My grandmother always used to say, "I'd rather have four quarters than one hundred pennies any day." The older I get, the more I realize how true that statement is. Genuine and trustworthy friends are few and far between. At times, it's difficult to differentiate between a friend and acquaintance. The two are similar, although an acquaintance has little in common with you, and you don't keep in touch or communicate regularly. A friend is consistent and loyal through whatever life may throw your way. If anything, one of the most important aspects I've learned over the years is that when God provides you with friends that accept you for you, appreciate and love them. Here are several key factors to look for when choosing a friend:
1. They'll always be honest with you.
These are the friends that aren't afraid to give you a wake-up call whenever necessary. A real friend will tell you what you need to hear because they care about you.
2. They love you for yourself.
We all have our quirks, and a real friend will love you for who you truly are. We all need friends that we can be weird and goofy around.
3. They give more than they take.
Real friends are thoughtful and are willing to be there for you whenever you need them. We are all climbing a different mountain, and genuine friends will care about your problems as much as their own.
4. They compromise.
In any relationship, it's important to meet in the middle. Friends will have disagreements from time to time, and when that happens, it's best to work out a solution together.
5. They forgive you even without an apology.
Even if a true friend feels offended, they never hold a grudge. They may be upset temporarily, but they will forgive before you even apologize. A caring friend will be quick to reconcile.
6. They believe in you.
True friends will be supportive of your goals and passions. They will be your biggest cheerleaders in everything you do and are nothing but encouraging. Surrounding yourself with positive influences will not only make you more positive but strengthen your friendships altogether.
7. They make time for you.
Real friends will make time for you no matter how crazy their schedules might be. These are the best of friends because they make your friendship a priority. Genuine friends want to be around you as much as you enjoy spending time with them.
8. They are respectful of you.
You won't always agree with your friends, but that's okay. True friends welcome and respect your thoughts and opinions. They want what you want for yourself and vice versa. What makes a friendship unique is that both people aren't exactly the same and have a variety of opinions.
9. They are thoughtful.
Being trapped in a relationship that is one-sided and selfish is not enjoyable. Choose friends that have giving hearts and that are considerate individuals. It's always refreshing and makes the friendship deeper if your friend remembers the little details about you and wants to make you happy through little gestures.
10. They stick around.
Through all of our lives, people come and go, but loving friends will be in it for the long haul. We all experience different seasons throughout our life, and true friends will want to stay because they care about you.