The different kinds of friends you should keep and make
I went through many friends in my life, attending grade school, high school and college. I had, and lost “best friends”. It doesn’t hurt as much to lose friends if it’s a mutual departing, gradual, and you are someone who can forgive.
Past friends were ones where we just lost contact or we just didn’t have much in common anymore. They went in another direction. They were replaced with friends with similar interests, and way of life.
Today, my circle of friends are remnant friends, plus new friends from work, through other friendships, and special interest groups.
As a relationship builder, having friends has always been a big part of my life. At the end of this life, that’s what we will value, our friendships and relationships.
Friendships make life interesting and give meaning to life. They teach things and make you appreciate the differences in each of us.
I used to select friends because the friend possessed qualities that were more like me, but now I like to make friends who have different view points, personality traits, and interests. I want to be accepting of others, and having safe, and a diverse set of friends helps to do that.
As an adult, you should be choosy about who you select to influence your life.
5 Types of Friends You Search For:
-Friends who help you grow.
They support, encourage, and provide feedback. They either make you a better person in some way or they are helping you develop. Initially, coaches or mentors wouldn’t be friends as they have a certain role they are serving. These relationships could evolve into a friendship, as you get to know each other.
It’s two-sided if each mutually wants to be a friend to each other. Sometimes we admire people and want to be their friend, but they don’t have the capacity or time needed.
Groups with similar interests could fit in this category. They can cheer you on or help you grow in your special interest area (sport, church, career, etc.).
-Friends you can trust.
Trust is such a big factor (and should be bolded). Some friendships are based primarily because you can trust and count on this friend.
Friends you can trust are people you know who will respect and protect your friendship. They won’t share confidential information to others. They can make mistakes as we all do, but they will acknowledge, apologize or correct the wrong or offense (that’s pointed out to them). They won’t act like nothing happened or play other uncaring games. You feel you have each other’s back. We should love our friends, not as a romantic love but more of a brotherly or sisterly type of love.
On the flip side, if you can’t trust a friend, there’s no loving side of the relationship as a foundation. It’s superficial. Some friends can abuse your relationship because of their own personal problems. They could gossip and do harmful things behind your back. Those obviously are not friends and there’s no acceptable excuse for their behavior. Like the saying goes, “with friends like those, who needs enemies”.
The best thing to do (for your sake) is to move on from this destructive friendship until and unless they show a real genuine change. Intention is everything. And if they unintentionally do harmful things, it still may not be grounds to stay in the friendship. Most likely they are thinking of themselves too much and need to get their life in order before they can be a good friend (again).
For newer friendships, sometimes you need to test the waters. There are people you hang out with once or twice and you realize they’re not a good fit for you or they were there for a reason in your life. That’s just part of the process (and life).
-Friends who are healthy and whole.
These types of friends can provide valuable advice into your life. They can talk honestly about their life journey and situations. You can help encourage one another. Like trusted friends, they are safe people.
These are the people you don’t feel judged by. You can share your current life story to these friends without worry of what they will do with the information. They can be friends new or old, but usually there’s an established friendship where you can pick up where you last left off in your conversation. They are those you feel comfortable with, and you don’t have to put on a guard. You get to be your authentic self.
On the other side, if you stay friends with those who have personal problems that don’t want to change, that may cost you. For example, if you have friends who drink too much, and you end up spending time with them, then you will most likely end up drinking.
This is often the reason why friendship dynamics change. When you meet friends when you’re older, you are not as likely to make friends who aren’t on the same page as you. For older friendships, you could remain in the friendship, to maintain the friendship even when it’s not one hundred percent beneficial.
-Friends that are older than you.
It’s good to know people who are more mature and wiser than you. They have good advice and insight on things that you don’t have. They’ve already walked certain paths and experiences that you will enter that you may not have. They also remind you about certain traits that you want to keep. For example, you may find that older people grew up learning manners and you don’t want to forget that admirable trait.
They could have good advice about finances and how to handle certain things in life. They can laugh about things that you may be too young to remember.
-Friends that are younger than you.
You could learn something new. If they’re in a different generation than you, this will give you new insight into what the world is like. And you could appreciate your generation and theirs better. They may have more current knowledge and resources that could help you. You also could give them advice.
Like people, they say cats who are different ages get along better in the same household, than same age cats. This could be because they have different perspectives and don’t compete. They appreciate each other’s season in the life they share. People can be similar, we appreciate bits and pieces of what we no longer have or will be experiencing, as we recognize we all live a different life (so there’s no competition).