Ask Ava

Ask Ava, Episode 9: Friends Series - "How do I know I have a true friend?"

May 28, 2020 Ask Ava Season 1 Episode 9
Ask Ava
Ask Ava, Episode 9: Friends Series - "How do I know I have a true friend?"
Show Notes Transcript

Friends Series - "How do I know I have a true friend?" 

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Today, as part of a series on Friends, we’re exploring what healthy teen friendships look like. This is Jessica Skultety, Community Outreach Associate at Safe+Sound Somerset, Somerset County, New Jersey's lead domestic violence organization offering services at no charge for survivors of dating and domestic abuse for over 40 years.

Today’s question from local teens is: How do I know I have a true friend who really cares? The teens in our community say they want to have friends who respect, accept, and understand them. 

So, in a healthy friendship (just like in a healthy romantic relationship), power is equal and shared – think about a balance that you put weights on. If the relationship is equal, that means that each person is the same. They feel heard, they’re respected, and that they can make decisions for themselves without fear or pushback from the other friend. Now that doesn't mean that disagreements don't happen – but you talk about it and compromise – which yes, is sometimes easier said than done.

So here’s a checklist to think about when it comes to a healthy friendship. Do your friends meet these?

You usually feel happy when you’re with your friend.

Your friend respects your feelings and opinions. 

Your friend is happy when good things happen to you. 

Your friend messages you and doesn’t expect an immediate answer – you feel free to answer when you can. 

You enjoy spending time with other friends when you’re not with this person. 

When you and your friend disagree, you can talk about it and can usually come to a fair compromise. Both friends feel pretty equal about this.

In your friendship, does each friend takes responsibility for their own actions?

In a healthy friendship, this is true. Each person lifts the other one up (rather than putting them down) – even someone jokingly make fun of their friend, this can hurt. 

Friends ask permission to use each other’s technology and accept that the friendship is just one part of these people’s lives. 

A good friend will check in and apologize if they hurt someone’s feelings. 

Keep in mind that any friend who threatens, blackmails, makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable in some way is not encouraging an equal or balanced or healthy friendship. Seriously consider evaluating if this friend is worth keeping and reach out to a trusted adult to talk. Don’t forget that in an emergency, call 911 right away. You can also call or text the Safe+Sound Somerset hotline for supportive listening or safety planning if you’re nervous about being around your friend – our number is 866-685-1122. Visit our website at

Thank you for listening today. Join us next time here on Ask Ava.