How to spot a genuine friend: 7 behaviors that reveal true loyalty

There’s a world of difference between a friend and a genuine friend.

In this crazy world, spotting a real friend can be as challenging as finding a needle in a haystack. But don’t worry, I’ve got your back.

As someone who has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of relationships, I can tell you that true loyalty is revealed through certain behaviors.

I’m Tina Fey, founder of the Love Connection blog and your guide to all things relationship related.

I’ve put together 7 key behaviors to look out for when trying to spot a genuine friend.

So buckle up, dear readers. We’re about to dive deep into the world of true friendship!

1) They stick around during the tough times

Life is often a rollercoaster ride, filled with ups and downs.

And let’s be honest, it’s pretty easy to find someone to share the fun times with. But when the going gets tough, that’s when the true friends reveal themselves.

A genuine friend doesn’t disappear when you hit a rough patch. They don’t run for the hills at the first sign of trouble. Instead, they stick around, weathering the storm with you.

They’re there for you when you need them most, offering a shoulder to lean on or kind words of encouragement.

This is one of the most fundamental signs of loyalty in a friend. They’re not just there for the good times, but they also stand by your side during the bad times.

If you have a friend who has stood by you through thick and thin, cherish them. That’s a sign of genuine friendship and true loyalty.

2) They’re honest, even when it’s hard

Here’s a personal truth: I’ve learned over time that a good friend will tell you what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear.

Genuine friends value honesty in a relationship. They’ll be upfront with you, even if the truth is uncomfortable or hard to deliver. They believe in the power of truth to foster trust and respect in a friendship.

As Emily Dickinson once said, “Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it.”

Do you have a friend who’s not afraid to tell you the truth, even when it’s hard? Hold onto them. They’re showing you their loyalty by prioritizing your growth and well-being over an easy lie.

3) They respect your boundaries

In my experience, a loyal friend understands and respects your boundaries. They don’t overstep or make you feel uncomfortable by invading your personal space.

They understand that everyone has their own limits, and they respect these, no matter what.

In my book, Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, I explore the importance of setting healthy boundaries in relationships.

When your friend respects your boundaries, it’s a clear sign of their loyalty and understanding. They value your individuality and personal space. This is a clear testament to the depth of their loyalty and genuine friendship.

4) They challenge you

This may seem counterintuitive, but hear me out: a genuine friend isn’t always agreeable. They challenge you, push you, and sometimes, they even annoy you.

Why? Because they’re invested in your growth. They’re not just there to say ‘yes’ to everything you do or say.

If a friend always agrees with you and never challenges your ideas or decisions, they’re probably more interested in keeping the peace than in your personal growth.

But a friend who cares about you, who’s genuinely loyal, will dare to disagree. They’ll push back when they believe you’re making a mistake or could do better.

While it might not always feel comfortable, it’s this kind of friendship that helps us grow and become better versions of ourselves.

5) They celebrate your success

We all have those moments of triumph, big or small, that we want to share with the ones we care about the most.

In my own life, I’ve noticed that one of the surest signs of a loyal friend is their genuine excitement and happiness for my victories. They don’t display any signs of jealousy or bitterness; instead, they’re right there cheering me on.

A true friend will celebrate your successes as if they were their own. They’re not threatened by your accomplishments; instead, they’re proud of you and motivated by your success.

If you friend is always there to celebrate your achievements with you, consider it a sign of their loyalty and genuine friendship.

6) They show up when you least expect it

Let’s get real for a moment. Life isn’t always a bed of roses. Sometimes, it throws us curveballs that leave us feeling lonely and vulnerable.

In those unexpected moments of hardship, a genuine friend shows up. They don’t need an invitation or a request for help. They’re just there, offering a comforting presence and a listening ear.

Their loyalty isn’t based on convenience or obligation. It’s grounded in a deep sense of care and concern for your well-being.

So, does your friend show up when you least expect it, especially during those raw and vulnerable moments? If yes, know that you’ve got yourself a truly loyal friend.

7) They keep your secrets safe

Trust is the bedrock of any meaningful relationship. And there’s nothing that tests this trust more than the handling of secrets.

I remember, as a teenager, sharing my deepest secrets with my best friend. It was her ability to keep these confidences to herself that solidified our friendship.

If you have a friend who treats your secrets like their own, protecting them fiercely, then you have a true gem in your life.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead.”

A loyal friend understands the weight of your secrets and keeps them safe, further strengthening the bond of friendship between you two.

8) They forgive your mistakes

No one is perfect. We all make mistakes, sometimes even ones that hurt the people we care about.

Getting real here, I’ve slipped up more times than I can count. But, my genuine friends, they didn’t hold those mistakes against me. Instead, they forgave me.

A loyal friend understands that mistakes are part of being human. They don’t hold grudges or let these errors ruin your friendship. Instead, they choose to forgive and move forward.

If you have a friend who forgives your blunders and doesn’t use them as ammunition in future disagreements, you’ve found someone truly loyal and genuine.

In conclusion

Navigating the world of friendships isn’t always easy, but these signs can help you spot a truly loyal and genuine friend.

Remember, genuine friends are rare gems – they stand by us during tough times, they’re honest with us even when it hurts, they respect our boundaries, challenge us to grow, celebrate our successes, show up when we least expect them, keep our secrets safe, and forgive our mistakes.

If you’re interested in learning more about nurturing healthy relationships, check out my book Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship. It’s a comprehensive guide on breaking free from unhealthy attachments and building meaningful connections.

So here’s to genuine friendships and the beautiful bonds they create. Cherish them, nurture them, and don’t ever take them for granted.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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