True Blue

What is the special something that makes a friend a really good friend? True friendships have been known to start in an instant, but do take time to build and grow. If you're on the lookout for your best friend for life, take a look at these qualities that are the hallmark of a true blue friend:

Always Straight

*Honesty—Good friends don't have to share every intimate detail of their lives with you, but they are always straight. They tell you their intentions, they give you a true picture of themselves, and they tell you when something's wrong.

*Interesting and fun to be with—You wouldn't have been attracted to your friend if she were boring and annoying. It follows that there must be some shared interests between the two of you plus some good old-fashioned chemistry. Fun is a term only you can define. You may enjoy spending time with your friend because she's a party animal, or you may like her company because she's observant and notices things you never would have on your own. Maybe she has a unique and positive view of life that tends to rub off on you and put you in a good mood.

She Listens

*Pays attention and is flexible—A good friend listens to you. She notices how even the small everyday stuff affects you. She may not be able to read your mind, but she can spot when you're upset, afraid, sad, happy or excited. She can figure out when you're annoyed with her and will try to work it out with you.

*Supportive—Good friends support each other. A friend will encourage you to reach your goals. The true blue friend doesn't try to change you or place you in uncomfortable situations. She won't let you risk the things that really matter to you.

*Trustworthy—A good friend is someone you can trust. A real friend won't steal your job, your boyfriend, or your personality. She won't gossip about you or harm your reputation. She will tell you when she's concerned about you and will have your back when things are going against you.

*Caring—Good friends let you know they really care about you. No two people show caring the same way. Maybe she's a hugger and kisser, while another friend may show caring through gentle teasing. One way to know someone cares is to notice they call you or talk to you often. They know what's happening in your life and show interest in your day to day activities.

*No matter what—The true-blue friend stays by you through both the good and the bad times. The most important quality in a friend is loyalty. When everyone drops you, the loyal friend stays close by. Trouble with the law, trouble with your studies, boyfriend trouble, doesn't matter what: she's there for you. Even if you move away, your friend will make the effort to be in touch.

*Acceptance—Your true friend will accept you and care about you even when you're being stubborn and stupid. Nobody's perfect, and when you're not, your friend sticks by you anyway. When you make mistakes, she's patient. When you hurt her feelings, she forgives you.

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