In our 20's, most of us are still learning the differences that exist between "friends" and those who we can actually confide in on a more personal level. It's okay to trust people, but you should also have an understanding of who deserves to know what about you. After all, the more aware you are of this information, the more you can actually protect yourself from getting hurt by the wrong people who really don't have your best interest in mind.
1. The words "I understand" are rarely used in their conversations with you.
A person who is worthy of being confided in won't just tell you that the words "I understand" time and time again. Instead, they will go above and beyond to show you exactly why they understand you. Whether that means telling you about a personal experience of theirs that caused them to feel exactly how you are feeling at the moment, or even talking with you in ways that demonstrate to you that they truly "get" how you're feeling, this person will surely make an effort to show you that what you are saying to them actually makes legitimate sense (even if you think otherwise).
2. They haven't already attempted to stab you in the back knowing what they already know about you.
Unfortunately, not many people can be trusted with personal information nowadays. This is especially true when the information that you provide can be used against you to protect them in times of conflict. So, take a moment to reflect on the actions of this person. Have they already gotten you into some sort of trouble because they chose to reveal information about you in an attempt to protect themselves? If so, you need to stop trusting them with information of this sort from now on.
You can still be friends with them. However, take this one stab in the back as a lesson that it's time for you to confide in someone else who actually has your best interests in mind.
3. You wouldn't describe them using the word "friend."
Why? Because your relationship with them is so much more personal that the word "friend" doesn't even come close to describing its true beauty. Instead, you prefer to describe them as "a second dad," "a second sister," or even "a mentor." All of which implies an even stronger relationship than the word "friend" does on its own.
4. They don't ridicule you, they just agree with you in their own ways.
Obviously, you and this person will not always have the same initial opinions about certain topics. However, what makes your relationship so unique is the fact that you don't automatically resort to ridiculing each other as soon as one person says something the other doesn't like or agree with. Instead, you both express your own ideas on the topic and work to find common ground. For the two of you, it's not about disagreeing with the other person in an attempt to seem more correct or knowledgeable. It's about showing that you truly understand where the other person is coming from while also providing your own perspective on the situation in an attempt to help them grow.
5. You've grown to tell them things without hesitation.
The fact that you've grown to tell this person things without even the slightest form of hesitation on your part means that you've come to trust them on a much deeper level than you do with any of your other friends. In other words, you may have several people who you consider your "friends." However, would you honestly choose to tell them most of what you've chosen to tell this particular person? If not, then you know you've got something very special here. Don't lose it!
6. You would feel incomplete without this person in your life.
You and I both know there are certain "friends" of ours that we would never even want to contemplate losing. If this person gives you what no other friend of yours can then keep them. If this person aligns with any of the qualities that I've described to you in this article then keep them.
The harsh reality is this: The initial amount of care that you have for a person at the start of your friendship with them doesn't always last forever, and you would probably claim to have over hundreds of friends if I asked you to give me an accurate estimate. If that's the case, then is every single "friend" of yours truly valuable? If not, then I strongly encourage you to take some time to distinguish those "friends" from the ones who actually deserve to be your confidants.