Choose Your Friends
Have any of you ever played/read the make your own adventure books? You know whenever you get to choose specific points in your story that may change how the journey goes for you? Well friendships are kind of like the decisions that you make in a make your own adventure story. They can be crucial to the way your adventure (i.e. your life) will be. Now I'm not saying that you should let your life and how great it goes depend on the actions of others. BUT if you surround ourself withe like minded people who want you to succeed in your adventure, then guess what? You will, because you'll have a bomb support system.
Now like any adventurer, you need a guide. Like you just don't go into the unknown and form your adventure parties without knowing for sure what you need to know, and who you need to befriend. So here is my guide for you on how to choose your friends.
Time Is Not Of The Essence
What I mean by this is that, making friends is not a race. Yes, there are going to be some people that you instantly connect with as human, and that's great! But be careful, just because you instantly connect with someone, doesn't mean that they are you instant bestie. Take time to vet people. Learn about the person and take the time to learn about how they act not only around you, but around others as well.
Quality over Quantity
I repeat you do not need a lot of friends! Ari say what?! But what do you mean? You heard me! It's better to have quality over quantity in this case. Now this doesn't mean that you won't have a ton of people that you can hang out and have a good time with. You can know a lot of people (i.e. acquaintances), but those friends that you bear your soul out to, that know you in and out...Yeah, you're honestly truly blessed if you have three or four friends like that...and that's pushing it.
So like I said in my previous article, don't be quick to call someone your best friend and subsequently bear your soul out to them. Though you are looking to form a deep friendship, they may not be.
Caution: Look Out For Fake Friends
This brings me to this point. Fake friends. Yes Drake was right, you will have fake people showing fake love to you. Straight up to your face (cue little medley after the lyric). And honestly fake friends aren't always ill intentioned. Yeah, they don't necessarily sound like the best people due to their namesake, but they are more like friends of opportunity than "Fake Friends." For this guide point, you just have to know that some people are friends with you because they see an opportunity with hanging out with you.
Maybe you have great fashion advice, or you take great pictures, or they just generally see that hanging out with you would benefit them in the long-run (or for just that moment). The thing about these friends, is that they won't stay with you whenever times get hard. As soon as the friendship stops benefitting them, they will most likely peace out.
For you business savvy people out there, think of your friendship as an asset. Now when purchasing this asset, you have to think if it will increase in value over time or depreciate (lose value). Well whenever you are looking at pursuing friendships, you have to ask yourself throughout if this person, or set of people, are going to add value to you. Are they pushing you to be a better person? Are they encouraging you to get out of your comfort zone? Are they encouraging you to be the best you that you can be? If you are saying no to the following questions, then this friendship is most likely not adding value to your life.
So look at this when entering friendships, and don't be upset if it takes some time to figure out if this friendship is adding value because that's totally fine. This is something you won't figure out overnight.
Three types of friends
This next point actually comes from Bishop T.D. Jakes. Jakes has a sermon about the three types of friends that you encounter in your life, I have taken these three friends and turned them into the three categories that you have to sort your friends into i.e:
- Are they for what you're for? : To me this means are you friends because you only support the same things? This is fine, because these friends can be good to have around, especially in a team setting. For example, if you all want to have the goal of completing a project and being recognized for it then you will work smoothly together to get this project done. The problem with this friendship is that if you aren't for what they are for or vice versa, it can cause tensions, and they can just as easily be against
- Are they against, what you're against? : This type of friendship is interesting to me because you are basing it off of the fact that you both don;t like something, and take comfort in showing your disapproval towards it. Now I don't think this friendship can last, first of all, because it's built off of negativity. Secondly, if they are so willing to tell you all the things they don't like about something, then you have to think if they are telling others that they don't like about you. (Oooooo think about that).
- Are they for YOU? : Now this one gets confused with friends who are for what you're for, but while those friends are a conditional friendship (i.e. We are friends, as long as you like *insert item here*) friends who are for you do not put condiitons on their friendship. They a have an understanding that yo are an individual. They lift you up not to bring a benefit to themselves, but because they see your full potential and want you to reach it.
So when looking at your friendships, see what categories your friends fall under, because this is crucial to know when going on your adventure.
Listen to you Intuition
All in all, listen to you intuition. If you truly allow yourself to listen and evaluate the relationships, then you'll know how to find, pick, and decipher your friendships. In the end, you know yourself better than anyone, and you know the goals you want to achieve. Picking the people you want to surround yourself with is the first step to success.
Remember that your true friends will gladly go on this journey with you. You may have disagreements, and it may be hard. You may also lose some friends through your adventure, it's only natural. In the end, the ones that stayed with you through the highs and lows are the friends that you can count on. But you have to remember that friends take time. Real friendships don't happen overnight, and you wouldn't want them to. Because the joy of friendships is the fact that you get to learn and grow throughout them.
Check out 21 things while your at it!