In honor of hitting 29 years, I came up with 29 different questions/filters I use to determine if somebody is a true friend.
Yes, it’s great to have more fans and followers. But that’s just attention. I think what we’re all craving is a bit more connection — and that’s something that only true friendship can provide.
The questions below are designed to get you thinking about your relationships, who you want to spend more time with and how you can be a better friend to others.
True friends will be honest with you.
1. Will they call your bluff?
2. Will they hold you to the commitments you make to yourself and others?
3. Will they tell you how they actually feel, not just what they think you want to hear
4. Will they alert you if there’s a booger hanging out of your nose?
True friends can be relied and depended on.
5. If you make plans to hang out, do they show up? Are they always flaking?
6. If they tell you they’re going to do something, do they follow through?
7. If you’re having a crisis, can you call them and expect support?
Perspective and attitude
True friends help you see the bigger picture.
8. Do they focus on the positive bigger picture or wallow in the negativity of limiting beliefs and minor details?
9. Do they cultivate a “you can do it” atmosphere, or are they constantly playing “Devil’s Advocate”? (As if the devil needs any more advocates.)
True friends don’t want to wallow in disagreement that disrupts the relationship.
10. If you have a disagreement, does the issue take center stage, or does the argument devolve into personal attacks?
11. Do they hold grudges?
12. Do they have a long memory for your mistakes, but a short memory for your positive attributes?
13. Do they ever give you a “what have you done for me lately” vibe?
14. Are they passive aggressive?
True friends bring as much or more to the relationship than they receive from it.
15. What are they bringing to the table? It doesn’t have to be money. It can be time, attention, advice or an extra pair of hands when you move your couch.
16. Do they give help, but grudgingly and always with an expected ROI?
17. Do they keep score on what’s been given and what’s owed?
Growth and encouragement
True friends always want to help you grow.
18. Are they constantly seeking to improve themselves?
19. Do they encourage you to do the same?
20. Are they genuinely happy for your growth and success…or is your victory met with a “golf clap?”
True friends listen.
21. Are they good listeners?
22. Do they understand the role of listening in friendship, or are they more concerned with talking about themselves and their problems?
23. Do they give you space to express yourself without cutting you off?
True friends stick with you.
24. Do they support you and your interests when you’re not around?
It’s easy to be supportive to someone’s face. How do they talk about you when somebody else says something negative in your absence?
You usually can’t witness this behavior directly, but you can get a good idea of how they might act based on how they talk about other “friends” in your presence.
25. Are they willing to go out of their way to do you a favor that’s in your best interests, even if it doesn’t align 100% with what they are doing?
(We are assuming the favor is not dangerous, damaging or harmful to them.)
Putting it all on the line
If you’re lucky enough to have friends like this, you’re blessed.
26. Would this person get on the witness stand for you and speak in your defense?
27. Would they rescue you from a dangerous situation, assuming that they had the ability?
28. If you were missing, would they be putting up “have you seen me” flyers in the neighborhood?
29. Would they take a bullet for you?
Most people won’t do any of those things for you — and that’s probably a good thing.
When somebody does any one of those, you know it’s real.