A True Friend

A true friend will be there for you through thick and thin – good times and bad. It isn't too difficult to be friends with someone when life is filled with happiness and peace. It is something altogether different to have a friend who shares in your sadness and stays beside you even when things aren't going well.

When strong friendships exist, mutual caring is evident. Doing things for one another, without expecting to have something done in return, is a sign of genuine friendship. So is being thoughtful and listening to friends when they need to open up.

Bethany's Story

A few summer's ago, Bethany had to go into the hospital for three days of medical tests. One test required her to be sleep deprived for more than 30 hours. While her mom stayed with her, it was hard to keep Bethany awake the whole time. So, one of Bethany's best friends, Shannon, asked her mom to bring her to the hospital to stay with Bethany and help keep her awake. They arrived at 2:00am. If that isn't a sign of true friendship, nothing is. Shannon was able to stay with Bethany through the morning which was a wonderful boost for Bethany and even Bethany's mom, who was able to get a few hours of sleep. Without Shannon to help share the load, the whole stay in the hospital would have been much more difficult. Friends ease burdens.

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When a friend is going through troubled times, being there to encourage them, even if it's just being a shoulder to cry on or to simply listen, can make all the difference in the world. Even when things are going great, having someone recognize and appreciate your accomplishments can be just as important. With so much emphasis placed on success and accomplishment this in this day and age, having someone to witness your achievements can make even the minor victories meaningful.

Unfortunately, sometimes, loyalty can be tested. We've all had situations where someone we'd consider a true friend has let us down. Friends, even true friends, are still human and because they're human they can make mistakes. Forgiveness is essential in friendships. Accepting a friend even though they may make a mistake shows them that you respect them enough to realize they're human.

No one is perfect. Have you always lived up to your highest potential? Sometimes, we can be the cause of problems that create negative effects for people who were counting on us. Because of this, friendships can be tested. A true friend accepts you, faults and all, though. A genuine friend understands that you make mistakes.

Character is often referred to as a fading quality in today's society, but among friends, it is essential. When you think of a true friend, you expect that they're loyal (and keep things just between friends), but you also want them to be honest. Even if you're doing something wrong, you have to trust your friend to tell you and help you through it. It can be a delicate balancing act between being loyal to a friend and being honest, and perhaps that maybe why good friends are hard to find. But friends that have the courage to tell you when you're wrong, who care enough for you to speak the truth, are genuine friends.

Here are some great articles about making and keeping true friends

Understanding the value of friendship, is so important. For all the loyalty, forgiveness and honesty, it's the ability to shape each other's lives that marks a true friend.

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A recipe for friendship includes a number of things. If you have these ingredients, you'll have a lot of people who will want to be your friend.

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