Cry in front of them and see how they react.
Okay I’m partly joking. But there’s a story to that.
A little over 10 years ago, I met my best friend in boarding school.
I believe we were quite reluctant to be friends at first. We were in different phases of our lives. She was new and was quite shy to open up, while I already had my fair share of friends. It wasn’t friendship at first sight.
But something strange happened over the course of the first school term. I had gone over to her room several times to see how she was doing and whether she fit in okay. In boarding school, it can be tough and lonely. I knew. I guess I didn’t want her to feel the same.
We would talk. Joke. Chill. Like normal 16 year olds I guess.
Then one day, she cried. Started tearing up. And then I started tearing up too. We basically cried together. I don’t remember what we were talking about but it doesn’t matter. Because what we remember was the shared feeling.
I really don’t like to cry in front of people and my Bestie knows that till today. So it was quite strange to cry in front of a fairly new friend all those years ago.
I still do cry in front of her today. I still remember when I broke down in the car because I was particularly stressed out with some things. I literally sobbed on her shoulders. I felt a little embarrassed, but mostly liberated.
I guess you could say we knew we would be best friends then. There were no initial labels. We were just guided by a feeling of trust.
When you can cry in front of someone and have them accept you regardless, you know you are in a safe place. And I have come to know for sure that when you experience that with a person, they tend to stay in your life. Out of loyalty, out of genuine acceptance. I guess that’s when you know they really care about you.
Fair weather friends will only want to see your good side. They’re not interested in your weaknesses. True friends however, either cry with you, or let you cry unapologetically.