A lot of people would brag about how many friends they have. However, once you start questioning them about how many of their friends really care about them, they start to wonder and become really uncomfortable.
If you think about it, the world is a big place. Everyone is busy in making sure that their needs are satisfied. With that, it’s only natural for your friends to not put you on top of their list of desires and wants.
However, as your friends, they should still care for you and support you. They should be there for you when you need them and you should be able to rely on them in times of troubles.
So, how do you know who your friends are?
Define What “Care” Means First
In order to know who cares about you, you actually have to define what caring about you means. This sounds obvious, but just as everyone has different wants and needs, everyone’s definition of care will differ.
Do you want friends who enjoy being in your company or friends who support you in your struggles? Do you want friends who are there for you when you are upset or friends who can always be counted on for help when you need it?
There’s no right or wrong answer for what a caring friend is. But if you never define what you’re looking for, no one is going to fit that definition and as a result, you won’t ever be satisfied.
Start By Talking To A Small Group Of Friends
With your definition, you can now start seeing which friends do care about you. Start small and talk to a few friends first.
Don’t start asking every single friend if they care about you. That’ll just worry them that you’re letting insecurity and paranoia affect your thought processes. Plan to talk to a few friends first so that you can establish a friend base for yourself and feel more confident.
Look At The Friends That Talk To You First
Out of all the friends that you know in the group, who are the friends that approach you for a conversation first?
This shouldn’t be taken lightly. Anyone that approaches you for a conversation on a consistent basis is doing their best to be a part of your life. This is someone making the effort to reach out to you, something people would not do unless they genuinely thought about you and your well being.
Look At The Conversations You Have
Now, it’s time to look at the main factors. Do you enjoy the conversations that you have with a friend? Are they extremely short and brief? Or does it look like one person doesn’t want your friendship, but wants something else from you?
This isn’t going to be easy, and you’re going to have to be as honest as you can. As much as you want to believe some people could be great friends, if you haven’t been having nice conversations with them or if you barely speak to each other, this isn’t a person who is likely to care.
What Have Your Friends Done For You?
People act for the people they care about. It’s that simple.
Think about the people who have talked with you when you were sad, about people who went out of their way to do something for you or people who invited you out to do something. If someone takes time out of their schedule to make time for you, that’s a sign that a person cares about you. After all, it’s easy to receive, but hard to give.
What Have Your Friends Asked Of You?
Good relationships are all about reciprocal giving. If you have felt the need to be kind to your friends and help them, that’s great.
How about things that friends have asked you to do for them? Have they been reasonable? Have your friends ever asked you to do something that made you feel uncomfortable, or something that was against your values? Did they respect you as a person or is their respect fragile?
There’s nothing wrong with friends asking favors from each other, and in fact, it’s good to help a friend out. The last thing you want however, is a friend making you do things that you’re not comfortable doing, or a friend whose respect is only earned if you do something for or with them.
Those aren’t people who care about you, they just want you to fit in or else they don’t care about you.
Have They Followed Through With Promises?
If you’ve made any agreements or promises, it’s good to think back to friends who have actually stayed true to their words and proved to be trustworthy individuals. After all, there are people who promise things, but since they don’t care much about a person, they care very little about actually fulfilling that promise. That’s not a sign of someone who cares about you.
Be strict with this here, because it’s easy for people to think “Well, something special happened”. That’s not to say there aren’t special cases where promises just couldn’t be kept, but events like that should be a rarity, rather than an occurring theme.
Sort Out Your Friends, Then Repeat
You should have a good idea about who cares about you, and who doesn’t. Put the people who care about you first, and the people who don’t care behind you.
Sort through all of your friends in the same manner. Go through all the criteria. Don’t be afraid to be harsh. Chances are, if they never cared much about you, they aren’t going to care that you don’t think of them as a friend.
It’s not about you viciously cutting away at friendships, but considering who are the most important people in your life, and who you are going to put first. After all, if you know who cares about you, you know who you can turn to, and not have to wonder who you can trust.
Enjoy The People Who Care About You
Once you’ve found people who care about you, you will have established a personal criteria for the people you are looking for. You have people who care about you, and you now know how to find out if someone really does have your best interests at heart.
There’s nothing better than going home at night and knowing that you are surrounded by people who care about you. Life’s too long to not know who’s got your back, and if you know where to find people that care about you, your life is just going to get even better.
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Author: Victor Tan
Victor is a communications writer who loves to help people realize their potential through self-improvement and communication. You can find out more at Spirit On Stage, or Facebook and Twitter.