Friendship is by far the most sensitive and vulnerable relationship on the face of the earth. Why? because if we really keep it real, friends are typically unrelated by blood, and the opportunity to get more can be a dime a dozen. Now we have to identify if the dime a dozen friends meet the benchmarks, and if they actually make the cut; Meaning if they are an asset or liability. Blood family members are those who we are born into, or attain as the family pool expands, (IE: Family members through marriage, etc). Friends, on the other hand, are family members that we choose. So let’s talk about how to measure the authenticity of your friend, or friend group that you have chosen (in some case that has chosen you). There are three main types of friends, so let’s explore them.
1. Best Friend/s or Friends
2. Associates and Casual
3. Occasional and Social Media Contacts
4. There are others, but for the purposes of this discussion, we will stick with the most popular ones.
Friends can have an enormous impact on your life, and quite frankly, more than you can even imagine. Their words, and convictions about life, etc., can be positive, or monumentally detrimental. Believe it or not, even after you leave a conversation, without provocation, your mind can begin to re-play what it heard earlier. Let me give you an example. You are in a department store, and the pipe music is playing… let’s say the song is “Beat It”. Without you even humming the words, or singing them out loud, once you leave the store, it is very likely that you will begin to sing or hum the words later that day. Why? Because the mind is tricky, busy tracking and trending everything it hears. That is just one example of how impactful words are, especially words that are spoken directly to you, and even more so from people who you love and trust. Therefore, choosing the right friends are essential to hearing the right messages. If you have, or need a friend in your life, and are questioning the authenticity of the value/relationship, check the list below to determine if your friend (# 1 on the list above) match the list below. If not, these people may likely match #2 through #4.
- Trust – Are your friends trustworthy?
- Cohesiveness – Do you typically get along and enjoy each other’s company?
- Growth – Does the relationship grow as you do?
- Honesty – Can the relationship sustain honesty?
- Laughter – Does your friend make you laugh, or humor you?
- Accountability – Are you and your friends accountable to each other?
- Rejoice – Are you happy for each other’s accomplishments?
- Confidant – Can you trust each other with confidential information and advice?
Take a very close and long look at your Best/Friend or Friend group, to see if they match any of the above-noted lists. If not you may have, or be one of the other levels of friendship, and that is okay as True Friends are actually not a dime a dozen, and come along maybe two or three times in your lifetime (sometimes more). Therefore, you should choose them wisely as the impact that they will have on your life will be monumental. Healthy Friendships should make you better, even if you don’t like the truth when you hear it sometimes. It’s perfectly healthy to have people in your life from the other groups, it’s just incumbent upon you however to know the difference.