We go through life meeting new people, making memories with them, and learning difficult lessons because of them. While the lessons and hardships can really bring us down, some of us are lucky and fortunate to have friends right by our side to weather the storm with us. Although this is definitely something needed in a friend, there are other ways to tell you've found a great friend and maybe even a friend for life. Here are 7 signs you've found a lifelong friend.
1. No matter what, you always find something to laugh about.
This is probably my favorite sign that I've found a great friend - when we make each other wheeze and we end up having a laughing fit with tears in our eyes. Our sense of humor grows with us, and we eventually understand each other enough to know what makes the other laugh.
I will say that there are also times where our humor becomes "spur of the moment" where we end up laughing until we can hardly breathe. I honestly believe being able to share a good laugh often with your friends can be a sign of a good and long-lasting friendship.
2. Silence doesn’t feel awkward with them.
I feel like most of us know how it feels when you've just lost words and have nothing to talk about when you're with someone. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes it can feel a little awkward or uncomfortable. I think it's great to be able to talk about things and let the conversation flow naturally and endlessly, but I also think it's cool to have a bit of silence and even see how each of us react to it - panicking and racing to find questions or just enjoy the time and being with them, letting questions and topics of conversation come and branch off to more conversation with no rush.
3. You can comfortably tell them when you need space.
Like I said, being able to hold conversations with friends is great, but sometimes we need space and time for ourselves. It's not necessarily because of the other person or that they are overwhelming or boring. Everyone is different and mental health boundaries should be respected. It can feel like a weight is lifted off someone's shoulders when a person understands and respects their need for space; it shouldn't have to be something that feels cumbersome or troubling when it comes up. Sometimes space is necessary for people to be closer.
4. You can tell them anything and everything that is personal and know that it will stay with them.
We all have something that should never even see the light of day, and that's why we confide in the people who keep our private treasures locked in the vault. It's so stressful coming home after hanging out with some friends and overthinking about something you said, asking yourself, "Why did I say that? They won't tell anyone else, right? What if they do? That'd be so embarrassing… "
Thankfully, I've never had anyone prove me right about those thoughts, and people have kept any private information I've shared with them between us. I hope the same goes for you.
However, if your "friends" do abuse your trust and tell other people what you've entrusted and confided only in them, they are not your friends. It's one thing to ask for advice and have another person's take on a situation, but it's another to blatantly go around sharing other people's business that wasn't meant to be shared with others.
Regardless, even if you are going to genuinely ask someone else for their input or advice on the situation, at least ask for permission first; you don't always know what it takes for someone to take down a wall and trust someone in a moment of vulnerability.
5. You can let your guard down around them.
I honestly think this is one of the best things you can feel and experience with someone, whether they're your friend, family member, or significant other. Again, I feel like this can hold moments of vulnerability where you can trust the other person to not say anything to anyone as well as not feel judged. This establishes a safe space between you and this person and you don't have to worry about what they think. You know they'll listen and do their best to support and be there for you when you need them.
6. You can be your “authentic” self around them.
Okay, we all have our personas we put on in front of others at school, work, or anywhere else where we need to function normally as people. But, everyone - yes, I do mean everyone - has their personality they hide below the surface, the one that comes out with inside jokes, weird dances and stances, and suspiciously perfected quotes from movies, TV shows, and videos found on the internet. I love not having to feel like I'm sucking in and locking up the real me that's inside; I can be my weird and sometimes cringey self when I'm with my close friends and not feel judged… especially since we all end up being weird together.
7. Whether there’s distance or time between you, it feels like you’ve always been connected.
You don't lose touch with each other, even if it's been a few months (even years) or if you're oceans apart. I'm very happy to say that I have amazing friends that when I'm with them, it doesn't matter if we don't talk every day. When we do meet or catch up with each other, it feels like not a day has passed. In this sense, friendship remains unfaded and to me, it feels like I have a space I can share with them in which nothing else matters and I can genuinely smile and enjoy being with them.
However, I wanted to say one more thing - just because the following seven signs highlight positive and even "happy" characteristics of friend/relationships, this doesn't automatically mean that if a person does one or two of these things then they are a "friend for life." People can and do make mistakes, and people can manipulate and twist things around to benefit them; one should always look at the big picture and understand that sometimes we don't know what happens behind closed doors. You are in control of how close people can be to you; don't let someone stay just because sometimes they can be nice while other times they can drain you or drag you down.