How to Tell if a Person is a True Friend

Dear Tristan,.I'm so frustrated about friends. I trusted someone who I thought was a good friend of mine and I ended up getting used. I really can't tell who is really a friend and who is just fake and trying to use me. I once trusted my own judgment, but now?I'm not so sure. Can you please help me?.

~Dan M.Hello Dan,.You're not alone. Most people, including myself have this same challenge of weeding out the good from the bad in people that we know.

In my own case, I am an "amiable" personality type, which means that I am somewhat shy and compassionate towards the emotions of others and as such, I am by nature more susceptible to manipulation than others. The word "friend" has very different meanings to each person and it's the overuse of this word that causes problems. In many such cases, we have simply forgotten what true friendship really is.

Personally, I have very few true friends, perhaps only two or three at the most. That's because a true friend as I define it is someone who would stop their own daily routine to come to help me despite the fact that there was no incentive or quite possibly even risk or pain to do so. That is true friendship to me and it falls right up there with a level of love that is as powerful as the bond of a family. Very few people I know meet these criteria.Dan, you didn't specify if this friend was a guy or a girl, but seeing that you selected "used" as your victimized verbiage, I'll take a leap and say that this friend was a girl. When dealing with opposite-sex friendships, things become more complicated, mainly because of perceived, assumed, or potential love-relationships forming for one person or both.

And we all know that once you fall for a guy or a girl, you're no longer thinking with your rational mind, but rather with your emotional one.The simple question that you must ask yourself when engaging in any relationship, plutonic or love, is this: Do they have your best interests in their heart?or do they have their own?.Well, then you might ask, "How am I suppose to know that?".There are some simple tests that you can perform to see if your friend is truly a friend from the heart, or someone who is just out to get what they want from you.1.

Self-Sacrifice. You may do everything to help her out, but if you need help, would she give you back the same level of help that you extended to her? If the answer is "no," then be careful.2. Genuine Time-Sharing. This is an important one because it's a test of the true synergy in a friendship.

When you spend time together, are you spending time just to enjoy each other's company and companionship? ?or do you find that you only spend time together when your "friend" needs help or something from you? If the answer is the latter, then be careful?this is a sign of a manipulator.3. Honesty. This again is another big one on the list because it signifies the level of interpersonal connectedness of the relationship. A true friend will tell you personal things, with complete trust that you will not use it against them later. Also a true friend will not keep things from you even though it is something that they might not want to hear.

4. Interest. How interested is the other person about your life? If you are doing something important, do they call and follow up with you? If they don't seem interested about you or your life at all, then be careful.5.

Integrity. Personally, with the friends that I have, this is what I am known for. Integrity is your ability to keep your word and do as you say you will. I've noticed that with fake friends, their integrity level is not so high.

If they say they will call you tomorrow and don't, then that is a lack of integrity. If they say they will do something and either forget or more infamous the "I'm too busy today," line then they lack integrity. On the note of "busy," in my time management courses, I tell people that so much can be done on a given day and it just comes down to proper planning and priorities. When I hear someone tell me that they are too busy or that they forgot to call, then I rarely believe that is the truth. What I hear instead, is that I am not as important as other things in their life right now, so that is a red-flag to me that they are not a true friend because their level of integrity is poor.

I hope this advice helps.For Passionate Life and Success!!.Tristan Loo.

.Tristan Loo is the founder of the Synergy Institute, LLC, a personal & professional development company based out of San Diego County, Calfornia. Tristan is a former police officer, author, professional mediator, and conflict negotiator.

He is the author of Street Negotiation--How to Resolve Any Conflict Anytime. Please visit his website at or email us directly at info@acrsonline.


By: Tristan Loo

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