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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 April 11, 2019

                How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

                I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

                I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

                Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                How Communication Skills Help Your Success

                Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

                Create a Positive Experience

                Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

                When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

                What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

                Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

                As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

                Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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                Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

                Help Leadership Skills

                It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

                Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

                As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

                Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

                If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

                Build Better Teams

                Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

                In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

                If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

                When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

                Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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                How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

                Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

                1. Listen

                Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

                Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

                People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

                Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

                Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

                2. Know Your Audience

                Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

                Here is a good way to think about it:

                Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

                You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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                3. Minimize

                I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

                He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

                Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

                State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

                The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

                4. Over Communicate

                So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

                What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

                Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

                Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

                Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

                There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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                5. Body Language

                The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

                When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

                In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

                When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

                Conclusion

                Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

                Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

                There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                Now go communicate your way to success.

                More Resources About Effective Communication

                Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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