Separate the friends from the acquaintances.
By Anna Davies
A "like" here, a heart there, and a few emoji text chains... sometimes it seems like the only way we connect with our friends is digitally. But no matter how busy we all are, truly great friends have a way of really showing each other that they care.
Here, real women share the above-and-beyond things their friends do—none of which require a ton of resources. Try one or two of them with your own crew and get ready to feel more connected.
"My mom is kind of nutty, but one of my close friends is always so good about engaging with her. They even have text chains that I'm not a part of, and my friend will always invite my mom to coffee or dinner when she's visiting me. Seeing my friends care about the people closest to me, even the ones who drive me crazy, means so much." –Dani, 32, arts administrator
2. They let go.
3. They serve as wing women.
"I'm not quite happily single, and most of my friends are settled down. When I tell people I'd like to meet someone, they always say they'll let me know if they think of anyone. But my one friend will go up to men without a ring at the coffee shop, at the grocery store, at church, you name it, and tell them about me. It's resulted in a few dates, which I appreciate, but more than that, I appreciate that she's actually doing what I asked instead of just nodding." –Elizabeth, 39, supply chain supervisor
4. They lose the scoreboard.
"With three kids, aging parents, and a scary medical diagnosis, I had a lot on my plate this year. My neighbor Jane stepped in to babysit, make meals, and generally help keep things running. At first I'd try to keep up: If she made a casserole, I'd bring a pie over the next weekend. Finally, she told me that she wasn't keeping track—that she lost the scoreboard, and she would never offer if she didn't want to do it. That was something I needed to hear. With other friendships, especially ones I made as an adult, I often felt like there was a silent tallying up. It felt so good to know I could just depend on her." –Trish, 42, underwriter
5. They surprise you.
"This is silly, but I love sloths, and a friend recently bought me a pair of socks with sloths in party hats that she found at Target. To make it even better, she put them in the mail. It was such a fun surprise and something I'd love to do with other friends." –Kelly, 32, chiropractor
6. They show up.
"My mom died a few years ago, and I'd posted a photo of her on Instagram on the anniversary of her death. One of my friends texted to say she was right outside my door and she had something for me. She'd bought a candle and had written a card about how amazing my mom must have been and what an amazing person I was. If she'd asked if she could come over, I would have said no. But she showed up. She didn't ask to come in and kept her coat on, which I also really liked: I wasn't up for entertaining, but I did need company, which she clearly realized." –Ruth, 33, editor
7. They go the extra mile (literally).
"I'd been invited to speak at a major event in my town, which was across the country from where a friend was living. I didn't expect her to show up, especially since I'd only been confirmed as a speaker a week before the event. But my friend bought a plane ticket, showed up, and took a flight back the next morning. She was only in town for 10 hours total, and it just meant so much to me. " –Bridget, 38, professor
This article was originally published at Prevention. Reprinted with permission from the author.