We all have amongst our circle of friends ones that sometimes we wonder, “Why do I hang out with this person?”. They do or say something that makes us stop and evaluate the relationship. Maybe they threw up in your backseat after you told them repeatedly that going from wine to Jagermeister was not a good idea. Or you are in the midst of a police pursuit with your friend crying how his exGF is the love of his life and he regrets ending it with her….and you thought you were just heading to the pool hall for a pitcher of beer and a couple racks.
You’re always going to have some people in your circle that make you scratch your head and ask, “Why?”. Because you like something about them- they make you laugh, have great stories, are as sincere and vulnerable just as much as they are damaged. We just… like them.
But do you have good friends? The kind of friends that inspire good habits and admirable traits? It’s important that you have these. They are extremely rare but when you find them, hang on to them.
These are friends that lead a physically active lifestyle-participating in activities other than going to bars and hotel pools looking for chicks.
Friends that have keen powers of observation, have the ability to be ‘present’ despite all the distractions (smartphones) thrown at us.
They’re good listeners. They don’t offer their opinion on everything you say or do, they just listen.
Friends who are organized and disciplined. They get up early to get a workout in or they disappear for an hour a day every day to write that novel/screenplay/business plan.
Friends who can manage their emotions even if they’ve had three martinis. They prefer no drama in their lives. That doesn’t mean that they don’t get upset when something doesn’t go their way or they have to deal with idiots from the cable company. But they don’t dwell on it. They use reason to move on and find a solution or take themselves out of the equation. They are reasonable people.
They often use self reflection in order to better understand themselves. Not self loathing mind you, but an actual cause and effect breakdown on what they’ve been doing over the last few years and if it is moving them closer or farther away from their goal.
One of the most important traits they possess is the ability to keep going even when out of their comfort zone. Often this is where we see many of the people we thought of as friends become totally different people. How people handle adversity when out of their comfort zones will tell you who you can trust to be a true friend.
And on the flip side of this coin, how many people can take the above points, apply them to you and say, “Yes, this guy is a good friend.” Hey, no one is perfect and I am constantly having to re-evaluate myself in this regard. Checking yourself periodically from time to time should enable you to surround yourself with good friends who make you be as good as you can be and you should inspire the same in them.