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Maybe you’ve heard that good friends aren’t easy to come by. Perhaps it’s not that they’re so hard to find, but instead, you don’t know what to look for in a good comrade. If you know the traits, you might find a good friend is more available than you think.

A true friend is a treasure for which to be grateful and never risk losing. In these challenging times, it’s easy to enter conflicts and walk away. But true friends, even when angry, will walk together, not apart.


Empathic – Empathy means that you can tell your friend cares about you. When you’re hurting, they take the time to listen to you and give you a shoulder on which to cry. When you’re wrong, they pick the right time to help you understand what you might have done better. You sense they care as much about your well-being as their own. Even if there’s tension or arguments, you know the relationship is secure because your friend will try to see your side of things. They can feel for your position even if they don’t agree.

Available – Friends make time for one another. Some people have more availability than others, but they make the time to meet, and unless it’s an emergency, they keep the date. A friend doesn’t blow you off just because something better comes up unless it’s an urgent matter. When people honor their priority with you, they are respecting your time as well as their own. Other people will respect them for doing the same.

Loyal – A loyal friend will honor you. They won’t backstab you or talk behind your back; they’ll have your back. You won’t have to worry about a true friend betraying you. They know the value of standing side by side and won’t let anything come between the two of you. If you upset each other, you talk it through. They won’t be badmouthing you to others. True friends are committed to attacking problems, not each other. No matter how down and out you are, they will be by your side, even when everyone else jumps ship.

Trusted – Trust takes time, but it’s essential in a friendship. It means neither person will be dishonest to the other, and their word is gold. Neither will either person betray that trust. You won’t have to worry about them underhandedly getting an advantage in a business transaction or moving in on a potential romance. They value the relationship above any such misplaced opportunities and know that they would not only lose your respect but self-respect and the respect of others.

Someone once told me if you want to have a friend, be a friend. If you have the characteristics above and select your friends with the same traits, you will have all the friends you could ever need.

Join the Movement

Donna Marks believes that the models for diagnosis, treatment, and addiction have failed. Her mission is to help save at least one million lives by 2030, through education and prevention. She has been an author, consultant, educator, public speaker, licensed psychotherapist, and addictions counselor in private practice in Palm Beach, Florida for more than thirty years. In 1989, Dr. Marks developed a chemical dependency treatment program at Palm Beach Community College, that has since grown into a four-year degree program, and for which she was granted an Award of Appreciation. She became licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in 1987. In 1989, she earned a Doctorate Degree in Adult Education, then became a Certified Addictions Professional, Certified Gestalt Therapist, Certified Psychoanalyst, Hypnotherapist, and Certified Sex Therapist.

Dr. Marks is the author of the 22-award winning book, Exit the Maze: One Addiction, One Cause, One Cure.

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