Think about the types of relationships you have in your life, Spouse, Siblings, son/daughter, Parent, employee or boss, friend or Colleague. You can see that this is quite a large and important part of your life.
In our family we talk about these roles and relationships often. My son is specifically interested in friends and how do you know when you have a real friend versus a ‘hot n cold’ friend, as I like to call them. That is, friends who are your friend one day but not the next. Being able to identify which of your friends fall into these two groups is a skill. Once you can do this it makes it easier to see who your true friends are and then know where to invest your time and effort.
True friends are easily identified by friends who support you, Stand up for you on the playground, office or in your family. Not stand by on the sidelines and wait until difficulties pass. They certainly don’t intimidate or embarrass you. Another good guideline is if the friendship and support is reciprocal. That is, they give and take freely without you feeling that you owe them. If it’s always take from them and they give little back then they are not a true friend. Perhaps they come under the ‘friend’ category instead.
Also look for honesty, are they honest with you and values that are important to you. If you share the same values they you are likely to be treated as you treat them.
Sometimes despite all this, a friend does the wrong thing by you and at this point you need to decide to trust them again or to cut them away and find other friends. When you find true friends be sure to treasure them as they are rare. We can have many friends whose company we enjoy but usually only a few true friends. Look at your friends; where do they fit? Talk to your children tonight about their friends and get them to see where they fit too because in the end friends are a important part of life.