As we grow older, our friendships evolve. Our needs as individuals change and what we have to offer to others is always in flux. When adult life takes over, friendships tend to get knocked down a peg in importance or accessibility. Work life is often required over social life. Plans get rescheduled and bumped back and forgotten. Phone calls become text messages which become emails. Group chats take place of nights out and suddenly friendships are things you have to work on. They're not just there waiting for you at recess to throw the ball. All of a sudden, the people who you could always count on to just be there, are the people that you have to nurture and devote time an energy into maintaining.
Friendship is a two-way street, though. And because young professionals tend to lead such different lives, both parties have to put effort into making the friendship last. So what does it mean when work or your personal life has come in the way of your friendships? You haven't reached out as much as you used to. You sent your best friend a "happy birthday" text message rather than sending her a a thoughtful gift or throwing her a surprise party. But she went all out for your birthday just a few months ago. And she makes sure to call you at least once a week to check in. Does that make you a bad friend?
Chances are, if you're worrying about it, you're already a better friend than you think you are. Here are seven signs your doing just fine in the friend department:
You're there when they need you most
When something tragic happens in one of your friends' lives, you drop everything. You do whatever you can to be there for your friend, even if it means taking a risk.
When a friend reaches out to you to vent or ask for advice, you care. You want your friend to hang up feeling better after talking with you. You're not zoning out and picking your cuticles while your friend confides in you. You're as invested as they are.
You're always honest with your friends. You don't make up excuses or tell tales. You respect them enough to tell the truth, even when it's not ideal.
When you actually care about your friendship, you're bound to have a few tiffs. When you're a good friend, you treat your friend fights with the same respect and attention that you do your romantic fights. It proves you value their place in your life and want to make it work out, no matter what.
Your friends trust you with secrets. They value you like a vault. They know that you're not judgmental and feel comfortable sharing private information with you.
You're a good mouth piece
You don't throw your friend under the bus. The best friends are like publicists: when their friends aren't around, they're telling everyone with ears how great they are.
You can take it
You know you're not perfect. Sometimes you're going to mess up and break a friend code, but you're not defensive and deflective when you do. You learn from your mistakes and stay honest.