Once you get into the daily grind of adult life, it can be easy to forget what real friendship feels like. Most of your relationships are fine, most people are okay, and that feels like it’s enough.
When we fall into that rut, it helps a lot to hear from people who’ve experienced it, what true friendship feels like. To know that it’s out there and that it’s something we can (and should!) have in our lives as well!
So, for your inspiration — here’s 11 people, telling you from their experience, what it means to have a real friend.
👉 for an IRL story of real friendship, check out me and Nina's origin story!
I cherish friends that let me bring more vulnerability, courage, creativity and even silliness into my life. Friends you can call for impromptu hangouts and feel right at home with, even if you haven’t talked in months. Friends you can laugh with at silly things, but also have deep conversations with. Friends who value adventure in their own lives, and are there to support you as you go on yours. To me, real friends are the people who make your journey more enjoyable and seen.
- Samarth B.
A real friend is someone that you have this unspoken connection with. When you spend time with them it feels effortless, energy-boosting rather than energy-draining. When I’m around true friends I feel motivated, inspired, but most importantly supported. They’re someone that I know will show up for me when I need them and vice versa. When you know someone is a real friend that connection just feels so natural and I know that having them in my life is only going to benefit me (and them)!
- Alison O.
A real friend is someone who accepts you for who you are, and holds space for you, without judgement, when you need it. Whether it’s someone I’ve known for my whole life, or just a few minutes, a real friend is someone who makes me feel like I can grow and be the best version of myself. Someone I can reconnect with effortlessly, even if we haven’t talked for a long time. For me, what makes this deep connection possible is a mutual foundation of respect and acceptance between us.
- Adam L.
A true friend is someone you can trust, who stays by your side during the good times and the bad. Someone who isn’t afraid to tell you the truth and who you feel safe and comfortable around, whether you’re sharing the world’s best laugh, or an epic life breakdown.
- Jenna S.
A real friend is someone you feel a genuine spark with. Someone you feel comfortable with right away, even if you just met! When you’re with a real friend, it feels like you just get each other, and you can share whatever’s on your mind, no problem. A real friend is someone you can rely on, someone who’s there for the good times and the bad.
- Amyn M.
I know someone is a real friend when spending time with them energizes me. When I feel like I’m myself around them and I love who I am. Like they see and appreciate and help bring out the things I love most about myself. I know someone’s a real friend when talking to them is easy — when minutes flow into hours and we get lost in conversation, even at the door when we’re trying to say goodbye. Most of all, I know someone’s a real friend when I feel safe to share my inner world with them — my problems and struggles. When I trust them enough to rely on them, because I know they really, genuinely care about my wellbeing and happiness.
- Niloo R.
A real friend is someone I want to be around whether I’m feeling happy or down, because I know they’ll make the situation better no matter what’s going on. They make me feel like I can share every part of my life with them, and they want to do the same with me. When we disagree, we can always come back together. And above all, it feels easy. It doesn’t feel like work to stay in touch, I love hearing what they’re thinking about and how they’re feeling, and I always want to be there for them.
- Nina I.
A real friend is someone who I’m always happy to hear from. I never worry about how difficult it is to talk to them, because spending time with them is easy. A real friend is someone who makes me feel safe enough to be my full self. Even if we’re polar opposites, I know they’ll be at the finish line of my race, and I’ll be at the opening of their art store!
- Theeba C.
A real friendship is when you don’t have to mask your true self. When you’re not afraid of being judged, and can share your feelings, secrets, fears and even embarrassing moments with each other. A real friend is someone you can have uncomfortable conversations with when it’s necessary, and know that it doesn’t jeopardize your friendship. A real friend is someone you can depend on, both emotionally and practically — it’s the person you trust to call in the time of crisis.
- Shruti K.
A real friend is someone who isn’t afraid to tell you the hard truths, even when you don’t want to hear them. They are there to listen and acknowledge your feelings, but also give you tough love when you need to hear it. A lot of times when you’re avoiding something or going down a path that’s not right for you, it takes a real friend to see it, and to care enough to do something about it.
- Holly F.
A real friend is someone you feel comfortable being your true self around. You can share anything with them, from your most embarrassing secrets to painful personal issues you’re going through. This is because a real friend doesn’t judge you. They listen and make you feel loved and supported.
- Karina K.
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Want to take your friendships to the next level? Check out these 5 games for building deeper relationships!
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