Friendship is something that I personally take just as seriously as any family or romantic relationship I enter. With a friendship I expect these to be people I can count on at any time and they can count on me for anything any time as well. Over the last year I have learned more about this topic than I ever expected to. So here I will share a few things I have learned and I hope it helps you develop a new sense of what to look for in friends.
1. Friends should be there no matter what.
When I say this I don't necessarily mean that your friends should drop everything important they are doing to be there for you but you should be important enough for them to text or call you back in a reasonable amount of time, not take 3 days to reply. I get that the person may be busy but no one is too busy to simply ask if everything is ok when you need someone the most.
2. Choose friends who will laugh with you and at you.
Most people probably are wondering why I worded this statement this way and why I would ever want a friend who laughs at me. This is because it shows that they are not too stuck on theirselves or stuck up to laugh a simple things. I have always tried to be the funny one of every friend group I am in and sometimes it has worked well and other times, well lets just say most of my jokes sound better in my head. So I love that my friends are willing to laugh at not only my jokes, but also when I do stupid things. This may just be a me thing but having friends willing to do this has really been great.
3. Choose friends who give advice that you know is right.
Over the years I have had friends give me advice that sometimes gave me advice that wasn't so right. When I say this I don't mean it was horrible advice but it was definitely something given to me without the person having my absolute best interest at heart. Over the past year I have had a couple friends that I now turn to for basically all advice in my life because I know that everything they say will most definitely have my best interest at heart.
4. Choose friends who are different from you.
I grew up my entire life with a friend group in which we were all pretty similar. We went to the same high school, we were from the same town, and basically had a ton of similar interests. I'm sure to most of you reading this your thinking well that sounds pretty normal and I guess it is but having those similarities shouldn't be everything. Over the past year I joined a campus organization that has given me friends from so many different backgrounds and walks of life and it has honestly been amazing. It has taught me a lot about myself that I never would have learned if I had kept the same friend group forever. While I still have some of the same friends and even new friends with which I share many similarities, it has been great having all the diversity in my life.
5. Choose friends who are nice to be around.
Most of you reading this probably think well why wouldn't you choose people that you like to be around to have in your life. This is something that for me was a lot harder than it needed to be, for example some of the friends I have had over the years are people who I thought were good to be around but deep down I was not as happy to be around them as I let on. They made me have feelings of being used, regretting decisions I was making or just made me unhappy. Over the past year surrounding myself with good people who want me to be around as much as I want to be around them has shown me that good friends are hard to come by.
6. Friends should be completely honest.
This is something that was shown to be when I became friends with one person in particular last year. Up until I met this friend I had never had someone tell me the brutal, honest truth about everything from whether or not the shirt I just picked out looks bad or that I deserve better than the way I allow people to treat me. For this I am forever thankful, if I had not met her I would still be going down a path of allowing myself to be used, people to run over top of me and wearing clothes that I should not. #pearledlongsleeveblueshirts
Once you find the people in your life that are going to be there no matter what please, please, please let them know how much you appreciate them and do so often. Don't let these true lasting friendships slip away. Also use this list of things to evaluate the friendships you currently have and if there is something that stands out to you in a negative way then maybe it's time to let that friendship go.