FYI | Day 21 – Friendship

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For Your Inspiration! (FYI!) Month 2011 – This article was part of an exciting and challenging month dedicated to discovering passions, setting goals, learning success strategies, and sharing thoughts to ponder throughout the day!  If you’d like to find out what this month was all about, check out FYI Month 2011 for more information!

FYI: For-Your-Inspiration Month!

“The happiest moments my heart knows are those in which it is pouring forth its affections to a few esteemed characters.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

Where would you be without your bestie, your BFF, your buddy, your pal, or your amigo?

Friends are the glue that keeps us in one piece, the crutches when we can’t stand on our own, the brains when we feel like being stupid, and the cleaners when we are a big sloppy mess.

If you’ve been reading along lately, I’ve tended to overkill on the analogies to the point where I make onion’s cry. Damn, there I go again. Okay, time to put on my game face…

Friends are critical to our survival and without personal connections we feel like an empty shell unable to express what it contains. We need to show the world who we are and how awesome we are, and we’d like to share it with all the other people that we think are equally awesome (awesomeness attracts… it’s a new law more obvious than gravity). Our happiness and joys in life are increased by the connections we make, and the people we can share it with. Laughing alone can still be fun, but only friends can truly make you pee your pants. That’s love.

Additionally, friends tell us a lot about who we are, not just because of what they tell you about yourself but also because they are a partial reflection of yourself and who you choose to surround yourself with. A close friend is also someone that can see through the BS, and spot the pain and joy that you are able to hide from everyone else.

True friends are there when you are lonely, they lighten the load when stressed, they turn frowns upside-down, and heck, they have to put up with all the extra crap that no one has the privilege of seeing! Yes, we all have some gremlins that we try not to get wet (remember Gizmo?). (Don’t understand the reference? Well… you’ve been warned!)

“Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.” ~ Swedish Proverb

Friend Meshing

Hopefully, the friends we choose to surround ourselves with are the people we don’t mind being like ourselves. The truth is, we pick up a lot of traits from the people we spend the most time with.  We mesh.

What expressions have you started using that you previously didn’t? What skills have you developed to be competitive with them? What insights have you gained that changed your viewpoint?  Lastly, what habits have you picked up along the way?  For better or for worse?

Sometimes we acquire ‘friends’ because of different social situations; you work together, take a class together, you have the same friends, or they vehemently try to befriend you.  Yet, there is a big fat obvious line that defines the difference between a ‘Good Friend’ and a ‘Bad Friend’ and lucky for us, we get the option if we want to be their friend or not. Yay! Unlike kids who tend to learn this early, some of us forget this when we hit puberty and grow a conscience about hurting people’s feelings.  You are not a bad person if you terminate a friendship; I just hope it isn’t because you don’t have the same favorite color.

 

Good Friends vs Bad Friends

“A new friendship is like an unripened fruit – it may become either an orange or a lemon.” ~ Emma Stacey For the purpose of this discussion we are going to pretend that ‘bad friends’ actually exist (like fairies and unicorns), because in my book, people who are considered ‘bad friends’ aren’t deemed as ‘friends’ for very long. I’ll say it again… you can choose who you are friends with AND you are not a bad person for terminating a friendship that is detrimental to your overall well-being! I am not suggesting you constantly question the value of your friendships, because regardless, you will feel if you need to or not.

The Best Type of Friends:

 

  • They are a source of support. They listen. They help you work through problems and help you separate behind verbally working through your problems and complaining.
  • Loyal and Honest. You don’t have to question your relationship and trust them completely. They won’t be griping about you behind your back.
  • Push you to reach new heights. They motivate you when you can’t find it within.
  • Don’t judge. Or as Mother Teresa put it, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
  • They make you a better person. You want to be a better person because of the person they are.  They encourage good behaviors and habits and let you know when are you wrong.
  • You feel safe knowing you can call on them if you need to. Whether it’s a ride from the airport or an emotional breakdown, they’ve got your back.

 

 

Questionable Friends

 

  • You feel you can’t trust them. I agree with Friedrich Nietz when he said “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you”.
  • Bad Habits. Are your friends a big reason why you drink so much, smoke, or spend too much money? Is a topic of conversation usually gossip (aka: toxic waste)?
  • Hold you back from personal growth or change. Friends and family love us just the way we are, and when we try to change we are met with resistance, because we are also affecting their lives. When you try to make a personal change, you challenge the balance of the relationship and they try to pull you back.  Ever try to stop drinking when surrounded by alcoholics… who are also your best friends?
  • Emotionally Unstable. I’m not suggesting you end a friendship with a good person if they are having difficulties. If a person is consistently emotionally unstable and causing suffering for you on a regular basis, then it isn’t healthy for both of you. Perhaps you’ll help them realize their own needed growth by creating distance.
  • Negative. Bah hum bug! These people are the venom that poisons the minds of everyone in their realm of influence. Negative people are those that find bad in everything, are always the victims in situations, and suck the energy and joy out of a room. Not the type of people I want to associate with.

 

All this being said, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all my wonderful friends for being truly wonderful.  I can only hope I can be as good a friend as they’ve been to me.

Being a Good Friend

In short, you need to be the type of friend you’d love to have. Would you be best friends with yourself? Well, hopefully you are already, but you know what I mean. 😉

To have a friend, BE a friend.

Being a good friend is not one who spits out advice and wisdom you think will solve their problems. You are there to listen and care for them.  Besides, people do not listen to advice unless they are ready to hear it. And people don’t care what you say unless they trust where the words are coming from:

“People do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” – John Maxwell

This is one of my favorite quotes, and how true it is!

Your Task

Friends have the biggest impact on our lives outside of ourselves.  If you’ve got great friends, make sure they know it.  If you have a few sour apples in your basket, this story is for you…

I heard a story by Jack Canfield (co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soup Series) that is very applicable for today. It goes something like this:

Jack’s mentor one day suggested he make a list of all the people he interacts with on a regular basis. Now, put a + or next to each person based on whether you consider them a positive person or a negative person. So Jack did this, and returned to talk with his mentor.

“Did you make the list?” – He asked. “Yep,” he responded.

“Good, now I want you to stop interacting with the people on your negative list”.

He was incredulous and responded, “What?!.. But my MOM is on that list!”

——————————————-

Hopefully I haven’t mucked that story up too much, but the message is clear. Recognize the impact people’s attitudes are having on your life and your mental outlook and spend less time (or no time) with the people that bring you down. Don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest you stop talking to your mom Winking smile

This post was written by

Greg has written 69 articles on Student of Me.

Greg is the creator and primary writer for Student of Me. He probably spends way too much time on the computer writing, researching, programming, and working on his photography. He loves escaping from screen-time to travel, ride his motorcycle, experience the outdoors and spend time with loved ones. You can contact him at greg (at) studentofme.com!

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2 thoughts on “FYI | Day 21 – Friendship”

  1. NinjaLiana says:

    I’m so glad you vehemently tried to befriend me!!

    1. Greg says:

      Yep. You were a tough cookie. It was tough to needle my way in!

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