I've always been a person who is friends with everyone. It makes it easier to socialize and to get along with different types of people. The problem that lies within that is always the fact that I could be friends with just about anyone, but those that I'm friends with weren't always friends with one another, so we couldn't all be friends. I've never had a friendship group without drama and I've never had a friend who can always get along with someone else that I'm also friends with. It's just how it is.
Over time and as I've grown up, I've seen how important quality over quantity is when it comes to friendships. It means so much more to me to have a friend who cares about my well-being all of the time instead of just when they want back into my life for a specific reason. So many other things go into it but that's just one example.
As a result, I've fizzled out a lot of the friendships that I once had and am narrowed down to a close-knit group. We aren't friends altogether, but most friendships work that way anyway.
I've thought more into it and came up with 5 signs, or signals, to pay attention to when forming or keeping a friendship.
1. Watch for signs of abandonment.
Don't take this the wrong way. By this, I mean to keep an eye out for anything that seems suspicious. This can be a friend calling off plans at the last minute, bailing on you for someone else behind your back and not just using a good excuse upfront, or ditching you and not saying anything until way later. From experience, this is a crappy way of treating someone whom you praise and "care" so much for. If a friend really means it, they'll show you that they do.
2. It's okay to have other friends.
Some friends that I've had in the past have not been able to accept that I like to have other friends to talk to and hang out with. It's a problem if I can't have a social life and am locked into a friendship that seems more like a relationship. If this becomes persistent, discuss this with your friend and let them know that you're only one person but that you have other friends to attend to. They can't be the center of your world, unfortunately, as much as you might love them.
3. A friendship comes from two directions.
By this, I mean that a real friend shouldn't just care about themselves. They should look out for you, go out of their way for you, do things for you, even if they're little things. It doesn't have to be a consistent back-and-forth of good deeds, but if they're not just sitting there sulking about their lives and actually care about yours and your day and what's going on, then this is a positive sign.
4. A friend will listen to you vent.
I don't know about you, but when I need to get something off of my chest, I want a listening ear. The key to venting is to make sure you're not yelling at somebody when doing it, but instead explaining your frustration or why you're upset in a calm and collected way. I normally just want feedback and sometimes I just want someone to focus on me and listen to what I have to say.
But if I start talking about something and it seems like my friend isn't listening or is clearly distracted, that makes me feel extremely foolish, unimportant, and not cared for. I've experienced friendships where the other person sits on their phones or will interrupt me to talk to someone else. How am I ever going to share my life with someone who doesn't care about it?
5. Bringing up the past isn't a resolution.
If you and a friend have had some beef in the past and talked it through, then it should stay in the past. If something resurfaces when it was supposed to stay in the past, then there becomes a problem. In friendships, we make mistakes just like anything else in our lives. The thing that isn't healthy is score-keeping. Holding grudges and bringing them back up isn't a way to resolve any current issues. The past is for the past and it stays there. Nothing should have to be brought back up in order to prove anyone right or wrong.
Insight into friendships is best to have at all times. Friendships can be the best things in the whole world next to family or loved ones. Make sure they treat you right and that there are no problems, even if they're subtle or seem minor. It's not worth your trouble.