You must have heard a few too many times how beneficial it is, to surround yourself with the right friends. You are defined by the people you interact with. Albeit, it isn’t a one size fits all, I have shared how to objectively evaluate friendship.
Why we need friends
The only way to have a good friend is to be a good friend yourself.
We all need friends for different reasons. Having a friend for the right reasons will be interpreted as having a someone who could share in your joy and comfort you in sorrow. A good friend could make a great adviser.
A good friend makes a good companion and will stand by you through thick and thin ad not just be a fair weather friend. If you are lucky to have a friend who is a go getter, your friend will motivate you to do same and also give you a reality check, when you are straying in life.
How friends influence you:
When you spend a lot of time with someone, you subconsciously imitate their mannerisms, the way they talk and how they act. This usually happens even without noticing that you are beginning to act like your friends.
If you spend ample time with toxic friends, it will definitely rub off on you negatively. Highlighted, are traits of toxic friendships and if you experience any of these, it is time to take a step back and reevaluate your friendship.
- Lack of motivation or ambition: A friend who is not passionate or motivated about being successful in life, cannot advice you to do better. Some people may argue that it is not your friends duty to motivate you, but the purpose of friendship would be defeated if your friend cannot encourage you on the right path. Moreover, lack of motivation
- Untrustworthy friends: It is true that people who knows you the most, are the ones most likely to betray you. Unfortunately, a betrayal must first occur for you to know your friend is not trustworthy but you don’t need to hang on to this friend after the first betrayal. “Fool me once, shame on you, but fool me twice, shame on me”
- A jealous friend: A friend should be happy and not bitter when you acquire anything new. Jealousy in friendship could be deadly. If you have a friend who is jealous of your achievements, you may want to rethink that friendship. There exist a kind of healthy competition between friends, which can be considered good. But if your friends wants exactly everything you have, then you want to rethink your friendship. This could lead to jealousy and ultimately hatred.
- Friends with different values: It is imperative to have friends that share same values as you do. If you have friends who drink or smoke and you dont, it will only take time for you to be called a spoilsport. If you are the vulnerable type, you will cave in and join in the “perceived fun” so you could be accepted or appear cool. Like the saying goes, “If you cant beat the, you join them”.
How friends make you feel
It is important to have friends who will criticize with love and encourage you to correct mistakes. If you are constantly saddened being around your friend then you should rethink that friendship. Keep reading for the bulleted points on how a friend can affect how you feel.
- How they convey criticism: I appreciate a constructive criticism and always welcome one. Having a friend who constantly berates you is very horrifying. A friend is supposed to criticize practically and not for the heck of it, just to discredit you. Iy you have a friend who lacks empathy, you are in a bad friendship.
- Low energy or constantly unhappy friends: Could you imagine what it would feel like if your friend is constantly grumbling, complaining, distressed or dispirited. I would not want to talk to a friend who is unhappy about life and is absolutely doing nothing to change the situation. The only choice in this situation is to sink into that low energy your friend is emitting or pursue life endeavors rigorously like. If your friend only encourages you to binge watch your favorite shows and never to go out and make a meaningful life, that friendship should be evaluated. In this situation, I would choose to opt out to save my own sanity.
- They are pessimist: It is a downer to have a friend who never see the good in anything. There are friends who would only talk about why a business idea or a goal is unachievable. Never believing it was possible to achieve anything good. Always quick to point out onl;y your possible chances of failing. My cousin once shared their experience with me. She said her friend told her there were already notable and established people in that particular line of business she wanted to venture into, and that her chances are slim. Worthy of note, is that passion/ commitment plus knowledge equals success and not how many notable people are already running same business.
- They are gossips: If all you do with your friend is talk about other people, then you need to rethink your friendship. Without sounding pious, I have in the past talked about certain things that are of no business of mine. But the emphasis here, is if ALL you do is talk about people then it’s time to reevaluate. Call it maturity if you may, but I got to a point in life that I was no longer interested in other people’s affairs… I got more than I can handle on my plate. Remember a friend who is gossipy, will peddle rumors about you too.
- They hold you in low esteem: It is extremely unnerving to be around people who constantly discredit you and hold you in low esteem. They lack faith in you and belittles your achievements. Everybody is different and learn at different rates. If a friend cannot respect you for who you are, then that person is not a friend.
- One sided friendship: It is expected that you must be a good friend before you can demand same from anybody else. A good friendship is a two way street and should not be one sided. If your friend is always too busy to reach out to you and all contacts are usually made by you, maybe its time to leave them to their busy life schedule.
Self-motivation is the ability to motivate yourself and achieve something based on your personal interest and enthusiasm without influence from anybody else.
It is great to have someone give you a nudge once in a while. But it is more important to be self-motivated.
As I got older, I realized that I got zero tolerance for bad friends. I have enough on my plate and I totally do not welcome any drama of any sort. Thankfully, life has been good to me and i have awesome friends. My friends are my support, my business partners, shopping mates and sisters. They are priceless and dear to my heart.
What have been your friendship experience? Kindly share, so we all could learn from each other.
1 Corinthians 15:33 “Be not decieved: evil communications corrupt good manners.”