Aristotle, one of the greatest philosophers, said that his best friend was the man who wished him well for his sake and not for the man.
This can never be truer. Sadly, many people today don't even recall his words of wisdom let alone practice what they state. Because of this, many of us, although we may have many friends, can't seem to have a true friend.
In line with this, Heidi McBain, the author of "Life Transitions" and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, questioned how we rate a friend as a close one or best friend. Is it based on how close they are to us, how comfortable you feel with them, or how each of you values the opinions and feelings of each other?
According to Bain, there are many qualities of a good friend. How we choose them varies from one person to another. The following are the 8 key attitudes of true friendship:
1. Best friends are super supportive
While the average friend will offer you support, a best friend will give you 150% support. They will go out of their way to make you feel happy, content, and achieve success. No wonder the common statement that says that your best friend will be sitting next to you in jail.
Darlene Corbett, a successful author, therapist, speaker, and author of "Stop Depriving the World of You: A Guide for Getting Unstuck" says that one of the strongest manifestations of true friendship is receiving support in the most difficult times. Good friends offer support in all realms (emotional, physical, social, spiritual, financial, and much more).
2. You are yourself with true best friends
It's an open secret that many of us will try to be somebody else around our friend(s). You'll do this to fit into the clique, look successful, or feel wanted. However, in a true friendship, you don't try to fake who you are. This is because you feel comfortable being who you are no matter how uncomfortable the situation.
Caleb Backe, a health & wellness expert working for Maple Holistics says that you will share anything with your best friend because you know that he/she will be supportive. S (He) won't judge you but instead will help you get through your issues.
Similar sentiments are shared by Lisa Orban, the author of "It'll Feel Better when it Quits Hurting" who says that true friendship is unconditional and that a good friend won't be afraid to let you know when you are making a mistake.
3. They listen attentively
One trait of a best friend is that they listen attentively. It doesn't matter whether the issue may seem small in your personal view. According to Susan MacTavish Best, founder of Living MacTavish, by listening keenly, they'll be able to give you the most feasible solution to your problems.
A similar opinion is shared by Varsha Mathur, dating & relationship expert and founder of KnowingLuxe Coaching. She says that a friend may only be interested in your companionship or what you have to offer and not your problems.
4. They offer emotional support
According to Dr. Gruman, a relationship expert, a best friend won't just be there for companionship. S (He) will go out of his/her way to offer you physical, emotional, spiritual, social, financial, and much more. He likens the friendship to being in a marriage where the partners are expected to offer each other emotional support.
Our true friends make us feel appreciated, wanted, and valued. Even though the friend may not be physically there, you will still feel the bond even when talking over the phone or texting.
5. You have common interests
Best friends will have common interests. They'll share similar beliefs, opinions, dreams, and more. By having the same views about life, it becomes easier to deal with the problems, understand each other, and also set up long-term goals. The strong connection also plays a vital role in feeling valued and that's why in the best marriages, the couples are best of friends.
6. There is equality
A common saying states that a relationship is two-way. One gives and one takes and vice versa. However, in a normal friendship, one party will give more than 50% while the other will give less than 50%. Simply put, one friend will be benefiting more or taking advantage of the other.
In true friendship, the interchange is symbiotic. There are times one will give more than the other and in other times less than the other. But at the end of the day, they all feel that they are equal partners.
Debbie Mandel, the author of "Addicted to Stress," says it's like carrying a ball between the two of you. At times you do it longer and at other times for a shorter period. The end goal is not about carrying but ensuring it reaches its destination.
7. They are there for you so you can always count on them
If you call your best friend at 2 am she will answer your call. If you ask him to drive over to your place in the heavy storm, he will do that. This is what defines true friendship. They will do anything, even if it means sacrificing their time and comfort for you. What's more, they won't expect anything from doing it.
They hold our hands when we are down, help us dust ourselves off and get back up when beaten, and also act as the wind beneath our wings to help us soar higher.
8. They want you to have the best
A close friend will support you in achieving your goals and desires. They'll have your best interest in their minds and won't mind going the extra mile for you to achieve this.
McBain says that a best friend is your greatest advocate, best supporter, and biggest cheerleader. They will shout at the top of their voices for you, don't feel ashamed or embarrassed by you, or looking silly for your benefit.
Such accountability plays a vital role in us accepting who we are, being real, removing self-doubt, and also boosting our self-esteem.
When you are wrong, they'll tell you without blinking an eye. When you are right, they'll be the first ones to comment and compliment you. Their role is simple, to help you grow and have the best of life.