There is a saying that individuals will only have a handful of true friends in their entire lifetime. If one person believes that’s true, it’s me. I remember being a teenager and wanting any and eveybody to like me. It may be one of those little things we do in our not fully matured mind to feel accepted and wanted.
The older (and wiser) I’ve become, the more I keep people at a distance. When I reflect on my life and the people I’ve “befriended” the more clarification I get that more than half of the people I thought would be lifelong friends are no where to be found.
On the flip side, I have a number of friends, that no matter what have never turned their backs on me. Yes, we have our disagreements from time to time but who doesn’t. We still embrace our uniqueness and love each other no matter what and for that I am blessed. My friends are the therapist and family I choose.
After being used and taken advantage of by so many people, I’ve learned that it is important to know what qualities you yearn for in a friendship in order to avoid wasting time with people who will never add any value to your life.
Qualities of a GOOD friend
- Honesty- I am an honest person and expect nothing less when I call someone my friend. That’s the biggest thing I look for when making friends. If you can’t tell me the truth, then I don’t want to be a part of your life. My friends for the most part tell me the truth as oppose to what I want to hear and I have always respected them for that.
- Reliability- I am terrible when it comes to making plans, but when I plan to do something with someone I do it. Not only when it comes to planning, I can also rely on each one of my true friends for anything, whether it be a shoulder to cry on, a ride after a night out, or place to crash, and would do anything and everything for them as well.
- Sense of humor- I love to laugh therefore I can’t be friends with people who are serious 24/7. 90% of the time I spend with my friends is spent laughing—inside jokes, general discussions, and everything in between. Nothing beats thinking of a friend and immediately smiling because of something funny they said or a silly gesture.
- Forgiving- As friends, we aren’t going to always get along. That is ok. We are human which means we will make mistakes. When we make mistakes or argue with our friends, it is crucial to be forgiven. I am blessed in the aspect that I don’t argue much with my friends but when I do, I am always forgiven and always forgiving when I feel I have been treated unfairly.
- Acceptance- Each one of my friends are completely different, which is what makes it completely fun. I strive on the fact that each of my friends accept me for who I am, and not who they want me to be. Being accepted is comforting in a friendship. It feels good to be around people who allow you to be yourself and not pretend to be anything more.
Red Flags of TOXIC Friends
- Selfish- When you befriend a selfish person, it almost will immediately raise a red flag. Avoid people in your life who constantly ask you do for them, yet when you are in need, they are no where to be found. I’ve experienced this first hand. Can I have a ride here? Can I borrow this? Can you do this for me? These types of constant questions, are extremely common in a selfish person. I am all about helping and favors, but there is only so much help I can offer when a person doesn’t help themselves. Believe me when I say, selfish people make the worst friends.
- Dishonest- Sometimes people easily disguise themselves with lies. Ever met a person, thought they were amazing but then slowly discovered they weren’t who they claimed to be? They lied about something as lithe as what they ate for dinner or as big as how many children they have. These are traits of a dishonest person. I believe that if you can’t tell me the truth, we shouldn’t be friends, period.
- Negative- I try to avoid people who constantly are negative because it tends to subliminal make me negative. We all have struggles in life, but we have to learn to deal with them head on in the most positive way possible in order to keep our sanity. “Debbie downers” in my opinion can be just as toxic as selfish individuals. I would try my best to avoid them if you are trying to live a stress free life.
- Bad Influence- We all know someone who is a trouble maker. The bottom line is if you engage in activity or behavior that you know isn’t morally, legally, or ethically ok, it will eventually catch up with you. I have people I care about a lot but they are constantly in trouble with the law. I keep them at a distance, being friendly with them yet knowing if they get in trouble and I am with them, the outcome will be terrible. As an adult you know right from wrong, so be smart about who you allow in your home and even your life.
- Dramatic- One thing I hate with a passion is drama. I have 0 tolerance for it to be quite frank. I can honestly say that most of my good friends are the same way. I have been friends with people who always have drama in their life and it is exhausting. Why should you have to avoid certain places and people you don’t even know because your “friend” will get me? The answer is you shouldn’t nor do you have to.
In life we are going to encounter a number of people in our lives. There is nothing wrong with being friendly with everyone however keep in mind that not everyone has the same motives as you. Be mindful and remember who to call a friend and who to call a foe.