10 Things That Identifies A True Friend

Yay, I made it through my daughter’s first year of middle school.  Yes, you’re reading this, which means I didn’t completely lose my mind (if you’re a parent of a middle-schooler you know exactly what I mean).  This year had its ups and downs and Lord knows I wasn’t prepared for any of it.  One day she loves me, the next day she doesn't--up and down, round and round.  Oy vey!  What I noticed to be the most significant change was my daughter trying to figure out who she was and where she fits in.  Specifically around the friendship arena and her being able to tell who was a counterfeit and who the real deal was. 


Ironically enough a few weeks ago my daughter and I started chatting about valuing good and authentic friendships - great opportunity to share my experiences.  I reminded her that everyone isn’t a friend and she should be able to tell the difference between the real deal and a counterfeit.  I also explained that acquaintances are fine and are not usually counterfeits.  They’re more like the girl you sit in front of in math class; although you know a little about her she’s not quite a friend.  However, if you see her public, it’s appropriate to wave at her.  She then turned and asked, “well how would I know if someone is a counterfeit?”  I said to her "there are certain characteristics you would notice over time.  Counterfeits cannot go for too long without blowing their cover."  I then began telling her 10 things I am grateful and thankful for with my friends, which is my version of the “real deal” type of friend.     

  1. Thank you to the friend who recognizes that growth is necessary and each person have different times when they experience it.  It’s not a race, but rather a journey and I appreciate the grace you’ve shown me when my growth was slower in a particular area. 
  2. Thank you to the friend that doesn’t need for us to have a people bashing conversation about others in order for us to secretly feel better about ourselves.  Our confidence is rooted in something much bigger.  And seeing other people win is inspiring and encouraging and we should contribute to that success. 
  3. Thank you to the friend that’s secure in their strengths but most of all, in their weaknesses.  They’re not always trying to compete with every move I make, and vice versa. 
  4. Thank you to the friend who can set me straight and tell me when I’m being a jerk, but does it in love.  Understanding that breaking someone down isn’t necessary when you’re helping them grow signifies maturity in yourself. 
  5. Thank you to friend who doesn’t force me to not be friends with someone simply because they’re not friends with that person.  Friendship doesn’t and shouldn’t require ultimatums. 
  6. Thank you to the friend that knows my deep dark secrets and don’t use it against me in an argument.  Confrontations will happen but it doesn’t have to be hurtful, especially with friends. 
  7. Thank you to the friend that isn’t wish-washy and values our friendship more than silence. Yes we have busy lives but we all make time for what’s important. 
  8. Thank you to the friend that isn’t keeping tabs of every good thing they do for me only to throw it back in my face when it’s most convenient.  We should operate in pureness without seeking a return.  
  9. Thank you to the friend that loves harder than blood.  True and authentic love is often hard to find and keep. 
  10. Thank you to the friend that takes our friendship deeper and deeper.  Surface relationships are way too convenient for extraordinary people. 

After that conversation, I wondered if I’d gone too far and if it was too deep for her.  But then the most memorable thing happened.  She said “with friends like that, I can see why you have been so lucky at your job and with your blog thing.  It’s almost as if God actually meant for them to be in your life.  Otherwise you would’ve been a regular person.” 

D E E P  P A U S E!!!!! 

The mere fact that she thinks I’m not a regular person is an improvement from how she used to see me.  But more importantly, she attributed my success to the company I kept.  BINGO!!!!  Birds of a feather, most certainly will flock together.

to you,