Copyright Nim Gholkar 2015 All Rights Reserved
In a world taken over by social media, where you make instant connections via Twitter and Facebook, the difference between real friends and well….everyone else kind of becomes blurred. Just because one has 400+ friends on Facebook, does that really mean every single person is a ‘friend’ in the true sense of the term? Very often, we have lofty expectations of our so called friends, only to have those expectations dashed at the very first instance when we genuinely need them. So, in this fast-paced world, where friendships are instant…a bit like the instant McDonalds burger or the 2-minute noodles…how does one distinguish between the ‘fair weather friends’ (those who stay by your side only during the good times) and what I like to call ‘every weather’ friends (those who will be with you through thick and thin). Here are some tips to recognise the genuine thing:
True friends listen
By this I mean, really listen. How often have you spoken to someone about your woes or frustrations, only to find that the minute you pause for air, they jump right in with their own woes and frustrations, bringing the focus on themselves? Real friends will make the time to listen patiently and will not rest until they have either comforted you or come up with a solution to fix your problem.
True friends support you
About a year ago, I first published my debut novel. Every single friend of mine bought a copy or two or three, as a token of their support for a novice author friend. Even those who are not readers and who knew they would probably never end up reading the book, still bought some copies only because they wanted to encourage me and cheer me on. That’s what true friends do.
True friends will tell you when you’re wrong
Sometimes people who don’t know you too well will only say flattering things to your face, out of a need to appear polite. True friends have no such qualms. If they believe you need to be told some hard facts, they will do so without mincing words. At the same time, they expect you to be a good sport and hear them out patiently.
True friends can be contacted whatever the time of day.
You know what they say about a 2 am friend? A friend who you can call any time of the day or night and know they will lend a ear to whatever it is you have to say? Everyone deserves at least one 2 am friend and if you have more than one, you’re truly blessed.
True friends know how to take a joke
One of the most tiring things is to be with someone who takes everything seriously…even your well-meant jokes. True friends know when you’re just teasing them, and will laugh along with you.
True friends do not keep score
Ever heard a ‘friend’ tell you she didn’t call you for over a month, because she had called you the last 2 times and it was now your turn? Well, while friendship is a 2-way street, and both parties need to make equal efforts, what I’m talking about here is ‘petty’ score keeping….the ‘I invited you to my place last time so now it’s your turn’ kind of thing. True friends are not bothered by such petty score keeping tactics….if they want to hear your voice, they’ll call you, no matter who called whom last.
AND THIS LAST ONE IS MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE…..
True friends will defend you, even when you’re not with them.
If someone says something negative about you to your friend behind your back, you can always depend on your true friend to defend you fiercely. They’re not simply going to nod and agree with the other person, just because it’s the easy thing to do. They will, instead, say something like ‘Hey, that’s my friend you’re talking about. I don’t know about you, but I think she’s awesome!”
So these were some basic tips to help you recognise and cherish your true friends. Like Oscar Wilde said oh so wisely: “The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart”