Who is a true friend and how does a friendship develop? Friendship clicks when we relate to one another’s personality and there is recognition of bonding based on common likes and dislikes, interests, pursuits and passion. There is feeling of companionship and oneness. A friendship evolves overtime and then it slowly matures. A mature friendship is one where you know your friend inside out and accept him or her with all the contradictions and deviations that you earlier fail to notice. A mature friendship is a genuine friendship and here there is a shared sense of caring, concern, desire to grow and let grow and a hope that everything good happens in life to you as well as your buddy. True, mature and genuine friendship does not happen just like that. It needs working and it needs mutual faith and trust based on selfless action, shared thoughts and feelings, and acceptance of the friend without judgement and criticism.
True Friend: A true, mature and genuine friendship is based on relationship, trust, and accountability
A true, mature and genuine friendship needs a relationship which is built over time, by knowing each other more closely over shared time spent, shared memories, participation in each other’s growth and prosperity as well as being available to each other in hard times.
Such a relationship built over time stands on the strong foundation of trust because you know that you have a friend whom you know as much as you know yourself. With trust you start sharing your inner most secrets and feelings with your friend who is true. Trust and its continuous reinforcement from both the side leads to faithfulness and loyalty. On the other hand betrayal of trust can lead to the culmination of the friendship in a very negative way with lot of hard feelings and loneliness. Many of the important reasons of loss of trust is backbiting, negative thoughts and cheating on one another.
There is a delicate balance that is required to have a true friend and friendship. To nurture this delicate balance the need is to have a set of accountability factors that becomes essential for the survival of the friendship. True friends accept the fact that this world is not perfect and they overcome small and little misunderstandings, deviations and contradictions that crop up among them. They have a policy of living the life positively and so forgiving one another is accepted as part of the natural code of friendship.
True and genuine friendship should come out of hard times more strongly. We need to undertand that genuine, mature and true friendship is supportive in nature and comes into real light in hard pressed times. These are the times when the true value, dependence and strength of a genuine friend are tested. A true friendship which passes the fire of troubled time develops into a bonding where unconditional love flows from one to another. Such true friends are hard to come by but once you have them most of the time they become your life time buddies.
True Friend: The essential characteristics of a genuine friend and friendship
To put down in points there are some essential characteristics of a genuine friend and friendship.
1. As mentioned before without trust and respect for each other no true friendship can develop.
2. Real and true friendship involves freedom of choice, accountability, truth, and forgiveness. There is acceptance of the person with all the good and bad that holds within a personality. There is an attitude of living the life positively and therefore forgetting and forgiving minor deviations and contradictions.
3. Real friendship looks at the heart, not just the “packaging.” Genuine friendship loves for love’s sake, not just for what it can get in return. This can happen only when the bonding of friendship has resulted from past experiences which where mutually beneficial and helpful in the most troubled times. This helps the relationship to evolve above the superficialities.
4. True friendship is both challenging and exciting. It risks, it overlooks faults, and it loves unconditionally, but it also involves being truthful, even though it may hurt. As mentioned before, testing times come and the strength of a relationship is tested during these hard times. Once you overcome these testing times, the relation evolves into a higher plane where you can openly communicate the truth and even hard truths without the feeling of any animosity.
5. Genuine friendship, also called “agape” love, comes from the God. This is something of a life’s bonding and is akin to our bonding with life or the higher powers of nature itself.
6. Relationships in real life involve different levels of friendships, and that’s okay. But humans are designed by nature for lasting relationships. The idea is to always evolve and grow in friendship and try to reach the highest stage of a friendship.
7. True relationship and friendship transcends and overcomes the superficialities of vague empty relationships which are mostly exploitive and manipulative in nature.
8. Establishing a connect and order of accountability and responsibility is very important as it’s harder to make amends with an offended friend.
9. When we’ve offended a “friend who is true” whether by breaking a trust or by speaking the truth with love, we risk losing that friendship. Here comes the need to understand that this life is anyway very short and brief and it’s wise to forgive and forget and move on together if possible.
10. As mentioned previously the most essential aspect of a relationship is trust and if this is broken again and again then it can lead to the death of the friendship and relationship.
True Friend: So finally can we define a true and genuine friend?
A true and genuine friend is not worried about courtesies, you can call her or him any time and speak to her or him whatever you want and vice-versa with an element of trust. You are ready to help each other in the time of real need and you are not afraid to expose to each other your innermost feelings and nature without caring what he or she will think about you. True friend will not manipulate and exploit our weakness and vice-versa. As a true friend we forgive and forget and support our friend even when sometimes it hurts us. A friend who is true is not judgemental and critical of us all the time and we get help from a true friend in the times of real need. A true friend is available to us at short notice in troubled times and stands by us even if the whole world is against us.
Therefore instead of having hundreds of good friends, if we have one true and genuine friend, we can treat our self lucky. If you can become a true friend of someone you get a true friend in return. For this to happen you need to become a true friend to your own self first and only then you can become a true friend to others.