Have you ever had that one friend you could always count on? They'd be there for you when you are sick, feeling sad and alone, or even when you just wanted to make a spontaneous phone call at 4 in the morning!
These types of friends are what I call true friends, and definitely those quality people you want to hold on to in life. One should never remain "friends" with someone just out of pure use for one's own advantage, but to find that one quality person who can always be there when times are rough and take a toll.
I've had a recent encounter with someone who would always talk about me, even after I have confronted them not to. They would tell their friends about me, on social media, and even family members who don't even know much about me to begin with. It frustrated me for the longest time, and I just had to let this individual go from my life. I wished them well, forgave them through meditation, and moved on. I have felt much better ever since, as they have taken a couple years of my life away from me.
Keep in mind that you should never allow anyone to bully, harass you, or take advantage of you for prolonged periods of time. If someone chooses to pick at you temporarily that is at their own discretion and free will. However, prolonged annoyance from the foe can lead anyone down the path of wanting to remain alone and away from people, and assume that everyone is just as frightening.
I chose to let this person take control of my life for a while, until I realized the power within me, and that I wasn't going to stand for someone who always wanted their way. Don't let the person win and instill fear and a lack of trust within you.
A friend will never demand of you something, and will never prioritize their wishes over yours, 100 percent of the time. Friendships are like relationships, and require a fine level of balance, mutually agreed upon between the two of you. If one person decides to chip in on the dinner tab one week, then it is respectable to assume that the other friend would have to contribute the next time around. But if the demanding friend is never bringing their money with them to nights out, and often assumes you would end up paying, then in this case, they are not being a respectable friend and understanding the concept of balance.
Here are some signs they are a friend, or foe!
1. No compassion or remorse for your feelings.
There are always people out there, such as in my experience, who will not understand what emotions or feelings really are. They will cry about something, if it is only to their loss or benefit, but not consider when you are feeling any range of emotion. It will pass their shoulder like nothing happened.
One day, you are upset because you missed the opportunity to buy a ticket to your favorite concert. You call up your alleged friend, who dismisses your phone call. You don't hear from them for a couple of days, and finally receive a text saying they were busy. You call them up, tell them what happened, and they tell you that you called at a bad time while they were asleep. They quickly tell you they have to go, and you don't hear from them for a few days.
This is a perfect example of a dismissive friend. One who just does not understand how you are feeling at any given time, and probably doesn't care to get to know you more and learn about the human experience of emotion.
They give vague hints of their horrible mannerisms but somehow passively aggressively show them to you, so you would not be able to pick up clues to how horrible of a friend they really are.
2. They would drive miles to see you.
A true and compassionate friend would drive across states and even countries to see their friend. Especially if it is a scenario where one was left to be in the hospital after a surprise ailment! I know I wouldn't hesitate to go see my friend if they were left bedridden. They would be awaited with an entire bouquet of floral arrangements, a note card, balloons, and baked goods! (This would perhaps be the expected thing to do, but you'd be surprised that some people would just text their buddy "OMG get well soon prayers")...
3. Excuses, Excuses, and more Excuses...
That one person who never has time for you, can never hang out, and can't even respond to you in a complete sentence over chat is someone who you should avoid, as they are not meant to be there for you. There is a difference between a friend and acquaintance: someone who is very brief with you and knows you only from what you say to them, which is also very brief. The energetic bonding and connection between two people has to occur naturally, and if there is nothing to talk about then there is no friendship residing between you two.
The friendship bond must also be formed by committing aside time for catching up every so often. If one person always makes excuses for why they can't come to X event, then let them go and do not take anything personally in any of these scenarios I mention. They were simply not intended to be in your life at that time. Who's to say they won't be later down the line? Never lose faith, you will find the right one eventually if you haven't already.
4. A simple smile, word, or visual makes you cackle!
If the both of you have some form of code, or secret message that only the two understand, then you've probably already built a strong bond with this person, and there is not much to fear. Usually there would be "secret handshakes" (which is so early 2000's in my honest opinion) or something that would make the two of you burst out cackling in an instant. It could be a smile that makes the two of you laugh, a word that you don't understand why exists but makes you giggle, or even when your friend shows you something that you find funny each and every time, which related to an experience you both shared that ingrains in your minds. My old friend and I had to read Memoirs of a Geisha for our senior year of high school English class. The word "challenge" came up in the book frequently to emphasize that the geisha had to perform a certain task.
When we became busy with school, my friend and I would joke about how we had a "CHALLENGE" to do, but we would say it really loudly. It doesn't sound funny, but at the time and scenario of our lives, it was the perfect combo to make us burst into laugh every time. It doesn't make sense to you, but to me and this person it did. You also have something that I would question, but you would find hilarious with your friend. If this exists, you have a friend, at least for a long time.
I think these are some pretty basic examples, but something I wanted to talk about and get off my chest when it comes to friendships. There are a plethora of things I can go into for this blog but may perhaps leave it alone for another time. Don't stand for someone who makes you feel bad or uncomfortable. Anyone who always tries to bring you down and says you're wrong, is a toxic person who needs to be let go of for your sake and sanity, immediately. People can be very scary but don't let their fears encompass you as well. Follow your hearts desire and soon anyone you come across will be a great person to be around. As long as you don't fall in the trap of the same old bad friendships, you will be just fine.