Managing relationships can be the trickiest route to navigate because every single one is unique, but there are some absolute characteristics you may want your friends to have.
There are so many different types of friendships to make. Not every friend you make will be the best friend. Sometimes, the greatest aspect of the relationship is that it’s casual.
I use to beat myself over for not landing great friendships with most of the people I’ve met, but realistically, I wouldn’t want so many close friends anyway. Throughout my life, for every 100 people I’ve encountered, about 2 great friends come out, and I don’t meet that many people.
One of the greatest skills to learn is to know how to filter through people. Being selective or picky with who you surround yourself with isn’t a bad thing. Ask yourself if you know exactly who you want to be friends with and why.
The small group of friends I have will always fulfill my values and beliefs 100 times more compared to casual friends. The magnitude of their impact is so much greater than friends who aren’t compatible with you.
These are the kind of friends you want to keep:
1. Friends who make you feel lost in time. Spending time with them doesn’t have a limit.
If hours fly by within blinks of a second then this is a great sign that your valuable time is being spent carefully. You don’t feel tired or drained after a couple of hours talking to these friends, and the conversation stays intriguing.
When you don’t mind how much time is spent with this person means that there is value in time spent with them.
2. Friends who make you feel valuable
The things that you value should reflect on the friends that you have in some form. When it comes to how I feel valued, I refer to the 5 love languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.
Knowing how you want to be valued can be a great asset in improving your relationships: click here to learn about more about the 5 love languages.
You can feel valued in the way your friends speak to you and their understanding of how you want to be treated. Their actions and words should make you feel cared for and respected.
When anyone asks what my love language is, I always respond with my top 2 picks: quality time and acts of service. For me, both of them have to be present or go hand in hand.
I believe human connection is intuitive and a human instinct to always want to crave. Being valued comes from the feeling of being heard and understood. Pay attention to the next time you hold a conversation with a friend. Is there a valuable connection there?
3. Friends who give you space to explore who you want to be so you can grow and improve.
There should always be a blank page at the end of every person’s book of life stories.
No matter how long and well your friend knows you, there should always be room for you to do something out of their norm. Sometimes exploring the way you want to live or different personalities can be both a good or a bad thing. We won’t know until we try.
Friends who give you space and freedom to continuously explore who you want to be are the best kind of friends. There are great expectations of what a good friendship should be, but there should always be some space for some mistakes if they were made as well.
No one is a dictionary. There is no definite description of how someone will act all the time.
4. Friends who reflect the type of person you want to become.
I love the way Marianna Saver describes it in her article, “You Are Who You Surround Yourself With”. You have control over who you decide to be friends with and these friends should reflect the type of person you want to become.
If you wish to be more caring, passionate, and considerate of others then your friend group should also possess these characteristics as well. If their actions are against what you wish to be then there isn’t much worth in keeping them close. In the long run, this might hurt you.
The people who you surround yourself with will have some effects on who you are. This can either be for the better or the worse.
The point is that you choose your people, and, as you do that, you choose your path. — Marianna Saver
Your friendships should have some sort of reflection of you. Ask yourself if you can see yourself in the way they treat you, others, and even themselves. Does this friend motivates, encourages, and love the things that he/she indulges in?
Do you love the type of person you are around them?
5. Friends who find the positive side to every event and even the smallest situations.
At least once in a lifetime, we find ourselves becoming friends with people who don’t have the best interest in a lot of the things that they do. Sometimes it’s not their fault, but frequently expressing negative thoughts and actions can be very draining.
Friends who have a positive outlook on mundane activities can be quite refreshing and give us a perspective we’ve never been able to see before.
I cannot lie with this. Sometimes life can be very confusing and hairy to navigate as is. Having friends who are uplifting and can easily push aside negative outcomes make life a little easier.
As you’re reading through these points, it’s good to also checkmark these off for yourself. Are you the type of friend others want to keep?
Having valuable friendships is one of the greatest gems in life. You don’t need many of them to feel complete. One can be as impactful as a thousand friends.
Being selective in friends is like being selective in a life path. You don’t want to go down any road that doesn’t bring joy and richness to your life. Life should be a delight.