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Having a true friend is priceless. And while true friends are hard to find-when one enters your life, don’t let them go underappreciated.

In a world where we are surrounded constantly by “friends” on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms, you would think the world was a more social place. But, while we are surrounded by social media, true social connection happens far less than we would like to admit.

A real-life and genuine friend that matches your energy protects you, loves you, and would do anything for you is irreplaceable. If you have a friend that resembles the signs below, don’t ever take them for granted.

1. They are there for you when it matters.

Even if they can’t be there for you all the time, when you need them, you know you can depend on them to be there. No matter what the situation is, if you need them, they will be there. This commitment to being there for each other is beautifully explored in The Art of Showing Up: How to Be There for Yourself and Your People” by Rachel Wilkerson Miller. Miller’s guide emphasizes the importance of reciprocity in friendship, offering practical advice on how to be both a supportive friend and advocate for your own needs.

2. They notice the small things.

Real friends pay attention to you and what’s going on in your life. If something is going on, or you are off, they will notice. Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life’s Fundamental Bond” by Lydia Denworth delves into why these connections are not just emotionally but biologically essential, highlighting the profound impact of such attentiveness on our well-being.

3. They accept you – flaws and all.

A true friend won’t hold your flaws and shortcomings against you. Instead, they accept you and understand that no one is perfect, and love you unconditionally.

4. They check on you.

When someone checks upon you and makes sure you are okay and safe, they care about you. Friends that check on you are true friends. This act of kindness is one aspect of building strong relationships, as discussed in How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. Carnegie’s principles, though broad, underscore the importance of showing genuine interest in others’ lives as a cornerstone of enduring friendship.

5. They stay in your life, during the good and the bad times.

A good friend won’t just be around for the good times, they will also be around when you are going through a difficult time. They will support you when you are at your worst, and there to participate during the good times as well.

6. They support you.

A true friend will support you and encourage your success, not be envious. And if you could do better-you best believe they will let you know you are falling off track, and they will help you to be your best.

7. You can be yourself around them.

When you are in the company of a truly good friend, you never have to worry about being something you are not. Perhaps the greatest test of true friendship is whether you can be yourself. If you feel comfortable enough to be authentically you, then you have a real friend.

8. You can share private information with them.

A true friend will never tell the secrets you share with them in private. They know and understand what should or shouldn’t be shared with others, and stand by your privacy.

9. You feel happier around them.

While some people may make you feel mentally exhausted or put you in a bad mood, a good friend will not. On the contrary, their presence will be peaceful and make you feel better than you did before.

10. They forgive you when you make a mistake.

Everyone makes mistakes, and a real friend will understand that. Of course, they may get upset when you mess up, but they will forgive you.

11. You don’t have to worry about them talking about you behind your back.

True friends don’t talk bad about you behind your back. They are completely upfront with you about their feelings, and would never dare to betray you by talking badly about you to others.

12. They don’t act jealous or possessive.

You don’t have to worry about a true friend being jealous or possessive of you. Instead, they are happy you have other people that love you and support you like them.

13. They make time for you.

No one can be there all the time, but a true friend will find time in between the hustle and bustle to spend time with you. Even if it’s a quick visit here and there to catch up, or a day out together, they will make time to spend with you.