A friend that is honest is one of the best friends you can have. Trust and honesty are cornerstones in any relationship. Choosing a friend who can tell you how it is will be something you’ll appreciate greatly (albeit, you may not always appreciate it in that particular moment, you’ll look back on it and appreciate it later…really). An honest friend will keep you from walking out of the house wearing that awful green shirt or tell you that the girl you’re going to ask out isn’t interested. They’re supportive in their honesty, and you should choose someone you know will not lie.
here are 10 tips for choose your friends wisely:
1. Change whom you hang around with
You have different friends for different parts of your life. If you have moved into a phase of life where you’re determined to set your own course, find people who can help you visualize what that future can look like. Like it or not, you become similar to the friends you hang out with. Your associations have a lot to do with where you’re at in every area of your life. Your friends are going to influence your behavior, so why not pick ones who will be a positive influence?
2. Choose friends with similar values
While diversity is great in many ways, when it comes to your general values and beliefs, it’s best to keep core friendships with like-minded people. While you can respect others’ opinions and differences, choosing friends that hold similar values to yours will keep you from compromising or being negatively influenced by those that don’t uphold your values and the standards that you govern your life by. When friends have similar values, they can help keep each other accountable.
3. Find a mentor
Have you ever talked with someone who thought you could accomplish more than you thought you could? Who gave you permission to follow your dreams? Who saw more in you than you saw in yourself? This is exactly the kind of person who would make a great mentor and encourage you to move toward your goals.
One of the best moves you can make in life is to surround yourself with friends who see the potential in you that you may not even see in yourself.
4. Choose friends that have a thirst for knowledge
Life is about learning, growing and advancing. With friends like this, you can learn from each other. It’s always great to have a friend who can recommend a good book or share information with you to help you on your path. Friends who are avid readers are usually great conversationalists and fun to talk to as well.
5. Choose a friend who gives as much as they take
We’ve all had friends that only want things from us, but they never seem willing to give to us when we need it. Relationships involve compromise. Sometimes you’re going to do what your friend wants to do, even though it’s not quite your thing, and sometimes she is going to do what you want to do, even though it’s not quite their thing. When a relationship is one-sided, we end up feeling resentful and angry. It’s not healthy. Choose a friend with whom you feel a balance of give and take.
6. Choose friends who can bring balance in areas where you are weaker
We all have our strengths and weaknesses — you know what yours are. With the right friends, you can tap into the talents, skills and abilities of those that have expertise in areas that you don’t. Maybe you aren’t the best at keeping your closet organized, but you have a friend that loves organizing — enlist her help! You might be a great writer and can offer assistance to a friend that is updating her resume. When you utilize each other’s strengths, everyone wins.
7. Decide if your friends bring out the best in you
Your friends should also encourage you to develop into the best version of yourself you can be. They should help you focus on how you can be yourself and achieve your goals. Your friends should act as your own personal cheer squad, where they proudly encourage you to go after what you want.
For example, if you’re trying to get into medical school, a good friend will act interested, encourage you, and help you prepare. They’ll also celebrate when you do get in.
8. Choose friends who will celebrate your success
You want friends that celebrate you, not just tolerate you. A true friend will celebrate every milestone, accomplishment and success story on your journey. They will be genuinely happy to see you succeed and be the first to say “congratulations!” Friends like this can be rare so when you find them, keep them close!
9. Choose a friend who likes the things you do
While friendship is full of compromise, it helps if you choose friends who share a lot of your interests. It gives you things to talk about or share. It makes deciding on stuff to do easier. You don’t have to choose a friend who likes every single little thing you do, but you should have some shared interests.
10. Choose friends that stretch, motivate and encourage you
These types of friends are also great purpose partners. No one wants a friend that is negative or down all the time. It’s usually the people that are uplifting and positive that we naturally want to be around. Which category do your friends fall into? What do your conversations with them sound like? The best types of friends will be there to offer a listening ear and help you put a positive spin on any situation.