There are always the friends you have that are true, honest to goodness people. And then there are the friends that you have in your life that you say to yourself, “Why am I friends with this person?”
Too many times we keep negative friends around, and that’s okay. Sometimes you just have things in common with those friends. Perhaps you stay friends to help that individual in some way. Maybe those people are the only ones around to socialize with, and it’s better than being alone. If you’re alright being friends with a few negative people that’s alright. More power to you.
Here’s the thing, you cannot be friends with only negative people. You have to have some friends in your life that are true, positive role models to be around. People that can bring you happiness, and don’t tear you down into this dark hole of gossip and bitterness. You need people that you can genuinely have a conversation with. People that you can laugh with just as easy as you can talk with.
Find these friends.
People who genuinely listen to you.
Not just stare at you and let you speak, but actually listen to you. Friends who genuinely follow along with your story, have their eyes focused on you, ask follow up questions, aren’t just sitting there on their phone while you talk to them. People that don’t chime into other conversations while you’re in the middle of speaking. Friends who don’t somehow revert a situation back to them and their problems.
Friends who listen are friends who care.
People who remember your birthday.
Okay, I know not everyone is great with dates, but they should at least be able to remember the month. If they know the month you were born in they are a good friend.
People who ask you questions about your life.
You know someone is a true friend when they ask you questions about your life. Not even just, “So how’s work?”, but things like, “So whatever happened with that coworker who was three hours late to work that one day?”. Find the friends that remember your conversations and truly care about what is going on in your life.
People who are more positive than they are negative.
No one is perfect. No one can be a happy-go-lucky, positive person all the time. But it’s important to have friends that are frequently in good spirits, as opposed to always being “Debbie Downers”. Being around negative people can be a drain, and often puts others in a bad mood as well. Find friends who would rather talk about the accomplishments of people as opposed to gossiping about others.
People who you can be yourself around.
If you have to change who you are or hide how you feel when being around certain people, it’s not worth spending time with them. You shouldn’t have to change the way you talk, act, or feel when you’re around your friends. Find the friends that genuinely love your true self, your quirks and all the silly, awesome things about you.
People who you can respectfully disagree with.
True friends should allow you to express yourself, and won’t judge you. It’s okay to have disagreements, and it’s okay to voice opinions, but there needs to be a mutual respect for each other. Some people think that if you’re friends you should have the same opinions. Friends are not always going to agree on everything, and that’s okay. It’s important to understand that each person comes from a different place on a matter, and each individual should respect that.
People who you look forward to seeing.
If you’re getting in the car to meet a friend for dinner and you are dreading it, are they really a friend? Find the people that you enjoy spending your time with, you look forward to seeing and that you want to be around.
It’s okay to have acquaintances and people in your life that don’t meet all these needs, but try to find the people that do. Find the good people in your life, be a good friend to them, and keep them there.