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The Magic of Friendship: What It Means to Have a True Friend

Updated on August 16, 2013
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Mom. Homeschooler. Mystery shopper. Editor. Wife. These are a few words to describe notyouraverageal. Her life is anything but average.

How Do You Create Real Friendship?

Several times in my kids’ lives, I have tried to explain the magic of friendship to them. As they were desperately searching for someone to be friends with, I tried to explain to them how to make it happen. I’ve told them not to try so hard and just to let it happen naturally. I’ve told them to try harder and at least speak to other people. I’ve told them to act happy. I’ve told them just to be themselves. I’ve told them to find common interests with other people. I’ve told them that other peoples’ interests don’t have to be the same as theirs. I’ve told them to tell other people about themselves. I’ve told them to ask about other people. I have contradicted myself in every way.

The truth is, as they have realized, I have no idea how to tell them to make a friend. Sure, I can tell them how to meet someone new or make an acquaintance. But how to make a true friend, a real friend? I have no idea. There is a magic that happens with true friends, and it is unexplainable.

Handshakes Don't Always Work

The Steps of Meeting People

To make an acquaintance:

1. You should walk up, look her in the eye and introduce yourself.

2. You should shake hands.

3. You should not pick your nose, and you should use good manners.

4. You should listen when she speaks to you and respond with positive body language.

5. You should smile and act interested.

6. You should ask open ended questions about her and truly listen to her answers.

It all sounds very scientific, doesn’t it? All those steps may help you meet people, but they will not earn you a true friend. True friendship just happens, and there is no correct formula. Sometimes, even when you do none of the things listed, you still will end up with a true friend.

True Friends are Rarely Just Alike

It Happens Like Magic

There are times in life when someone walks in at the right moment. That person may look just like you or nothing like you. They may dress like you or dress totally different. They may be your age or much older or younger. There is no rhyme or reason, but, like magic, it happens. You are friends; you are lifelong friends.

If you don’t have a true friend, I’m sorry for you. You are missing something tremendous and amazing. If you are waiting for someone who looks just like you and acts just like you and thinks just like you and believes just like you, you are probably holding yourself back. The truth is, true friends are rarely just alike.

True Friends Don't Take Pictures of You in a Swimsuit

Friendship: It's a Beautiful Thing

If you do have a true friend, even one true friend, count yourself blessed.

Don’t get me wrong. We all have acquaintances. We all know people and have people to talk to and hang out with, but that doesn’t make them our true friends. Many people who seem to be very popular go through life without a true friend.

When you make a true friend, it just happens, like magic. Sometimes that magic takes a while to develop, but most of the time, it’s instant. When it happens, it’s amazing and beautiful and valuable.

Quick Quiz

How Many True Friends Do You Have?

See results

You Don't Always Have to Be Happy

With a true friend, you don’t have to hide yourself. You don’t have to pretend to be something you aren’t. You can say whatever is on your mind, even if it isn’t rainbow colored. A true friend loves you anyway, even when you are in a bad mood. In fact, she loves you a little extra when you are grouchy.

With a true friend, you can be silly. You can say any goofy thing that comes to your mind. She will not act like you are crazy. In fact, she’ll laugh with you because she thinks you’re funny. When the rest of the world acts like you’ve lost your marbles, a true friend will help you look for them.

When the Rest of the World Acts Like You’ve Lost Your Marbles, a True Friend Will Help You Look For Them.

If You Have a True Friend, You are Blessed!

With a True Friend, You Can Be You

With a true friend, you can tell her about the things that hurt. Deep things. Secret things. Things that even your own family may not know. She will listen to you, cry with you and love you. That’s what true friends do.

If you have a true friend, you are blessed. If you have two or even more, you are abundantly rich.

As sad as it is, you need to realize that, just as quickly as a true friend can enter your life, she can leave. I have been facing this reality lately as a dear friend of mine is soon to leave this world. When she goes, she will leave a large hole in my heart, and I’m not sure it can ever be filled.

Have you considered what it would be like to lose your friend? Have you ever told her how special she is to you? If not, why not?

Fortunately, I somewhat had the opportunity to tell my friend what she means to me. I have no regrets. She knows where she stands with me, and we even laughed together during my last visit with her.

I have other friends that I can’t say the same about. I’m not sure that my dearest, bestest friends know how much they mean to me. (Yes bestest is a word – my bestest friend says so.) Do yours?

Make Time to Laugh with Your Friends

Never Be Too Busy

Sometimes, we get so caught up in the busyness of daily life that we don’t take time for our friends. We are all so busy being moms and wives and employees and, and, and. We reschedule our lunch dates and put off getting together. Sometimes, we go months without seeing our good friends, yet we spend all day with our acquaintances at work or at PTA meetings.

In honor of my friend, I urge you to stop it right now! Don’t reschedule that lunch date. Don’t tell your friend that you just can’t see her because you have to help your kid with his science project. Treat each opportunity to see your true friends as though it may be your last chance. Act as though this visit with your friend is the grand finale. Truly listen to her and be with her and experience friendship with her. Tell and show her that you love her, just like you will never have the opportunity to do so again. You never know. You might not.


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      Denise L. 4 years ago

      Al, you are such an excellent writer and so profoundly on the spot. Your blog made me cry today, partly because I know our friend, partly because I am guilty of putting off getting together with true friends and party because everything you have written is so true. Finding your bestie is so difficult when you are actively searching, and then so delightful when you find that one person who totally gets you. Life is short, friendships endure many things, but death takes its toll in the blink of an eye and many times we do not have the opportunity to say "goodbye" or "I'm sorry" in time. When are you in town? We need to catch up.