“It’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters.”
Life throws a lot of curve balls, but friends are here to help us catch these little devils. Friends are here to come into our lives and make the load a little bit lighter. Friendships have always been life changing for me. As time has passed, I’ve realized how important it is to create genuine connections with the people in our lives. I’ve developed the belief that quality friends will always outweigh the quantity of them. We put such a strong emphasis on strengthening romantic relationships and sometimes forget that friendships work just the same. Good friends are so vital to our existence. We can exist solely without them, but these special bonds really do make all the difference.
Some of us want friendships for the wrong reasons: entertainment, avoidance of a lonely Saturday night, or maybe just to obtain some popularity. All of these relationships are being approached in the wrong way. Choosing good friends and being a good friend can be difficult. Sometimes fitting in is all we really want because we’re so tired of sticking out. But for me, this ideology has never worked. I have a strong belief that your friendships really make or break you. I’ve seen so many people change who they were because of the people they hung around with. PEOPLE THIS IS NOT OKAY. You have to understand who you are, what your values are, and stick to them. We are aware of this process in a romantic relationship, but how come we act so senselessly when a friendship comes along?? So often people take advantage of a good friendship and fuel unhealthy relationships. Fueling unhealthy relationships can only be detrimental for you in the end. Because good friendships are becoming more rare, it’s really important to foster and appreciate them when they come along. Don’t neglect a good friend to entertain bad friends. Eventually, there will be a night when you’ll need someone to talk to and you’re going to expect that good friend to be there. But if you were never there for them, they just might not be there for you.
“People inspire you, or they drain you – pick them wisely.” – Hans F. Hanson
Naturally, we get older, we learn new things, and ultimately…we change. As we change, our friends will change. It’s completely natural to outgrow some friendships. The trickiness arrives when we want to be a better person, but struggle because a friend is standing in the way of that progression. Common sense says, “Okay well if you have an unhealthy friendship, remove that person from your life.” Well, common sense also says, “It’s not that easy.” Why is it so hard to let go?? Normally it’s because there is still something we enjoy about this relationship. Not all bad friendships are fostered with bad people, but when someone is only bringing you down, it’s time to let go. I can’t really prescribe the perfect formula for ridding your life of bad friendships. In my life, I normally allow space to do the work for me. I’ll try to distance myself from the person or just talk a little less in depth with them about my life. Over time, these friendships will fade. For the unhealthy friendships that need to be demolished immediately, you’ll probably have to take a more blunt approach and just tell the person like it is. Explain to them why you think the friendship is toxic and needs to end.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie
“Your vibe attracts your tribe.” – Unknown
Some of us have a really, really hard time finding friends that we feel comfortable opening up to. I think that this starts with ourselves. You have to be comfortable with yourself first. When you can do this, you’ll find that the people will recognize your sincerity. Friendships aren’t always formed because of similarities, sometimes your unique characteristics are attractive to others. So, embrace it. Don’t be afraid to be different. In fact, some of the greatest friendships are formed by people with different personalities and backgrounds. It’s also important to recognize that a simple way of gaining new friends is being a good friend first. Be somebody who makes everyone feel like a somebody. Acknowledge others & make them feel important. As you become a genuine, supportive person, you’ll find that people will be drawn to you. People will notice you in a different light and friendships will be formed.
Simple ways to be a good friend:
1. Show genuine interest in the other person and their interests
2. Listen for the sake of listening
3. Build up the other person, even if it means their success might surpass yours
4. Acknowledge them and try not to purposely exclude them from things
5. Be aware of their boundaries and respect them
6. Never humiliate them past their comfort level
7. Be honest with them
8. Recognize their strengths and remind them what they are
9. Be empathetic with them
10. Do unto them as you would want them to do unto you
“Friends are kisses to us blown by Angels.” – Unknown
Angels have blown me quite a few kisses and I’m pretty fortunate for that. I have met so many wonderful people in my life. I have some really incredible friendships with people that have changed my life in so many ways. As I really think about it, so much of my success and joy is owed to those incredible people. Don’t go through life wasting time on bad friendships. Take the time to really get to know people to create a sincere relationship. Take that extra step and put in a little bit of extra effort to get to know people…an angel just might be trying to blow you a kiss.