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In this world of social media, the word “friend” is tossed around quite casually. You may have hundreds of “friends” on Facebook, but how many of these folks have truly got your back?  A true friend is a treasure who is down for you in your darkest hours. An associate is someone who’s cool to chill with for a minute, but is not really checking for you. Unfortunately, sometimes a person who you think is a friend is actually just an associate.  So how do you tell who’s truly your roll dog? Here are five traits that will find in real friend.

He/She will Make Sure You’re Safe

A true friend is always looking out. If you go out and have a few too many drinks, your real friend will make sure that you are OK and get home safely. An associate feels no responsibility for you and may leave you to your own devices. If you’re sick, you’re friend will call or stop by to check in. If your car breaks down, your real friend will come to your rescue. An associate is unconcerned.

Brotha/Sista is Helper Not A Hater

If he or she is able, your real friend will help you get to the next level. If she can help you find a new job, she will. If he knows a good guy that would be perfect for you, he’ll make an introduction. An associate is not trying to help you out. In fact, she may hide opportunities from you, because she doesn’t want you to be more successful than her. A friend is your cheerleader. An associate can’t be bothered.

A Real Friend is Your Discount Shrink

Break up, make up or hot Hot escapade, your real friend is the first one you blab to. A real friend is someone who you enjoy letting into your business. You value a true homie’s advice.  If you are shy about sharing the personal details of your life with someone, she is probably more associate than friend.

A True Friend Makes You Feel Good When You’re With Them

A good friend is a positive force in your life. He builds you up and makes you laugh. You find conversations with a real friend engaging and you enjoy having her around. If you are bored with or irritated by someone in your circle, he or she is probably  simply an associate and not a real friend.

Friends Don’t Take Advantage

A friend reciprocates your generosity. If you pay for brunch, she’s got it the next time. If you babysit her kids, she’ll do the same for you. On the other hand, those who aren’t true friends may take your kindness for weakness. If you give of your time and treasures and never get anything in return, you are probably dealing with an associate and not a real friend.

How do you tell your friends from your associates?

If you have to learn more about Grace Edwards, check out her blog or follow her on Twitter @gracyact.

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