I have no idea if this is actually a well known song or if I just grew up in a very specific circle, but there’s kind of a cheeseball tune by a guy named Michael W. Smith that goes:

“And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end”

From here we can surmise that a true friend is endlessly welcoming and also religious, apparently. But let’s see if we can broaden that a bit, with the help of Reddit.

What are some of the “green flags” of a true freindship?
byu/TheGingerGlasses inAskReddit

Here are some solid green flags, regardless of your feelings for the Lord.

1. Pick back up

Even if you haven’t seen each other in a while you’re able to pick up right where you both left off.

– radpandaparty

2. Non-compete

When they don’t try to compete with you, aren’t jealous of you, truly are happy for you when good things happen to you don’t give you back handed compliments and don’t put you down.

When they don’t talk bad about you behind your back.

Good friends listen to you, care about you and are there by your side through good and bad times.

– Fitbarbie1

3. “Get a divorce”

When my dad got divorced, he found a lot of his friends were really just my mom’s friends.

He had exactly ONE friend who helped him pack up and move. His joke after this was if you win the lottery, you’ll find out real quick how big your family apparently is. But if you wanna find out how many friends you have, get a divorce.

The lesson here is that a true friend will stand by you even in a really dark place where they have absolutely nothing to benefit from standing by your side, and even in some cases, something to lose.

– wehosh

4. Stepping up and stepping in

I got the news that my grandma was dying this past Tuesday.

Unfortunately I had work at 4 and class before hand so I planned on going to see her the next day. But my sister was insistent that she wasn’t going to make.

Texting my group chat I asked my other shift leads (only can switch with a SL due to me being a SL) to ask if anyone could cover. No one answered. I left for work early. At the shop, I was beyond frustrated at my friends that I started ranting to my old co worker ( and now my absolute best friend) who quit a few weeks ago.

He jokingly said he could cover if my boss let him. Literally a few mins later my boss walks in, and in tears I explained to him my situation and agreed to let my friend cover my shift for me. My friend agreed and he came in to the shop literally 20 mins later.

I was able to see my grandma and say my goodbyes that night. My grandma passed away an hour after I left. The realest of them all.

– nutttymeag

5. Hot gos

When nothing you ever told them, ends up as gossip.

– MorgainofAvalon

6. Laughter

Being able to make each other laugh.

Really, truly, help-I-can’t-breathe laughter.

I didn’t realize how rare it was until it was too late.

– hamanar

7. Listening skills

When they listen to your problems and give you intelligent solutions, or remember something you once told them that was important to you.

– NotAnNSASpySatellite

8. The list

For me, there are usually a lot of those little green flags, but a few stand out.

1) You can tell that the person is genuinely concerned or truly sad when something terrible and/or heartbreaking happens to you.

2) They become angry on your behalf whenever someone hurts you, disrespects you, screws you over, etc., and they go into protective mode for you.

3) They’ll remind you of all the great things about yourself during those dark times when you can’t see such things so clearly.

4) They remember details about things you’ve discussed with them.

5) They let that song that you love play until the end – even if it’s a song they don’t really dig.

– SquirrellyRabbit

9. Pitching in

I’ve always noticed that with new acquaintances that turned out later to become good friends of mine there’s a big focus on respect, consideration, and reciprocity from the get go.

Obviously it’s cool to take turns buying lunch for each other but I’ve also hosted new friends that would clean up for me before they left while my old friends leave beer cans everywhere.

That new person expressed through their actions “I respect you offering your home, that’s why I considered to return you at least a small favor of cleaning up my mess just because I appreciate the relationship we have”.

– Layton115

10. No expectations

Doing things for you without any expectation of reciprocation.

– RedditRam24

11. Checking in

When they will stop doing stuff they like or want to do in order to see if you’re okay or need anything.

– CSPStuff

12. How far will you go?

Loyalty with a breaking point.

Obviously all friends should be loyal, but I think the best things one of my best friends ever did for me was threaten to end our friendship.

I liked a girl who was toxic, but I kept going back to her. My friend and I were on the phone one night and I told her I was talking to this girl again and she just got real quiet and she said “I know how bad she has hurt you before because you tell me. And I tell you every time she’s not worth it, but you keep going back. I can’t keep seeing you get your heart broken when it’s your choice because then I pick up the pieces and you do it again. If you do this, eventually we’re going to wake up one day and we won’t be friends.”

Talk about the strongest kick of realization I ever had. My friend had known me so much longer than this girl. And she had never done anything to screw me over like this girl had. I told the toxic girl that night and told her I didn’t want to be friends anymore.

So, loyalty, but with a breaking point.

– expletiveinyourmilk

13. Feeling comfortable

When you’re with them and you don’t have to second guess anything or feel self-conscious. When you can just say what you want to say without rehearsing it first.

(Of course, this differs depending on your level of social anxiety, but I find that in general you should feel more at ease around true friends).

– iniestas

14. Secrets

You can tell them your deepest darkest Secrets the things that you’re ashamed of and embarrassed about and know there will be no judgement

– kcpstil

15. REAL secrets

They tell you about the bodies even when they haven’t asked for your help burying them.

– AsboZapruder

That reminds me, I need to tell my buddy Mike about some bodies.

What would you add to this list?

Tell us in the comments.