If you know someone who does/says a lot of the things in this article, then you’ve found a treasure of a friend. Don’t let them go. This list can also apply to family members, partners, or co-workers as well.
Redditors shared what they believe are the best signs that someone is a true friend. If you want to be the best friend people will have, then consider adopting some of these traits.
When you tell them something in confidence and they don’t use it against you or it never comes back around to you either.
I was once waiting with a friend in a restaurant’s bathroom during a school trip, because her stomach was causing her a lot of pain (something that happens to her sometimes when she doesn’t take her stomach medicine).
When it got really bad, and tears came to her eyes, I tried my best to take her mind off the pain, so I started rambling about the time I was at my aunt’s house (who the friend knew I didn’t like) and had a panic attack. I’m really not the kind of person to share things like this, and I did it without considering any consequences, just to get her attention for a few minutes. Eventually her stomach calmed and life moved on.
Several months later she mentions that time I had the panic attack (in a message, privately) because it made sense in the context of our current conversation. I was confused at first, because I had forgot telling her, but it meant a lot that she remembered, because it meant she cared.
She’s never brought it up without reason, and to my knowledge has never told anyone – Because she knows it’s not some gossip to spread around.
I’d consider that girl my best friend. I’d trust her with almost anything.
They stop insulting you when the see you are getting sad or hurt.
You can do nothing with them and still have fun.
My friends and I call this “parallel time.” Like you both have a game you want to play or book you want to read, but you wanna hang out. so you get together and just do your thing in the same room, occasionally chatting, but mostly just existing peacefully together.
Parallel time is a true mark of comfort and intimacy for me because my anxiety is quiet enough that I’m not constantly trying to entertain or check on the other person, and trust that they will tell me if they need or want anything. It’s amazing.
It’s doesn’t matter how often you see them, but when you finally get to meet up it’s like you see each other all the time.
When you can both openly show affection without concern of being weird or clingy or what the other might think.
I’ve got some of the truest friends of my life right now and we all tell each other “I missed you” or even “love you” regularly. It’s so important to remind each other that we’re valued and I love having friends who I can openly share this with.
For me, it’s when they bring up something you said that had no bearing on them.
Example: “Hey, I remember you telling me a few weeks back you were struggling in archery with pulling an 80lb bow. Have you improved?”
It just shows they were actually paying attention to the things I said. Makes me smile.
My best friend is a dog who is both old and deaf. When I get out of her line of sight, she gets up and goes looking for me, since she cannot hear me calling her.
When they tell you off for being an idiot in private but defend you to the death in public.
They pay for you to come out with them when you can’t afford it.
I have a friend that did that, and that’s when I knew they were a true friend. I actually refused at first and they insisted.
Of course I paid them back, and have helped him in similar situations.
They don’t freak out when they realize you’re weird.
They actively seek you out when you are going through tough times. When things are going poorly, some friends will avoid you, plenty will stick with you, but the really good ones will actually put more effort than usual into the friendship because they know that you need it.
They are genuinely happy when I take small steps towards success no matter what stage of life they are in.
I’m one of the younger people in my friend group, and everyone but me pretty much has their life in order. I’m working on sorting out my career choice, and I got overwhelming support when I took my current job. When I got promoted within the job, got even more support.
When you’re down, a true friend can tell. No matter how hard you try to act like everything’s normal and fine, they’ll just somehow see right through you and say “don’t screw with me. I can tell you’re not okay. So I’ll buy you coffee and you’ll decide whether you wanna talk about it or not.”
They help you when it doesn’t benefit them.
I once realized that my acquaintance was becoming my friend when he offered to drive me to the airport at 4AM on a freaking Saturday morning. Not only did it not benefit him, but I couldn’t imagine that it wasn’t awful for him.
There’s more to friendship, of course, but that was an incredibly nice gesture. We’ve been best friends for years now.
They don’t ask for a glass of water when they come over. They just get a glass themselves.
They don’t blindly support everything you do. They tell you when you might be making a mistake, or something that might come back to bite you in the butt.
My best friend and I have gotten to the point where we don’t “owe” each other money anymore. We went to McDonald’s last week and I paid for our meals. Refused the money he tried to offer me.
A couple days later he showed up at my apartment with a couple steaks and fried them up.
We don’t keep track of that stuff anymore. We kinda mutually decided it’ll always even out over time.
They respect your boundaries (as much as you respect theirs of course, it depends on what feels appropriate).
They call you just to see how you’re doing.
When your dog(s) accept them. Once it gets to a point that when you say your friend’s name, the dog goes nuts from excitement.
They’ll drop preplanned/prepaid events to help you if something comes up.
Alternatively, they’ll take a picture of something or send something to you randomly if it reminds them of you.
Messaging you directly to say happy birthday rather than posting on your facebook wall (it’s my birthday today and while I appreciate the sentiments of the people posting, all my actual friends have been messaging or texting me today).
You’ve never felt awkward around them.
I have a number of chronic illness, as well as mental health issues. When someone I know (a friend) takes the time to even just look up one small little bit of information about just one of my illnesses… it means the world to me. It shows that they really care, and that they are my friend.
I may live a complicated life, and it may be frustrating for those around me… but to just take a little bit of time to look it up, and remember some little details of what I face everyday… it means so much.
That they push you to better yourself and constantly remind you that you can do better, especially when you’re super low. And also remind you of your limitations when you’re trying to over-achieve.
Checking to make sure that each other got home safely. Whether its waiting in your car to make sure they get inside their house or texting each other when you make it home.
Neither of you cares how long you take to answer a text message, because things like that don’t matter when you’re really friends.
You both smile when you see each other!
When you’re not afraid to say whatever stupid/weird/random/irrelevant thing pops into your mind in front of them. True friends won’t judge you.
Comments may have been edited for clarity.