Students decide: what constitutes a real friend?

Teenagers often find their social lives to be a top priority, but when it comes to determining who their true friends are, it can be difficult to distinguish the right friends from the wrong.

Friendships are not as simple as they once seemed in grade school. It is difficult to decide when it’s time to let go of someone who was once a friend.

The most common reasons for losing friends are jealousy and insecurity. No one wants to feel as if they have to
compete with their friend, let alone lack self-esteem in the process.

“I would be jealous if they were better than me at something I really wanted to be good at,” senior Phong Do

Jealousy can easily be a friendship killer, especially when friends feel pressure to one up each other. Being insecure leads to jealousy, which produces competitive friendship.

Losing friends also happens because of the idea that eventually all good things come to an end. Pushing a friend away or even doubting a friend can potentially put the friendship in jeopardy.

People also choose to leave friends because they can no longer benefit from them.

At some point the realization sinks in that there’s just no longer a benefit to the friendship. When there is nothing left to gain, why stick around?

When it comes to friendship, many teens realize that quality is better than quantity and they begin to discern who their true friends are.

“My ideal best friend is someone who is talkative, respectful, and trustworthy,” senior Annie Nguyen said.

Teens may have a check-list of qualities they seek in a friend, but what’s difficult is finding those that meet all the requirements. When trying to figure out how to tell the real friends from the fake friends, take a step outside of the friendship and reevaluate if these qualities are present or not.

“Friends are hard to find because you really need to get to know them and build trust with them,” sophomore Delaney Bryne said. “Sometimes it comes naturally, but friendships like that usually don’t last.”

When seeking out the right friends, avoid those who emit negative vibes and take notice of those who display positive attitudes.

“Positive friends are the ones who motivate you to be a better person and they’re filled with good vibes,” Bear Creek alumna Faye Dela Cruz said. “Ending a toxic friendship made my life less stressful because you can’t expect to live a positive life if you keep hanging around negative people.”

It’s time to end a friendship when it is clear that negativity rules all. Being surrounded by poisoned people creates a chain reaction, so it’s important to be brave enough to end it. Toxic friendships are to be ended by standing up for personal beliefs and being surrounded by people with positive motives.

A relationship shares the same qualities as a friendship does. People seek someone who is reliable, supportive, and similar minded. A relationship is nothing if there is no friendship to begin with.

“Even though he has the title of being my boyfriend, he’s still my best friend like he’s been for four years,” junior Analisa Rillamas said of her boyfriend. “Of course we’re more affectionate to each other now since the relationship started, but that friendship base is what’s most important for our relationship and for any.”

Committing to each other in an exclusive relationship is just as one would commit to being there for someone as a true friend. For a relationship or friendship to work, partners and friends should recognize and respect each others values.

Friendships do not follow specific guidelines and it takes work to figure out who one’s real friends are. Developing and maintaining a worthy friendship takes time — just as all good things in life do.