In stages throughout our lives we have all gone through questioning and discovering who really is for us and who truly belongs in our life. In my life I have had friends who I thought would stick by my side forever, only to be disappointed later on down the journey.
We have people in our life that are meant to be in our life for a reason, a season or for life. The ones that are meant for life are very, very few but oh so much of a blessing.
I have created 5 ways that we can tell whether someone is a lifelong friend. Let me tell you now, these friends are super rare and sometimes they are the people you least expect to become your closest friend. It can almost feel like they are family.
These are the types of people you don’t want to take for granted. Although you might not always be in a 100% agreement with them, you know the quality they possess is out of this world extraordinary.
WAY#1: Your friendship has 100% honesty
This is so important because without honesty a relationship cannot grow. For many people, it’s hard to be honest. You worry about hurting the others feelings or you are afraid of a bad reaction from them. In all reality you have nothing to lose by being honest. If you say nothing, you never know what kind of friendship it will really turn into.
Honesty can open the door to talking things out and building on a greater, more appreciative understanding of one another. You know that despite what dumb thing you might say, they are going to want to talk it out with total honesty. This is when you know you have one of those rare and amazing friendships.
Having honesty in a friendship doesn't mean that we are critical and negative- it means that we share our truth in a respectful, honoring and kind way. Click To Tweet Because we care about the relationship, we are honest in a way that is sensitive to our friend.
Too often people confuse being honest and being critical. Honesty doesn’t have to be mean, it can be enlightening for both people, coming from a caring heart.
WAY#2: You both can be your true self
Being able to be yourself has got to be one of the most freeing things. We all have weakness and hiding those weaknesses can get exhausting. Having a friend that just gets you and doesn't hold your weakness against you is a friend you want to keep Click To Tweet
They make everything lighter by just allowing you to say and do what you want to with having to tiptoe around them with your words. This doesn’t mean you can be careless with your words or actions but it does mean you can let loose, have fun and just be real. They see every aspect of you and love and respect you for the person you are.
Acceptance is a major factor in being your true self. A lifelong friend will accept you the way that you are but that doesn’t mean that they wont challenge you to be a better and a stronger person. A lifelong friend will want to help come alongside of you and build you up. They will show up at your toughest times and when you are at your worst, proving how they care through their actions.
WAY#3: You respect one another
This is honestly the part that gets me choked up a little bit. When I think about my best friend, I think about all the stuff we have been through together good and bad, confusing, weird and at times challenging. We have a mutual respect for one another because we have endured some hard stuff and many times it has been together.
We have come out stronger together and are able to see the beauty and kindness of what’s inside. That’s the beautiful part of enduring hardship, seeing how it pushes the other person to be better and do better.
A lifelong friendship will have a deep, profound and appreciative mutual respect. You wont even have to question whether or not they have a questionable character. Click To Tweet When one or the both of you do something stupid the respect is still there because you know who they are and how they will turn the stupid thing around to be a respectable person. You understand that you are in life circumstances together and will work it out together.
WAY#4 Your values line up with each other
I can remember a time in my life where I was extremely close to a friend. I thought she was a lifelong friend. We endured a lot together. But what I didn’t see is that our values shifted as we got older and life circumstances happened. She valued things that I didn’t and I valued things that she didn’t. This created a lot of division and lack of understanding.
She chose to be in a relationship with an awful man and I sat by and watched my friends character change. She wasn’t the same person. Addressing it didn’t help. It just confirmed the kind of people I didn’t care to know or associate with. It was like she became a stranger to me. The things I valued, she didn’t seem to value. She voiced these to me and my heart would sink.
You can respect another person but being a close lifelong friend doesn't happen when your values don't line up with each other. Click To Tweet My closest lifelong friend has some of the same values as me- giving, loyal, relatable, kind, loving, supportive, hard working, understanding and respect. There are many more but that’s just a few.
Not all your values will line up- we are all human after all. But those important values are what tie us together or separate us. If we don’t have some of those important shared values our friendships are not growing, making us stronger and more impactful people.
WAY #5 Our lifelong friendship makes us a better person
Every way that I have shared leads me into this last point. Our very few lifelong friendships are not perfect but they make us a better person. They challenge and encourage us in every aspect of our lives to be ourselves and to be the best version of ourselves. They see the true person that we are even when we try to hide those tough parts.
A lifelong friend will remind of us when we get stuck in our insecurities and weaknesses of who we are and greatness that's inside of us. Click To Tweet These rare friends will dig deep and remind of us of the treasure we possess and how we can make it through and conquer our painful breaking points. This type of friend will go beyond encouraging words to show us through thoughtfulness that they are a support we can count on.
A lifelong friend will show up, not just once, but every time and stay committed to showing up. When they miss it- they will make it up to us. They wont just say “I’m sorry” but they will show us sorry. We live in a world where a lot of people make excuses for not showing up and being supportive. A lifelong friend will do just the opposite. They will see how they have hurt us. Not only will they say they are sorry but will show it in their actions.
My lifelong friend has been to all but two of my runway modeling shows. One time she was late. Not only did she apologize for being late and stating how it was her fault but she showed me. She took the time and money to take me out after the show. She bought me dinner the night she was late. This is a true lifelong friend. When you have this kind of a friend don’t take it for granted and hold on tight.