post written by: Marc Chernoff

9 Things a True Friend Would Never Do


9 Things a True Friend Would Never Do to You

An acquaintance has a little something in common with you and merely enjoys your company for a short time.  A fair-weather friend flatters you when the sun is shining and the birds are chirping.  A true friend, on the other hand, has your very best interests at heart and would NEVER…

1.  Criticize you for being flawed.

As flawed as you might be, as out of place as you sometimes feel, and as lacking as you think you are, you don’t have to hide all the imperfect pieces of yourself from a true friend.  They see your flaws as features that make you interesting and beautiful.

The quality of the happiness between two people grows in direct proportion to their acceptance, and in inverse proportion to their intolerance and expectations.  True friends love and appreciate each other just the way they are.

2.  Walk away when times get tough.

True friendship and good character is all about how a person nurtures another person when they are vulnerable and can give very little in return.  Thus, it’s not who’s standing beside you during good times, but the ones who stick by you through tough times that are your true friends.

So take note of who remains in your life when times get tough, especially the people who sacrifice the resources they have in their life to help you improve yours when you need it most.  Seriously, when you come out the other side of a difficult period in your life, look around you.  The people still standing beside you are your true friends.

3.  Discourage you.

Unfortunately, some who seem like your friends will try to hold you back from your full potential.  It may be difficult, but don’t let these negative imposters bring you down.  Don’t ever let your so-called friends turn your sky into a ceiling.  Beware of friends who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small hearts and minds always do that.  The greatest hearts and minds – the people you should spend time around – make you feel that you, too, can become great.

Remember, encouraging things happen when you distance yourself from discouraging people.  Doing so doesn’t mean you hate them, it simply means you respect yourself.  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Relationships” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

4.  Hold a grudge over your head.

Some people will refuse to accept that you are no longer who you used to be – that you’ve made mistakes in the past, learned from them, and moved beyond them.  They may not be able to stand the fact that you’re growing and moving on with your life, and so they will try to drag your past to catch up with you.  Do not help them by acknowledging their begrudging behavior.  Let go of their negativity, find peace, and liberate yourself!

A true friend never holds the unchangeable past against you; instead, they help your repair your present and future.  If someone relentlessly judges you by your past and holds it against you, you might have to take matters into your own hands, and repair your present and future by leaving them behind.

5.  Lie to you.

When you keep someone in your life who is a chronic liar, and you keep giving them new chances to be trusted, you have a lot in common with this person – you’re both lying and being unfriendly to YOU.

If you know someone who avoids the truth by telling you only what you want to hear, they do so for their own benefit, not yours.  They are not a true friend and they don’t deserve to be treated as such.

6.  Pretend like they have all the answers.

If you think about the people who have had the greatest positive effect on your life – the ones who truly made a difference – you will likely realize that they aren’t the ones that tried to give you all the answers or solve all your problems.  They’re the ones who sat silently with you when you needed a moment to think, who lent you a shoulder when you needed to cry, and who tolerated not having all the answers, but stood beside you anyway.

Don’t look for a friend who will solve all your problems; look for one who will face them with you.  (Read Tuesdays with Morrie.)

7.  Take from you without giving back.

You deserve to be with friends who make you smile – friends who don’t take you for granted – friends who won’t leave you hanging.  When you notice that a friend is always taking from you without giving back, you might need to distance yourself from them for a while.  If they care, they’ll notice.  If they don’t, you know where you stand.

You should want to give, but you shouldn’t be forced to always give more than you get.  If you feel like you are being taken advantage of, respect yourself enough to confront the situation.  This doesn’t mean you have to stop being friends with those who you feel are at fault, but you need to evaluate your friendships and realize where to draw the line when you give yourself to certain people.

8.  Bully you.

It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but just as much to stand up to your friends.  Sometimes bullying comes from the most unlikely places.  Be cognizant of how your friends treat you, and look out for the subtle jabs they throw.  When necessary, confront them or distance yourself from them – whatever it takes to give yourself the opportunity to grow into who you really are.

Life’s too short to be hanging around people who try to control and manipulate you.  Anyone who does so is not a true friend.  Gain your independence by taking off the shackles and freeing yourself from these bullies.  (Read The Mastery of Love.)

9.  Make you feel like you’re burdening them.

True friendship is never burdened with stressful promises and obligations.  What true friends do for each other should be done because they care and because they want to do them.  Period.

So don’t chase people.  They don’t need to be chased.  If someone is a true friend and wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever force yourself on someone who continuously overlooks your worth.

Afterthoughts

A true friend who understands your tears and troubles is far more valuable than a hundred friends who only show up for your smiles and joys.  Because a true friend accepts who you truly are, and also helps you become who you are capable of being.

Friendships like this require more than just finding the right person, they also require you to be the right person.  When someone believes in you enough to lift you up, try not to let them down.  True friendship is a sweet responsibility to be nurtured, not an opportunity to be exploited.

Your turn…

What would you add to the list?  What’s one thing a true friend would never do?  Leave a comment below and let us know.

Photo by: JDConway

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97 Comments

  • Ah, all the hard-hitting points. A true friend would never stop trying to bring you back to a safe place. Sometimes I may be going through some rough patches and I’d want to close myself off. My true friends won’t disregard my pain and just give up after I try to push them away. They’ll give me some space, but subtly try to pick me back up.

  • A true friend will hold your most inner secrets to their heart and never *ever let those secrets out. A true friend will also not dig those secrets out of you.

  • I think it’s worth noting that humans make mistakes and that sometimes your “true friends” will actually slip up. It comes down to an in-the-moment choice about forgiveness. I see too many people throw away long-term friendships for minor slips.

    That said, I totally agree with the overall concept of having high expectations of others and not compromising your values, ideals and self-respect for repeat offenders.

  • True friends don’t force you to be anyone other than the unique, beautiful person you always have been.

  • Gosh, my husband does 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 to me. Warning bells!!!

  • Sadly, my mother was definitely not my friend.

  • True friends would not:

    -keep reminding you of your failures
    -forget to five you credit when you succeed
    -break their commitments

  • A true friend does not abandon a friend in need even when that friend doesn’t know they’re in need. A true friend is loving and supportive and there for the long haul, not when it’s convenient.

  • Sometimes you must be willing to walk away from a friendship that is toxic.

  • All great comments and thoughts. Thoroughly enjoy and am inspired by your newsletters. I share them with family and friends regularly.

    I would add just one thing to this list. Other than extreme circumstances (health, safety, etc) a true friend should not betray his/her friend’s confidence. Gossip is never a good thing.

  • …holds you accountable.

  • True friends are the family you met along the way. They respect you for who you are and discredit you for who you are not.

    Great post as usual!

  • Every morning the first thing I do is read your blog!! Thank you Marc & Angel for being so inspirational.

    I am going through a rough patch in life right now and there is decisions that I need to make. You have opened my eyes to a lot of things… I really needed today’s post!! I totally agree with KP, my husband does all of the above! I am trying to gather my inner strength to address the situation.

  • I think it is important to nurture friendships that energise you and don’t leave you drained. However I agree with Dan your friends are human too and sometimes they will slip up. Accepting that your friends aren’t going to be perfect is important too.

  • Great post on friendship.

    A true friend will not hold you back from doing something that is best for YOU. For example, if you know intuitively that you’re supposed to move to another area, state, or country, a true friend will *wish* you well and *good luck.* A true friend will be supportive and understand that you have to do what you have to do.

  • Some of these points are a bit ‘pie in the sky’ if they aren’t dealt with appropriately. No one is perfect and when a friend isn’t over the moon about some decision you’ve made, maybe they have a perspective that you don’t. Friendship is a responsibility and that should not be taken lightly. It’s all about balance. I’d rather have a friend who is brave enough to be completely honest with me than someone who feels compelled to just support anything that I randomly decide upon.

  • True friends would never:

    1. Use your failings, shortcomings, or fears against you.
    2. Allow someone to attack you without stepping up to your defense, even if you are not there in person.
    3. Be afraid to say good-bye without saying I love you
    4. List you as a “go to” person to care for their children in an emergency, even over your local family

  • For those of you that have mentioned your spouses do the things mentioned above… I am less than one year out of a marriage with a man who acted that way towards me. But I was emotionally terrified to leave him. I doubted myself to the point where I had no voice or self worth. I am still recovering from the years of his emotional mistreatment of me. But I will heal and you can too. Make the courageous step to end the toxic marriage. It can be done and recovery is slow, but forthcoming. No one deserves to be with someone who doubts ANY part of you. This blog has re-affirmed the inner voice inside of me. I know I’m going to be ok. And you will too. <3

  • This is so timely for me. I’m in the process of letting go of a friendship. Items #7 and 9 are the big reasons why I’m doing the right thing. It just hurts to let go and not feel like I failed in some way. I truly love this person and was the best friend I knew how to be, but sadly, the sentiment really wasn’t returned. Seeing things laid out in this blog help me know I am not alone.

  • When the other person who calles you her “best friend” is not the same anymore, and drains you out everytime we meet… is it because we are not of the same wavelength anymore? Or maybe because I’m not trying? I’ve reached a point where I told myself “no, I’m not gonna try so hard.” Thing is, she regards me as her bff, but the same can’t be said for me. I kinda want out of this whole thing, because she can be a real energy sucker. She experiences things in which I don’t know how to handle either. Her dilemmas soon turn into mine too, because I still care. But I feel that this is quite unnecessary, like a baggage weighing me down. Guess the problem is with me, is it? I am still supportive of her. But at times, besides listening to her, I really don’t know what else to do…

  • A true friend would always like to know what is happening in your life-whether you are enjoying any good moments so that you can share together or facing any challenges that he or she might want to help!

  • Never take you for granted. True friends understand, protect, nurture, develop and appreciate the friendship.

  • Julie Achterhoff
    July 22nd, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I would like to recommend a wonderful book I just read for us women who have trouble with toxic relationships. It’s called “Women Who Love Too Much,” by Robin Norwood. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have gotten a hold of this book! I guess maybe I finally suffered enough banging my head against the wall and never understanding why love equaled pain. There is a way out and this is the map!

  • Sadly, my one and only daughter is not a friend to me. Nor is my husband anymore. I am held to some other standard, a double standard. In fact my whole family does all of the above. I now realise what a toxic childhood I had and how it has created this “me” on search of the real authentic me.

  • Once again, Marc & Angel, you guys are THE best!

  • Include yourself in your list of friends. … most of the time we are our own worst enemies … ask yourself if you would you let someone else talk to you the way you talk to yourself?

  • #2 Walk away when times get tough.
    I have been saying this for nearly a year…If you want to know who your true friends are, go through a crisis in your life!
    I would also add - if they are a bad influence. I was drinking too much with a few women and now that I am limiting my time with them, I am feeling so much better and so much more productive. Drinking is something I know I need to watch, but I was actually pressured to party like I was 20. My mind is clearer now and my family appreciates it.

  • Marc and Angel, thank you for this! I just spent an evening (my last) with a person who has perfected items 3, 6, 8 and 9 from your list. I’ve sensed for a while that she really isn’t friend material but I thought to try one more time with her to see if her hostility, negativity and downer attitude towards me was temporary but now I see that is how she is and recognized how draining and damaging it is for me to spend time with her. I realized that I want a friend and she wants a kicking sack.

  • Tatiana Milejska
    July 22nd, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I agree with all these points. Very true. When it comes to romantic relationships however; if someone truly loves, truly values you, they should stick by your side no matter what and never abandon you. Regardless of how difficult a situation may appear, the truth is, things always get better in time. Once you weather the storm together, brighter days are sure to follow. They always do. It’s a hard fact to swallow believing someone loved you when their actions suggest they probably never really loved you at all.

  • A true friend would travel great distances without hesitation to have your back.

  • True friends will seek to understand your differences (or at least accept without judgement - not ‘tolerate’ - their existence) and compromise so you can give each other what you have to offer, rather than judge those differences against their own ideas and declare them wrong. I have recently let a friendship go with an extrovert (I’m an introvert) who refused to understand that her ’social world’ was not the real world to everyone, and certainly not for me. Despite repeatedly providing information to explain my own ‘real world’ she attacked me for my life in fantasy land although I’ve always understood the difference between myself and extroverts and have no issue with it. This in itself is not an uncommon attack on introverts, as far as I know.

    I have discovered on my own journey that you can actually understand anyone, if you work out or ask for the chain of thoughts that makes their choices make sense to them. Without agreeing, or ever thinking you’d do it yourself - you can still understand how they chose what they did. It’s an amazing thing to discover that even the most out of touch, mentally ill person can make perfect sense, even if their choices/conclusions would never make sense to you. I can’t recommend learning this skill highly enough. It mostly involves considering why and how, those details are keys to the minds of others!

    And also just a real world consideration, as far as giving priority - when a friend is in a life that may not allow physical presence as much as they would like to offer you in your tough times - please see what else they might be offering before judging them as not there. My husband has PTSD and we do a lot of work with him. We have children and my family is my main priority, but it doesn’t mean others are not important.

    I am not as available for others as I would normally be but I try to connect in other ways, and provide help in alternative places. I am giving from what I have, even if what I have is not the ability to be 100% devoted to my friend. Not being available all the time and not being physically on hand doesn’t mean I’m not giving. In this I ensure I acknowledge my awareness of not being the best version of a friend. If you see those things, please think before declaring someone not a true friend.

  • KP-Proud of you! Your path will be difficult, but it will be a path you choose and you can adjust it as you get stronger and stronger. I found support groups and private counseling to be very helpful. Stay strong by surrounding yourself with good friends and try to reach out and help others. Always a good way to combat the old feeling sorry for yourself blues.

  • A true friend accepts who you are, points out your flaws as a sign of love, but accepts you with the flaws unchanged.

  • A true friend does not compete with you. Rather she wishes the best for you as well as wishing the best for herself. A true friend roots for the two of you; hopes the best for the two of you; helps you to become better in all things if its in her power to do so, without EVER thinking, “Wow, if I help her, she may do better than me”.
    A true friend does NOT feel the need to be “better/smarter/faster/stronger/funnier…” than you.

  • A true friend does not cut you off at the knees so they can look taller!!!

  • Friendship or a Lover whether they are introverts/ extraverts, need to be able to both talk and be open to listen. It is a 2-way street. Some build themselves up to make them feel better, and genuinely care little about You.
    “Communication” is misunderstood, because we misuse it. Insecurity leads to sarcasm, negativity, and not thinking about the other person.

    Also, men seem to need physical contact more, & then psychological, and women the opposite.

  • boris nwachukwu
    July 23rd, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    A true friend will understand your mannerisms and bad habits and will try not to change you, but will influence you in to positive change by being a great example.

  • @Kenneth: Great addition on both facets!

    @Dan: Spot on! Absolutely true.

    @Chris: I would suggest being open and honest with her… express your true feelings. If your friend never energizes you at all, it may be time to take action. Perhaps just giving yourself some breathing room to figure things out is an appropriate first step.

    @Julie Achterhoff: Thank you for the recommendation.

    @Chris: GREAT perspective! You need to learn how to be your own best friend.

    @All: As we recognize what we don’t want in a true friend, it’s absolutely vital that we reflect on these qualities within ourselves. As Kelly mentioned, not all friendships will look exactly the same, but they will have one quality in common: Friendships should energize more than debilitate you over the long-term. As always, thank you for keep the conversation alive. =)

  • I believe a true friend would not like to pull you down by reminding you and bringing up topics from your past that you are so desperately trying to forget.

    It makes moving on so hard, when a true friend makes fun of your past or brings up the topic every time at every chance.

  • I was friends with someone for 13 years and best friends with her for the past 10 years. She recently told me I hadn’t been there for her during the past 7 months when she broke up with a boyfriend who was cheating on her via emails to other women. I think I was there for her and we spent hours on phone when it first happened last fall. We have continued to talk about it and analyze him to the point where I have nothing else to say. She has stayed in contact with him because she thinks she can ‘help him’. Or at least, she says that’s the reason. All this came out via a text because she wouldn’t answer my calls. (I had changed a dinner plan to a lunch and she was very mad at me for that). I would have thought that our 10 year friendship deserved sitting down and talking about any issues she/we had. I also have to point out that while she was seeing this guy, I hardly ever saw my friend or heard from her. She never made time for me, but I have really tried to show her that I can have a boyfriend and still spend time with my friends. We are older - in our 40’s - so it’s hard for me to comprehend the way she has handled this whole thing. Thoughts?

  • Reading this made me realize how precious true friends really are and makes me appreciate the few I do have even more!

  • @KP - my husband too - 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and has threatened with 2 if I didn’t obey. Not sure if 7 applies, that is less clear.

    The pity is, he used to be my very good, best friend. Now he has another “best friend,” now that I’m older, out of work, etc. As he has a high need for variety, the new and exciting, he gets bored easily. I keep hoping that one day we will be at least very good friends again, and he will treat me with respect again. When I finally accept that it’s not going to happen, I will leave.

  • What would be your advice on how to end a friendship? I would like to do it gracefully, but also would like to express in a respectful manner just how much I was hurt. This is someone I have been friends with for 30 years who treated me very coldly during and after my sister and father both being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer(s) and both dying within 6 months of each other. She did not reach out to me when it was very obvious that I was unravelling. I did reach out to her and received quite a cold shoulder. Thanks for your help and love this site. Jamie

  • I’d add -

    They don’t walk away when your life gets good. They celebrate your victories as much as they support your struggle. They can hold space for you in your good times too - even while they may desire the same for themselves. Instead of pulling away they lean in. And celebrate you and your journey!

  • True friends never miss a beat. meaning, you can go months or even years without seeing each other and pick-up right where you left off.

  • Woooow! Your post on friendship here really reminds me who are my true friends and who are not. Great principles and reminders. Thanks.

  • Call you on your stuff. A true friend needs to be a good enough friend to be able to tell you when you are acting up, even if you don’t want to hear it.

  • I have lots - all of my gym friends. I am a good friend but “criticized” by my friend in a exercise class. She told me to never criticize her in front of other people. I am apparently emotionally abusive she says. I apparently complained about an exercise and she thought all would hear and not like her classes. I realize that we had some bad moments. I didn’t think our friendship would end over this.

    It has. She told me to have a good life but she wont be part of it. I am so sad. I love to exercise and want to be at the new gym. I didn’t believe she was serious. I tried to contact her 3 times. I have been going to counseling because of this and a recent job loss. I realize I may need to learn to treat friends a lot better. Do I try to apologize once more? My heart hurts. It has been 3 months. Am I crazy? We had a great loving friendship and had lost of fun outside of these fights. I don’t understand how you just decide you don’t want to have someone in your life forever.

  • I really believe I have learned and changed to treat this friendship differently but not sure if time will help or how to approach and ask for another chance. I had lost my job (so had too much time to think and guess that is why I bugged her so much) and still currently looking. I want to ask her if I can work at her new gym but guess maybe she has made her decision and doesn’t want me in her life. I am an extrovert and an outgoing person but this has really hurt my confidence. I have other friends, but none are as close. Lost two other lesser friends because of this one too

  • I am a 3rd generation journalist. My saintly mother told me that it was a journalists creative right to come up with new words. So for this topic; my new word is, “Hampire”! Definition: A human being that sucks the soul out of you. It saddens me to know that there are people that can drain you of your spirit! I think that there are people out there that live in their own bubble.

    They lose their patience when you have a multitude of life altering problems but hopefully only temporary challenges.

    My best friend for example; she doesn’t seem to understand the domino effect. Health issues create financial dilemmas, financial problems… (Well, I don’t even need to go into detail) health and financial situations result in your sense of self worth and your emotional state of mind.

    Anyway my friend got tired of my predicament. She seems to forget that I cautiously and patiently listen to her men problems as well as everyday challenges she was experiencing. Keeping in mind that it’s all relative! I BELIEVE that a true friend listens and is supportive while being delicately honest. I would never in a million years be so insensitive to say, “What is wrong with you and why can’t you move on after becoming disabled, losing you’re your job, the love of your life and being broke! I’m getting tired of listening to this”! That hurt so badly. I hibernated and closed myself off in any way possible.

    I still love her but needless to say, I have disconnected for the time being! Someone once told me that no one wants to hear about your problems. I think that expressing your angst with a friend can give you such vital comfort! But I need to be cognizant of doing it in moderation and to NEVER LOOSE your positive outlook! I never stop smiling, even when I am crying inside! There is the saying, “Where there is a will there’s a way”! I say, “Where there is a will there is a ___________ (enter your name in the blank spot)!

    ANY feedback would be so greatly appreciated! Any! This is my 1st time on your site! What a blessing and what an incredible concept! I feel such an incredible bond with everyone that has shared their thoughts! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  • A true friend can see right through you, and still enjoy the view.

  • A true friend would not sleep with your husband. Someone I thought was my friend, did just that. In hind sight, she did me a favor. I am now out of marriage that was emotionally lacking. He sucked all the confidence out of me with his constant nit picking. Now, I am better and stronger than ever.

  • A true friend would not take over a month or more to return a phone call.

    A true friend would not endlessly make excuses for years on end as to why they are too busy to visit you, especially when those excuses are crap.

    A true friend would not completely abandon a 20+ year friendship once they got married.

  • Forget you. Ignore you.

  • Geez, wake up call. This so called friend of mine pretty much ticked all those boxes for things you shouldn’t do! Thank you for helping me make an important decision in my life.

  • I think a true friend would never let out your secrets.

  • @ Spring.

    Just a thought, you might want to look up the def. of Sociopath and see if it fits him.

    If so, it might help you make whatever decisions you need to make.

    All the best to you.

  • Another thing a true friend won’t do is belittle you when good things come your way. This has been my biggest issue with “friends”. They all love to help out when times are tough, but can’t wait to cut me down and belittle me when something good happens.

  • They will never be the cause of your drama.

  • Shut you out over a stupid argument.

  • A true friend does not go through your underware drawer, your jewelry box, personal papers and your entire home, snooping in every cupboard and cubby when they are supposed to be caring for your pets, plants and home while you are gone.

  • A true friend will also not always be about themselves….. Beware if you have one who is constantly complaining about their lives and other people…. For most of the duration of the visit. You are not anyone’s therapist… And are not trained to separate all the emotions that go with it. I had a friend who would go on and on and then get pissed if anyone would make any kind of suggestion to try to better the situation…. Then we were criticizing her. Sad as it sounds you have to make sure the friendship is on some what even footing… if you are footing most of the resources….time, listening, your spouse fixing things for them, paying for most of your outings, other friends gifts , this probably is not a good situation. That is what happened in this situation…. Only for me to find out she was ripping me apart behind my back with other so called friends.

  • I think this statement in your article really sums it up best: “Friendships like this require more than just finding the right person, they also require you to be the right person.”

  • Wounded but Stronger
    September 21st, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I was in a very similar situation to BRC; interesting to see another person going through the same thing.

  • What do you think about a person who is suppose to be your long time friend, and then her and her husband find new friends (a couple) to associate with and totally leave you out of the picture. Do you feel that this person is a true friend? I don’t. I’ve come to believe that this person is a fair weather friend, and only wants you around at their convenience. Not jealousy because this person has found new friends but I’m not really mentioned like I’m a close friend to them either. What are your thoughts?

  • A true friend would never use you.

  • So glad to come across this article. To add up for myself and to share with everyone: 1. Be a righteous, honest, generous, reliable and most importantly, loving person; (Very important, because likes attract likes: If you want great friends, you have to be great to deserve them) 2. Make friends with people with the same traits, namely, screen everyone you’ve known or you are yet to meet through such criteria, so your likes will fall through to be your friends and the snobs, hypocrites, stealers will be left alone - for ever. Remember friends are meant to enrich and beautify your life, not to twist your mind and soul.

  • After reading this post, I had an epiphany. Some of those things are things that I sometimes do to my friends, whether accidental or on purpose. Thank you for posting this, as it has shown me what I need to do to be a better friend.

  • A true friend would notice when your said and do everything in their power to cheer you up.

  • A true friend…

    Is LOYAL
    Is KIND
    Is HONEST
    Is GENEROUS
    Makes you LAUGH
    Respects the MAGIC of your friendship

    :)

  • A true friend will always guide you through the right path. He or she will surely make you aware when you are going to do something wrong. He or she will never appreciate or support such things. Rather a true friend will always try to convince you so that you do not even think of doing such things in the future.

  • @MLPFan02

    Agreed <3

  • A true friend shouldn’t criticize you and put you down. They should value your friendship. True friends shouldn’t go behind your back. They should trust you. They should be happy for you and something great comes your way. A true friend shouldn’t always talk about them-self. They should care about what is happening in your life. When “better” people come along, they shouldn’t stop talking to you because that shows that they never were a true friend at all. Overall, a true friend is someone who will lift you up at all times. They are someone who you make you a better you. A true friend is someone who i am still hoping to find.

  • I lost my job two years ago and it was a fast downward spiral after that, lost my house due to foreclosure, had to live with in-laws until we got back on our feet. Out of all the people who I had been there for in the past (thru their ups and downs)and who were supposed to be my friends, only very few were there for me. Also, they were the friends I never would have expected to step up and the friends I really thought would be helping me with either emotional support or just lending a hand helping us move, disappeared. Needless to say, my circle has gotten smaller and I’ve become harden and left those so called “fair weathered” friends behind. Some of them have tried to get back into my life after everything settled down, but I just don’t respond to them and usually they get the hint. The deal is, I didn’t expect to drag them into my problems, but a phone call or stop by and see how I was holding up would have been nice I didn’t hear from some of them for 6 months. I’m moving on. Life lesson learned.

  • Sadly, I have realized I have no real friends. I have friendly people but my friends pretty much forget me, call if they need something but that’s it, throwv my fears in my face, yell at me if I don’t take their advice, ignore me, if I have a different opinion than theirs, I better prove with facts why I have an opinion, double standards are commonplace, and when I need someone they are never around. I’d love to say we’re teens but we’re in our 40’s and 50’s.

    I’d rather be lonely and friendless, so I don’t talk with them and I go about the pleasantries you have with acquaintances.

    Interestingly, when I didn’t call, text, or email none of my friends could bother to see if I was ok.

  • I just lost my best friend last night and she is 1 thru 9 to me. And remember this:
    - A true friend will only remember you of your good times. Not bad times.

  • I think a true bff should appreciate you and never EVER be mean or say rude words to them aka aloner,cow etc.

  • This article hit the nail and I love it. It confirmed that I was right in pushing away my bad friends. That being said…
    A true friend will laugh at your stupid jokes and love your weird qualities. A true friend would never flirt with the guy you have a crush on. A true friend will give you time if you need it and not rush you for his or her selfish reasons. A true friend will never throw you away when someone better comes along. A true friend will never overly praise another friend and make you feel like you’re not cool enough.

  • Thank you for this… It has reinforced that I’m not the only person who thinks this way about friendship. I hold it as a sacred bond, and believe I am a true friend to the people in my life - I am SO sad to think the people I treat with respect and support and love, don’t do the same in return. My only “true friend”? My husband. Thank the Lord for me stumbling across him!! Much love. xx

  • I recently lost my husband suddenly. I know now who my true friends are…the ones that call (or email) at least once a week to see how I am. Then they listen. Those fair weather friends brought a meal and a hug the first week. Sadly they live just around the block.

    (He was my best friend for over 40 years.)

  • Friendships take hard work, just like a marriage. And often old friendships become more fragile over time, rather than stronger. Don’t know why that is, but it’s true. I’ve lost too many good friends over the years over stupid one-time mistakes (both mine and theirs). I’ve also lost friends when one of us in the relationship has changed. Friends who share addictions (drinking, smoking, shopping) are particularly at risk when one in the friendship opts out of the behavior. Friendships are complex and old friendships often survive because there is distance between the parties - literally and figuratively. Familiarity often breeds contempt. That being said, good friends try not to hurt you, stay by your side when the going gets rough and hopefully forgive you if you screw up.

  • True friends don’t turn a blind eye to your suffering. True friends don’t use you like a napkin and toss you away. True friends don’t enter commitments and then break them. True friends don’t leave you floundering while they walk away unpreterbed. Friends don’t USE eachother and they definitely don’t lay blame on you for having mental health problems, or character flaws.

    My best friend was my personal devil. And she ruined friendship for me. I will probably never trust another human being again.

  • Beautiful. Insightful. Thank you.

  • A true friend is someone that won’t abandon you for the “cooler” crowd. One of my friends and I have never quite fit in with the popular people; and now that they are finally accepting her, she seems to have forgotten about me. She does everything to please her new “friends”.

  • Hello strangers. I would love to share with you this list which I wrote while somewhat angry, disgruntled, and irritated. Please some tell me if I’m crazy or is there some morsel of truth in what I came up with.

    Real friends don’t ignore you when they feel like it and then smile and get back to you like it was nothing.

    Real friends actually invite you to events.

    Real friends will go out of their way to contact you.

    Real friends will never offend you and play it off like it was nothing.

    Real friends will confront you about problems and perhaps even help you with yours.

    Real friends will always try to hook you up, whether it be potential relationships, drugs, money when you need it or don’t.

  • I have had many times when I have made (what I thought..) were very good friends. Not long after leaving my ex I ended up with a lovely circle of friends who helped and supported me though the breakup. The few years before I met my now current partner, they were there for me, we would do lots of stuff together etc. Then slowly but surely within a short time after meeting my now current partner, they all disappeared from my life…this is like maybe 10 of them! I really tried to keep in contact, but it was no use, they all completely lost interest. Looking at it from a higher perspective, I can see they were there for me through the really bad times but when I met my partner, it was like “he is here now for you, our job is done, bye…”

    I went through a period of a couple of years of literally no other friends apart from my partner. Then I gradually started making new friends and they have been on a completely different wavelength and all of them have partners. Now a few of them are fading away, which seems to be coinciding with a new phase in my life happening, which would tie in.

    My (now grown up) children were def NOT my friends also, especially when I was going through the breakup of the marriage, they had their allegiances with their father and at this point they have no contact with me, very sad and heartbreaking, but again…’cosmic weeding’…?

    @ Max, indeed, “Real friends actually invite you to events”. This is a biggie for me at the moment, I supported one particular friend greatly in her personal life and business ventures. Lately I have been excluded from one big event she has been involved with. You know when you get that ’stabbed in the gut’ feeling, when they mention something? At my events I helped and supported her in helping her get more confident and helping her make money, I now have been overlooked The event she got involved in is so up my street and involves everything I am, when she mentioned it, I was a ’second thought’. All she could talk about was “do I want to be involved, it will cost you..x” Considering I let her have a voice at my event, where she made a considerable about of money, and I did not dream of taking a single cent. I also offered much help to promote her business, for free also.

    This rings true also “Real friends don’t ignore you when they feel like it and then smile and get back to you like it was nothing.” This is her habit, more often than not.

    I think the key to it all is this: if someone does not treat you with respect, as a true friend would, it is time to let them go, why waste your time? A slot has now opened for someone new and better to enter When someone does not want my company, then why should we pursue it, or try to ‘get the friendship back’? More often than not we cannot know truly why someone decides you are ’so last week’, but it is so important for us to get on with our life and not give away our power to them, and I know you really feel like cr*p when someone you thought highly of and a ‘friend’ decides you are not in their circle anymore, it really does make you feel yucky in the extreme.

    I also think it is ‘cosmic weeding’, the Universe is getting rid of those that are really of no benefit to us and making way for those who are better suited. Sometimes all friendships do not last, for whatever reason, but best to say to yourself “thank you for being in my life and all that we experienced together, and I will all the very best. RISE ABOVE ANY NEGATIVE FEELINGS and be thankful for the good times you had, and less on the bad times.

    Try to make YOU the best friend you could ever had and keep in mind..”am I someone I would want to spend time with?” If you do not like being around you, why would anyone else?

  • Great Website!!!!

    I guess Friends will always come and go out our lives. We change, our friends change….it’s just Life.

    BUT….BEST FRIENDS are supposed to be different. BEST FRIENDS, like any meaningful relationship (romantic or otherwise), are two people that decide that no matter what life hands them, that they are in it for the long haul. (Through Sickness/Health, Good Times/Bad Times, Etc).

    To me, leaving my Best Friend of 14 Years was NEVER an option. I guess my Best Friend, didn’t feel the same way.

    BUT…Just because they chose to leave the relationship, that doesn’t mean that was my choice.
    I choose to always be there for them, whenever they need me. It may be months/years down the road (or never)….but I will forever be their friend. To me, she is FAMILY….and FAMILY IS FOREVER.

  • A true friend would never turn your friends against you when they’re mad at you.

  • I am really struggling with #9. Have had who I’ve considered a best friend (and him me) for the past 7 years. He’s now going through a divorce & is always “too busy ” to get together. Yet he has time for everyone & everything else. He knows I feel taken for granted. Today after we again couldn’t get schedules together he joked around & I told him I’m tired of feeling like an unimportant option. He says he knows & will set up some time for us to spend together. Now I feel like I am chasing…like I am forcing someone to see me. I feel terrible both ways - telling him & ignoring it.

  • I totally agree with Coralie. “I true friend is someone who I am still hoping to find”

  • A true friend will NEVER go back on their word. Whether it be keeping a secret, keeping a hangout date, or just talking to you online. Sadly, about 95% of my “Friends” do this all the time.

  • A friend is someone who both loves you & can be trusted - unconditionally. Friends are genuinely good people who are always there. If you be honest and look really hard you can tell one from the other.

    I learnt at a young age during tough circumstances what happens when you crave true friendship and get let down everywhere you turn. I thank God that i have been blessed with a loving fiance who is my best friend, along with a great family and one beautiful female friend. X

  • A true friend will get in touch with you because they truly miss you and care about you, not because they need something from you. A true friend will try to help you through your problems, but will not offer unsolicited, presumptive “expert” advise. A true friend will not use you for their own advancements, will not try to have nice things you have, will not betray, stab your back or take you for granted.
    For those who see little signs mentioned above, don’t walk, run away! You are much much better alone than having these phonies.

  • A true friend would never…..
    take you for granted!!!!!

  • True friends would not make you choose them over other family and friends, because they are jealous.

  • I have known the person who I consider as my best friend for the past 15 years and our friendship is very important to me. I accept him for who he is. In all the time we’ve known each other we’ve got on really well together and I can honestly say that I can’t remember us ever having an argument. Recently he has been going through a tough time personally and I made it my business to support him and to let him know I was there for him. That’s what good friends do. In my birthday card from him he said I was a true friend which I found very touching.

  • Me and my best friend of 26 years are currently not talking. She speaks to people in a very bad manner as she just says that is how she is and we should all accept her that way. I picked up that she was offish towards me (we also work together) and asked her what was wrong? She said that she did not like my ‘attitude’ and they way I answered her. So I said sorry and I also mentioned to her that she is always welcome to drop in at my house for coffee or just a chat (we recently moved). After 26 years she tells me that we need to set a date for any meetings, coffee or a chat as her life it just too busy. I just said I am not going to fight over this and left it there, this is the first time in 26 years that we haven’t spoken to each other in almost 3 weeks (she sits in the office next to me). She just totally ignores me, and have now managed to turn everyone against me…..has lunch with them, make plan with them.

    It hurts to see how a bestie can become and enemy. The main reason behind it all is, she is very self centered, everyone needs to do what she wants to do and she is very selfish…..it’s her way or the highway.

    I am a grown up, I am not going to be fighting to have a space in someone’s life, especially if I need to make an appointment to see them.

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