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7 Signs That Your Friends Are The Real Deal

7 Signs That Your Friends Are The Real Deal

We all have friends we hang out with every week or so, and maybe grab a cup of coffee with when our schedules line up. But if we are lucky, we also have friends who keep us updated on their daily digestive movements, come over uninvited on the weekends, and share pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream with us. Those friends are the ones you come to know as the real deal. Here are seven signs which show that you have true friends.

1. You feel completely comfortable around them.

    The phrase “pants optional” applies here. In fact, you could probably walk naked around your true friends and they wouldn’t even be confused. That’s just how comfortable you are with them. You’ll know you’ve got a real true friend when you feel almost the same ease with them that you do with your family. You feel as though you can say, do, or be anything around them without ever feeling awkward or judged. After all, a true friend accepts you in all your weirdness and even reciprocates it. Pants-less watching Disney throwbacks together? No problem, just as long as you remember to pass the ice cream back.

    2. You Know They’re Trustworthy.

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      Friends who are the real deal have seen you at your best but they’ve also seen you at your very worst. They have a photo album on their phone practically dedicated to that one time you mixed Vodka and Fireball, and that was only one of your many embarrassing nights they’ve witnessed. But even with all the potential blackmail they’ve collected over the years, you know they would never show it to a single soul if you didn’t want them to, and vice versa. I mean, they’ve had their nights, too. Still you just don’t show the pictures of those nights to others to prove it.

      3. You Can Communicate Telepathically .

        You know what they say: the friends who are telepathic together, stick together … or something like that. A true friend can read you like a book, regardless of your cover. They’ve observed all your social cues enough to know when it’s time for them to leave you alone or to get you the heck out of somewhere. All it takes is a glance and they’re there, coming up with some brilliant excuse to rescue you from your personal hell. The only problem is when they’re not physically there to pick up on your signals. That’s when you have to rely on their telepathic skills over text, sending them gibberish “help me” codes only they might understand.

        4. You Do Everything Together.

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          It’s not a “you braid my hair, I braid your hair” thing. It’s a “we do more together than most married couples” type thing. When you and a true friend are hanging out, it’s almost as if you two mold into one person. Their interests become your interests as well as the other way around. And even if you don’t like the same things, you find ways to compromise so both of you win.

          “Want to go to an art show?”, you ask. “Sure,” they reply and add: “Want to get El Pollo Loco after?”  “Yeah, why not.” And some day might ask: “Want to move in and never leave my side again?” And you’ll reply: “Thought you’d never ask.”

          A true friend is someone you can do everything with and never get tired, except when they overstay their welcome by eating your hidden stash of chocolate. Now that’s just plain rude.

          5. You Like and Dislike the Same People.

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            Have you ever liked a person’s character originally and then had a close friend tell you they didn’t like them? At first, you try and defend the reasons you like the other person while your friend lists all the reasons they don’t. Afterward, you start to question why you even like the person yourself, and then, all of a sudden, it happens. You’ve begun to dislike them as well. I’m not saying that a true friend will try to sway your opinions of people. In fact, it’s the opposite. You trust your close friend’s opinion so much that you’ve come to trust it as much as your own so when that joint intuition kicks in, you know that your friend is the real deal.

            6, You Realize They’re There For You No Matter What.

              On a more sentimental note, a true friend is there for you even in the worst of circumstances. They’re the ones comforting you after a break up, defending you when you’re being hit with criticism, running alongside you when your car’s about to be towed, and helping you get back on your feet when you trip and fall (while laughing hysterically of course). They’re your Superman when you don’t want to be saved but need to be rescued. And as cheesy as it sounds, they’re the ones you consider to be your future bridesmaid or best man because no day will ever be special without them by your side. Heck, you might as well marry them. They’re already a huge part of your life.

              7.  You Can’t Live With Them But Most Definitely Can’t Live Without Them.

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                No matter how close you are to a true friend, you both are going to have your days when neither of you can stand the other. It doesn’t matter how big or how small the circumstances surrounding the issue that caused such an apocalypse are. There will come a time when you and your true friend aren’t getting along. That being said, when a friend is the real deal, there is no cataclysmic happening that will ever be able to drive you two permanently apart.

                While you may be annoyed almost to the point of temporary loathing, you know this too shall pass, and soon enough, you and your friend will make up and be merry once again because you know your friendship is unbreakable. Again though, if they don’t learn to pass the ice cream or respect your chocolate drawer, things could turn ugly. Just saying.

                Featured photo credit: Adventure Time/hperticarati via flickr.com

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                Last Updated on August 12, 2020

                When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

                When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

                Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

                In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

                How to Listen to Your Gut

                The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

                Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

                1. Tune Into Your Body

                Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

                However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

                Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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                Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

                In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

                2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

                Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

                There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

                3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

                Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

                As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

                This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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                4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

                As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

                Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

                5. Challenge Your Assumptions

                When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

                In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

                A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

                6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

                Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

                There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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                Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

                Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

                Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

                We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

                The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

                We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

                7. Trust Yourself

                It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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                Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

                If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

                The Bottom Line

                The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

                Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

                More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

                Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
                [2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
                [3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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