Choosing Your Friends
Updated: Jan 10
This is a tough one, but it’s important to note that you can actually choose your friends.
You have a real say in this.
I know loyalty is a factor, especially for life long friends – but the natural cycle of life is one of birth and death and unfortunately this also applies to friendships.
We all need to have that sense of belonging, so having friends is a healthy and important part of your growth – but having the wrong friends can actually pull you into the abyss.
I’m not sure what’s worse, having no friends or having the wrong friends?
Let’s begin by exploring what qualities you should look for in a friend.
Firstly, friendship is not a one-way street.
The time, effort, energy, genuine love and care should flow both ways, otherwise you’ll quickly find yourself depleted – of time, money, energy and even your spirit.
If you can’t go to a person and share your bad news and have them actually listen (and care), without turning it into a conversation about them selves or dismissing you outright, then you may want to reconsider that friendship.
On the flip side, if you go to your friend with some genuine good news, then they should be the first to help you celebrate it, they should actually want the best for you.
Friends should nourish your soul, you should feel better about yourself (and the world) in their presence, they don't enable your bad habits, they tell you the truth and call you out when they need to - but ultimately they 'get' you and you 'get' them.
If you do a quick scan, you'll probably be able to identify quickly who in your current circle nourishes you and who depletes you.
The danger with friendships is that you often take on the characteristics of the people you surround yourself with, so it would make sense to surround yourself with people that facilitate your growth.
You have a responsibility here to, to also be a good friend, it’s this mutual exchange underpinned by genuine care that provides the foundation for your friendships to flourish.
Establishing boundaries is also important, so one of the most important skills you can learn, is developing your ability to say 'no' to your friends.
Knowing how and when to use 'no', will help you establish your place in the friendship.
People can be complicated creatures man, believe me, I get it - so you're certainly not alone here.
I've devoted the best part of my adult life trying to figure out all the different patterns of behaviour and getting clear on what's important.
So by getting some clarity around the things you value in a friendship, it should help you navigate all those challenges a little better.