God gives us each other. We don’t need friends. But friends make the journey of life more doable and more enjoyable. I’m guessing we can’t have more than a few people we actually call a friend anymore than we can say there are more than twenty-four hours in a day. Here are six ways to make sure you have zero of the two or three or four friends who will be a blessing in your life.
- Take the Other Person for Granted
Crappy Friend: Overpromise and under deliver. Be honest and dependable only when it is convenient. Show up late if you show up at all. Gossip. Don’t be grateful.
Reality: Trust is the single most important trait of a friendship. Without mutual trust, the friendship will fail. Trust allows for effective communication, authenticity, and intimacy.
- Lock Your Feelings, Fears, and Hopes In a Vault
Crappy Friend: Don’t share who you have been, who you really are, and who you hope to become. Be safe. Don’t risk being hurt. Keep acquaintances a safe distance. Protect yourself.
Reality: You don’t need another superficial friendship. You have enough of those. Practicing vulnerability with others won’t help you collect more friends, but it will get you the right friends. And the right friends are essential.
- Bail When Things Get Tough
Crappy Friend: When a friendship becomes awkward or too challenging or the friend is just too high maintenance or too much work then move on to greener pastures.
Reality: If you want to figure out who your true friends are—mess up or go through a really tough time and see who sticks around. You will attract friends who are the type of friend you are. So be a friend who demonstrates unconditional love in times of trouble.
- Talk More Than You Listen and When You Are Forced to Listen Don’t Pay Attention
Crappy Friend: Talk a lot. Listen to respond. Ignore body language. Put your need to be heard at the center of the relationship. Focus on you.
Reality: One of the most wonderful qualities of a friendship is to understand another person and be understood by another person. Listen to understand. Ask good questions. The most interesting people are interested people. Be interested.
- Coach The Other Person To Become Who You Want Them To Become
Crappy Friend: Your friend isn’t quite perfect, so lead them in that direction. Help them become the person you need or want them to be. Impart your dreams on them.
Reality: Friends embrace each other for who they are and who they are not. A friend is someone who gives freedom to the other person to fully be themselves and relentlessly pursue their dreams.
- Be Pessimistic and Boring
Crappy Friend: Complain all the time. See the negative in people and be sure to vocalize such things. Don’t explore. Never go on an adventure. Don’t laugh.
Reality: People are drawn to positive, engaging, encouraging, quirky, and fun people. Be one of those people.