This week’s human wellbeing blog is an unselfish one. It’s about friendship. Having and being a good friend is one of the most rewarding and beautiful parts of life, it’s good for your heart, good for your soul and wonderful for your own wellbeing.
What is a Bad Friend?
It’s quite amazing how many people stay friends with someone that is bad for them. If they make you feel bad, if you have arguments, if they get you into trouble, if you feel the need to talk negatively about that person with other friends, then maybe you aren’t really friends at all. Why would someone hold on to bad friends? The obvious answer is because of loyalty. Because you’ve known that person for twenty years. If they’ve let you down for twenty years, then they’re certainly not good enough reasons. Maybe it’s time to distance yourself from them because you deserve good friends in your life.
One of the problems that can arise from this is you could be in a close social circle and you may have to see them, but it doesn’t mean you have to care about their opinion of you, or their opinions of anything at all. It really is just a case of making the conscious decision: ‘Actually, that person doesn’t hurt me. They don’t know the real me and I don’t have to worry about what they think.’ Don’t be rude, just don’t care.
What is a Good Friend?
A good friend is the opposite of a bad one obviously. They make you feel good. They care about you and want the best for you. They want you to be the best you can be. They don’t get jealous of the successes you have or crap all over your ideas or dreams. They encourage and help you achieve those dreams.
They are someone to confide in without the worry that they’ll talk to others about the things you say behind your back. They won’t judge you and they won’t be shy to tell you if you’re being an idiot. You share interests, whatever they may be and share a sense of humour. They have time for you.
You know those friends, they’re the ones you can count on one hand. They’re the ones you should spend the most time with.
It’s your life and you can be friends with whoever you want. When it comes to friendship, it’s most certainly a case of quality over quantity.
Don’t Worry About Things That Don’t Matter
Life happens and sometimes things get in the way of friendships. When you’re a kid your friends are the whole world and you make friends easily and have plenty of them. It’s no coincidence that this is also when you have the worst friends. We all have ‘friends’ that are horrible to us but over time we select friends for longer term relationships. Then when we get older, careers and families can and do get in the way. We’re no longer free to hang out with our mates all the time. This does not mean we are forgotten.
Though at times you may not speak to your friend for long periods, when you do, don’t wonder why you haven’t, just enjoy the time together now.
It’s cool to disagree. We all disagree at times but that does not have to become an argument. Sometimes you can just nod your head and say ‘noted’. You have listened and understood but you just don’t agree. Time to put that to the side and move on to the next thing.
A True Friendship Takes Time
I know better than anyone, it can be hard to make friends when you get older. Especially if you relocate i.e. move to a new city or country. The second you hit that road or jump on that plane you leave the friends you’ve had around you forever, now it’s time to make some new ones. It’s hard to make good friends and it may take years to make one or two but there are certainly three things that can help.
1. Be nice
2. Be yourself
3. Most importantly, say ‘yes’
If someone asks you to do something, do it. Whatever it is. Talk to people, get out of your comfort zone, after all that was what you moved for in the first place. Meet as many people as you can and eventually the ones that fit the ‘you’ kind of person, will emerge from the crowd.
Don’t give yourself away too cheaply. Building a trusting and genuine friendship takes time. Don’t go blurting out your deepest secrets the second time you meet someone. That’s the best way to find out the hard way if someone can be trusted or not. Keep some of yourself to yourself and enjoy.
Barry Brunswick is a children’s author. You can buy his children’s books on Amazon: The War of The Turnips, The Secret Tale of the Cupboard Gnome, Sally the Astronaut, and the new short story collection Barry S. Brunswick’s Tall Tales. Follow Barry on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.