One of the most important decisions you will make in life is who you pick as friends.
I am sure I don’t understand everything about friendship but I would like to give my thoughts about friendship based on 39 years of life.
1. Do not make room in your life for disloyal friends. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to pick disloyal friends. If a friend can’t be there for you during the down moments, you really don’t need them during the good moments. If a person talks about you behind your back, they are not a loyal friend. You don’t need that person. Look closely at your friends. Would they be there for you if you were dying of cancer and sitting in a bed? If the answer is “no,” find other friends.
2. Learn to trust the friends you do have. Now this sounds the opposite of rule number one but at one point, you have to trust people. In order to be close to someone, you need to trust them. If you can never trust anyone, the problem is you. Now change yourself and allow yourself to trust others. You will be lonely if you never trust anyone.
3. Give trust with time. Some people are all or nothing. But it is best to make friends and trust them with information over time. In other words, you don’t need to give all of your deepest secrets the first time you meet someone. Trust is built over time. Give yourself to others emotionally with time as they show themselves as faithful friends.
4. Forgive. Friends are going to make mistakes. They will neglect your friendship with time because other things come up. Your friends do things that make you unhappy. Forgive others quickly.
5. Make friends that tend to forgive. Some people will hold things against you for days on end. You don’t need friends with an unforgiving spirit. Everything you ever do will not be good enough.
6. Someone who is a bad friend to someone else will never be a good friend to you. If someone turns on other friends, they will turn on you.
7. Make friends with the ability to build close friendships. There are some people that are just not capable of being close friends. That is fine. You can be general friends with them. But look for friends that can get close to others. It means they are capable of being close friends with you.
8. Make sure you have happy friends in your life. If everyone of your friends are depressed or unhappy, they will drag you down. I am not saying you can’t be friends with a depressed person. I am saying you can’t be friends with five depressed people.
9. Make friends that can love you during your most transparent moments. It is not a friendship if you can’t be honest with them. If you can’t tell them your honest thoughts, they are not your friend. If you have to hide things about yourself, they are not your friend.
10. Quickly drop general friends. You want to be friendly to everyone. But once you notice that a person is not really a good friend, just drop them. It will free up space for those who will be friendly and loving. Don’t stay friends with a bad friend out of regret or guilt. Just free yourself up from their friendship. You are also freeing them up to find friends that are a better fit.