Most of us live surrounded by people all the time; the simple fact of being in a society leads us to relate to all kinds of people, so it is normal that from time to time the initiative to stay in the free time comes out of us. But… does the fact of being around often turn that relationship into a real friendship?

It may sound strange that outside of work or academia someone is constantly meeting with people he or she considers unimportant, but if we think about it for a moment, it’s not that significant. After all, there are habits that create routines so present in our daily lives that we don’t question them. For example, the fact of always going to one of the bars that are more or less at the same distance from our work, even though we cannot find a rational reason to explain it.

Thus, true friendships are something we may never even experience , and we may not even be aware of it. How can we recognize them?

The characteristics of true friendships

Below you can find the main characteristics of strong and honest friendships , based on true affection.

1. They listen as much as they talk about themselves

Real friends don’t meet with us just to have someone listen to them tell their life story. Explaining what happens to us is a good way to sort out ideas and release stress, but this is not the purpose of this kind of personal relationship.

Therefore, in practice, true friendships are those in which, as far as dialogue is concerned, they are based on both giving and receiving. One talks about oneself when one feels like it, but one must also know how to listen and respect the moments when the other wants to explain his concerns , worries, desires, ideas, etc. Moreover, when this happens, you don’t change the subject at the slightest opportunity to talk about yourself again.

2. They are there to comfort you

The moments of greatest sadness are always more bearable if you have the possibility of counting on your friends . One of the greatest benefits of friendship, in fact, is that those people who have passed by our side for significant moments for us are the ones best placed to accompany us in the emotional pain of disappointment or grief.

3. You are congratulated when it is time to rejoice

True friends know to be there when there is reason to rejoice because of a success that has come through merit. For example, if a good university has accepted us into it, or when we have won a sports prize.

These situations are much sweeter if others share them with us and congratulate us on a success that has come through effort. It makes sense that the social recognition that comes with achievement is expressed more in those people with more reason to rejoice.

4. They always have time to cultivate that friendship

No matter how much it is said that there are friends so important that they can even go a long time without seeing us and when we come back everything continues as it was at the beginning, in cases where there is true friendship very good excuses are needed to let time pass without attempts to regain contact .

This is because the passage of months without dialogue is, in practice, a sign that the emotional bond is fading unless there are very concrete reasons to talk to each other or to meet. Those who really have reasons to keep in touch do so naturally, without feeling forced to do so.

5. They are honest

Constructive criticism is also part of the routine of worthwhile friendship. If there is something in our behavior that is clearly improvable, our friends tell us so in a way that makes it clear which way we can go to correct that mistake. However, this honesty is part of the framework of your relationship, so real friends don’t speak ill of us behind our backs .

6. They help you be a better person

Real friends are people who inspire us, who invite us to improve ourselves. This is so for two reasons.

On the one hand, these friendships are honest enough to clearly communicate to us what significant mistakes we make, so we know that when one of these people draws our attention to something we have done, there really is reason to rethink our attitude.

On the other hand, these friends have certain characteristics that we admire and, as we do not see them as idealized people, are an example of what we could do .

7. Create with you a private language and a private mood

The complicity between those who share a true friendship is such that their day-to-day life is full of veiled references to funny events, anecdotes, shared beliefs, etc. The friends who have been friends for the longest time can create a vocabulary of their own that is difficult for others to understand .

8. They know how to keep secrets

It seems silly, but it is very important that friendships are contexts in which we feel safe so that we can express in them our secrets and concerns . Whether or not this information is passed on to other people says a lot about the quality of this type of relationship, as it jeopardizes its stability.

9. There is at least one hobby in common

For a friendship to be worthwhile, it is necessary to share at least some hobbies. This does not have to be a sport; talking about a certain topic, for example, can be considered an example of something that interests two people.