometown last month. You can read all the details in the blog mentioned above. It was a terrible experience and even though I had so many friends, only a very shocking few actually went out of their way to reach out to me and ask about how my family was, how I was. I then turned this event into a mini test of who my real friends were.
I thought perhaps I was just being hypersensitive about the whole experience, but after talking to my hometown friends, I once again realized that I wasn’t alone. They, too, had the same feelings, and were very disappointed in friends whom they considered close but who didn’t pass the test.
This got me thinking, so aside from that, what are traits of a true friend for me? I’ve whittled it down to seven for today’s Sunday Seven:
(1) Your problem is their problem.
As I mentioned above, true friends care about you. They are not there just for good times but for bad times as well, as the song goes. So when you have a problem, it is their problem too, and they will do everything in their power to help you, even without you asking them for help. They are sad when you’re sad, and when you’re sharing your feelings about this, they focus on that and not ignore it to talk about themselves. When there is bad news about your hometown, they are immediately concerned that your family, and you, may be affected, and their first impulse is to ask you how you are.
One of my best friends Gelle is not even from Zamboanga, but during the entire crisis, she also checked the news feeds, prayed for us, and was there for me and our other friends Chi and Ngangi throughout the whole ordeal.
(2) They are your biggest fans.
When you have good news, they are genuinely happy for you. When you announce that you are going to do something, they are behind you all the way. When you play a sport or perform in a play or start a blog, they will cheer you on in your game or watch your play or read your blog even though they normally don’t like sports or plays or reading blogs. They recognize that these are important to you, so they will do all that they can to support you. Simpler test – they like most of your posts on Facebook.
My friend Dred doesn’t normally read blogs but she made a Bloglovin account just so she can follow me and read my posts. Isn’t she sweet?
(3) They make time for you.
They always keep in touch. They schedule dates with you, and if you’re in a long distance friendship, they always chat with you on a regular basis and schedule meet ups overseas as well, and they excitedly count down the days to your meet up. They will clear their schedule for you if you need them, even if they are very busy people.
In my case, I file a vacation leave if a close friend comes over to Singapore for a vacation, so I can spend time with her. My next such VL is sometime this month. So excited!! 😀
(4) When you’re missing, they look for you.
I once read an article about a man who was found dead in his pajamas some 20 years later. No one had looked for him. My biggest fear then became that. Gelle said that would never happen to me, and I realized she was right because one time, I accidentally forgot my cellphone and came home to this:
My friends had gone bonkers with worry about me. From then on I always email them when this happens.
This isn’t the only time, by the way, there was that time I went out on a date with a guy I met at a bar. I told Gelle about my plans in case he turned out to be a killer or something, and I got around 10 missed calls from Gelle over dinner. When I finally called her back (I had just gotten caught up in our conversation and didn’t notice my phone) she answered mid-ring. Yep. I definitely won’t go missing.
(5) They look out for you.
They have your back. Your enemies are their enemies. When someone bad-mouths you, they defend you, and if people hurt you, they get mad on your behalf. Also, they tell you if they think you’re doing something that might be bad for you, maybe even hold an intervention session the way they do in HIMYM?
My friend Chu once messaged me to tell me that he thought a blog I wrote might get me into trouble. I am very grateful that he was concerned about me, and I took the blog down.
(6) They are trustworthy.
Trust is the foundation of any relationship. They keep your deepest and darkest secrets and share theirs with you too. You can be your true selves, no need for tiptoeing around each other. You can also trust that you can rely on them and their love for you.
(7) They love you despite your flaws.
Just like in romantic relationships, mutual like is how most friendships start, but it turns deeper only when you start to love them. Like is different from love. The people you love are those you keep even though you don’t like everything about them.
Nobody is perfect. True friends are those who accept you in your entirety, flaws and all. In my case, most of the time I am okay to be with, but there are moments when I turn mercurial and have even been known to end friendships. But the friends who still sought me out and forgave me even after all that, these are the friends whom I know are definitely true, who are definitely for keeps.
So those are the traits I think are found in true friends. I also decided to take to twitter to ask for other people’s opinions. Coincidentally, seven lovely ladies responded. Perfect for Sunday Seven, eh? Here they are:
@DeeCoded loyalty and also a give and take relationship!
— Kate Hall (@essexgirldiary) October 5, 2013
@DeeCoded Honesty,loyalty,reliable,always there for you,trustworthy and shares similar values to you!
— Gaelyn Cokayne (@anewweigh) October 5, 2013
@DeeCoded A true friend respects things you say in confidence. You have to be able to trust them to listen, without blabbing to others!
— Hayley Navey (@HayleyNavey) October 5, 2013
@DeeCoded who understands when it’s time to order Chinese and watch a rubbish movie. And who knows when to speak and when to just listen
— Csilla (@poharkez) October 5, 2013
Thanks, ladies! You all gave great answers!
I agree with them too! Don’t you? What are your answers, though, I’d love to know! Please share in the comments!
P.S. You might want to check out the feature Kate wrote about me over on Diaries of an Essex Girl.