People Use The Term Too Loosely: Knowing the Definition Of A True Friend

August 20, 2013  |  


Friends: Everyone thinks they have them. Most are quick to throw the label on any Jack or Jill who hangs around adorned with a smile, a few jokes, and good conversation. But how many of us really have authentic ride-or-die troopers? How many of us know what a genuine friend is? It took me some time to figure it out, but through my experiences, I eventually learned the meaning of a true friend.

Sometimes we get wrapped up in people just because we spend a little time with them or feel connected to their personalities. I for one can attest to this. There have been plenty times where I’ve prematurely categorized people as allies just because we hung out, shared laughs, and a few fun-filled episodes. And I won’t mention how many of those same so-called comrades turned out to be backstabbers who betrayed me, deceived me, and were non-existent when I needed them most.

So no, your friend is not the girl you go to the clubs with every weekend to party with; your friend is not the one who gives you the run-down on the latest juice in the neighborhood, who you see daily and talk on the phone with for ages, or the co-worker who accompanies you to happy hour every day after work. All of these things can make you like a person, yes. You can be attracted to someone’s persona and click with them, but a friendship is about more than just having fun and letting loose.
A legitimate friend is one who is 100 percent honest with you at all times. Someone who, no matter what, will always stick by your side and feed you words of encouragement and wisdom as well as the unmitigated truth. A friend is someone you can trust without any doubts, who you know only has good intentions and wants what’s best for you. But to really discover your true friends, all you have to do is hit the lowest point in your life and take a look around. All the pretenders and sheep-cloaked wolves will be nowhere in sight, but the people who really care will never waver in their authenticity and support.

Oftentimes, we walk around oblivious to the frenemies idling in our lives; investing trust and time into people who really don’t like us and are secretly praying for our demises. Analyze each relationship you have with your acquaintances and ask yourself “Can I really trust them?” How do the people you surround yourself with add value to your life? Can you depend on them? If you lost everything you had today, could you turn to them for help? Or is their love for you so sincere that you wouldn’t even have to open your mouth to get their assistance—they would feel your pain and automatically be at your side? Just think about it. Make some changes if you need to, and never apologize for cutting ties with toxic people. Try to keep your circle small, and always remember to be mindful of whom you decide to call a friend. The sooner you know the difference, the better.

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  • enlightenment

    Everyone is out for themselves…so you know you find a good friend when he or she supports your most successful times in life. If you see him/her forcing a fake a** smile, then honey, that is NOT a true friend.

    In a nutshell, a true friendship is a reciprocal relationship. What you would for for him/her is the same things he/she would do for you.

  • Belle Elle

    It’s good to know that I’m not alone. So tired of the one-sided relationships. Why is it that people who do little to nothing for you have an unrealistic sense of entitlement?

    • Yvette

      Trust me you are not alone on this one. I have had to ask myself the same question over the years. It took me a long time but I realized that you MUST be careful who you call and consider a friend. I no longer take that word lightly or use it too often!

  • Shaunda

    In addition to the article real friends respect eachother’s boundaries. Real friends respect when you have to tell them NO…because sometimes you do. You can’t nor should you say yes to EVERYTHING…so one way to find out if someone is a real friend, tell them NO and see how they respond. I had to recently tell a friend that I could not make it to an event because I have something else going on that same day and it’s getting ugly. Indirect jabs and passive aggressive comments are being made. It’s not like I’ve never said yes before…some people want you to march to the beat of their drum ALL the time and you can’t if you have a life. I’m venting too! Be a fence Lord!

  • Zee

    You know u dealing with a fake azz friend when:
    -Instead of calling you when they have a issue with you, they post it on Facebook or Twitter looking for attention
    -They use your resources (stay with you with their kids for damn near a year) but when that resource is no longer available (potential job loss), they call u a fake friend (even when u gave them ample time to move out and even waited for them to get a job and extra money)
    -You do more for them than they ever did for you over the overall span of the friendship
    I’m sorry you guys I had to vent. ***Wooosahhhh***

    • Yvette

      LOL….I feel your pain. Be there. Done that!

    • Yvette

      LOL….I feel your pain. Be there. Done that!

  • AncientSpiritNewDay

    If you’ve only got one good true friend, you have gold, keep them and always let them know how much they mean to you. Because frenemies come in an abundance, are terrible, mean you no good, tell all of your business, and talk about you like a dog. A real friend is real hard to find but when you have them it’s a true blessing.