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What makes a true friendship?

House of Thatcher, Facebook Photo Fall Retreat 2015

For some reason, making friends never came easy to me. I always managed to have at least one in my twin sister, but any other friends I acquired eventually drifted away. Part of it was me. I had a hard time with some social cues, tended to be quieter, but was eccentric. Also, since I attended a small private school with the same kids since third grade, it was hard to branch out. But, when I hit my junior year in high school, I began to make friends with the theater community in my school. It felt wonderful to finally have a place to belong and to have a community that supported me and that I could support them. When I graduated and looked towards college, I was happy to leave my small school and jump in a bigger pool of fish. However, I was worried about struggling to make friends. But, when I moved into Clark Street and began my New York experiment, I plucked up the courage and got over myself. Soon enough, with hard work and good intentions, I found myself with friends that I'm sure will be dear friends for a long time. True friends. But how do you know what a true friend is?

Well, here are some traits that I believe make a true friend:

1. They've got enough courage to tell you you're wrong.

True friends are like "iron sharpening iron" and sometimes that's not pleasant. I've got friends that have explicitly told me to shut up, calm the hell down or just that I was wrong. These friends I can trust because I know they care about me enough to tell me when I'm falling below even general human suckiness. And then, they still love me no matter what. This goes vice versa as well.

2. They make you laugh.

This is so important. Laughing is something that we should do more often. While you should be able to be serious and have meaningful conversations with your friends, you should also be able to be absolutely ridiculous.

3. You're seen by them.

Not just with their eyes. They might not fully understand your crazy but they see you for what you are and love you for exactly who you are, whether you attempt to order a single ginger ale on seamless or not. (Hey...it was a hard week...don't judge).

4. All of you encourage each other.

I think this one is pretty self-explanatory.

5. You can talk about the stuff that matters.

You know, the deep stuff. If you're a verbal processor and a hopeless brooder like me, this is extremely important. You could keep it all inside you, but it's better for you and even for friends to hear it. You may need advice, encouragement, or even prayer and this way you can get that.

6. You all listen to each other.

This one is pretty self-explanatory, as well. Sometimes we all just need to shut our mouths and listen to the person in front of us. Listening is one of the best ways to develop trust and deepen relationships. In this day and age, it can be a hard trait to have and find. But with work, it becomes natural.

That's my working "list" of traits that help distinguish true friends from others. I can't say I've lived a long time or I know a lot of people, but I've lived long enough and I've met enough people to know that you have to stick with the people who make life worth living. The ones that are crazy with you, stupid with you and serious with you. The friends that just live with you. Now, I think I've been sappy enough for a 500-word blog post.

But of course I could leave you with this puppy and kitten friendship that we all must aspire to...

Yep. Enjoy.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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