Finding a true best friend is a challenge for people. Not because there aren’t amazing people out there, but because the truth of the matter is that people are scared to be their true, authentic selves. When you find those people that truly get everything about you—your quirks, your flaws, and your heart—you should hold onto them. How do we know when we find that, though? Here are 10 ways to know you found your true and authentic friends.
1. They call you on your bullshit.
Anyone can blow smoke and tell you that you’re making the right choice. That your stupid ex-boyfriend will come back and that you’re making the right decision buying that expensive dress. True friends, though, tell you that you’re being an idiot, that you deserve better, and that you should save your money. They aren’t scared to call you out because they know you need to hear it and they love you enough to be the one to say it. Watching you hurt or struggle is the worst thing to them, so they are willing to be honest at all cost.
2. They love your flaws.
For a true friend, you don’t have to be perfect. They appreciate your anxiety, your gray hair, your extra belly roll, and your habit of talking too much. They know that the physical parts of you do not matter because they know how beautiful your soul is. They know that your mentalities are based on your past and respect the journey you’ve been through. They love the things that make you unique and pray that one day you will love them too. They know how your flaws are part of you, and to them, you are wonderful.
3. They pump you up.
What true friend doesn’t keep a set of pom poms in their back pocket for you? A true friend knows your struggles, your triumphs, and your goals. They are the first people to say, “You got this” and mean it. They cheer for you as you soar and catch you as you fall. They are the true definition of cheerleader and believe that you can accomplish the world because they believe in you.
4. They show you their embarrassing side.
Whether it’s dancing to Celine Dion, comparing relationship meltdowns, or confiding in each other about your dumbest decisions, nothing is off limits. You can be together, authentic and true with each other always. There are never any judgments. There are never any sideways glances. There is just love and laughter, memories and stories. There is nothing but joy when you’re together because you never have to be anything other than yourself. These are the people that you can make mistakes in front of, the ones that you can rely on.
5. They trust you.
They’re someone who knows the importance of secrecy. Everyone has demons, secrets, and shame. A true friend, however, never lets those get in the way of your awesomeness. Nothing feels better than spilling your guts over a bottle of wine, crying your eyes out and then watching reality TV. Trust is so important with a true friend, because a human diary is something that everybody needs. You need someone to unload on a million times and that will still be there to listen after that.
6. They know that time and distance are no match for your friendship.
Being an adult means realizing that you never have enough time—to see your friends, to call your friends, heck, even to text them. Hours slip into days, and suddenly, it’s been weeks. With a true friend, all you must do is reach out your hand and there they are. They never complain or make you feel guilty. They just pick up where you left off because they know, time sucks but the love you feel for each other can never be beaten by it.
7. They push you.
From taking a risk to making a hard decision, everyone needs a little push occasionally. A true friend pushes you. They encourage you to take a leap, and they pull you back should you start to stumble. They see your true potential, and they want you to live that. They want you to live your most authentic self, and they know that it’s not easy. So, they push and push until you reach your goal. You could never do it without them, and you would never want to.
8. They fight you.
It is a fact of life that sometimes, you’re an idiot. This does not define you, though—what you do next does. Go ahead, make a mistake but don’t settle for the result. True friends make you realize that you screwed up, but they would love to help you create a new outcome. They fight you to see the best in yourself and they fight you to be the best. This never means perfection; a true friend knows that. It means seeing your perfection through the mistake, and this they always see.
9. They never let you settle.
Your ex-boyfriend is the worst; your job makes you miserable, and you deserve better. A true friend will fight you to be your best. They see the bright and shiny parts of you and will never let you settle for something less than equally as beautiful. They know your flaws, but they focus on your beauty and assure that you always do too. So, no, they won’t let you give him a fifty-fifth chance, they will update your resume, and they will always remind you that you are too good to settle for anything less than amazing.
10. They love you for you.
This is the most important. They never try to change you, they never judge, and they are never less than totally real with you. They see your flaws and love them. They see your cracks and fill them with admiration. They see your heart and adore the beauty. They love you, and they love you for you. Not who they want you to be, not who you pretend to be. They love you for your true, unfiltered, unphotoshopped self and that self is amazing.
A true friend is rare, a true friend is special, and a true friend is the luckiest thing you can have in this world. So, if you find one or more hold on so tight your knuckles turn white, because these are the people that help you. They get you through the dark times, scary times, and light times. They are a true gift.