One of my top priorities are my relationships–more importantly, having meaningful relationships. The reason being is because over the years, I’ve learned and discovered that the depth and strength of my relationships are the key to happiness and fulfillment in life.
With that in mind, ever since my low point in 2017, I’ve always been very strategic and mindful in how I choose my friends, because at the end of the day, I want to have lifelong meaningful relationships, not just ones that come and go.
*I choose friends the same way any person would choose a romantic partner
It’s interesting to me how majority of us have a specific type or traits that we look for in a romantic partner when we are dating. Whether that is someone who is compassionate, empathetic, sharp, extroverted, likes to do xyz, and etc. I mean, think about it…how else do you narrow down your choices when you’re swiping in hinge, tinder, and bumble? (aside from looks, duh)
Basically, as you go through your years of dating, you probably start to develop a mental checklist of what you look for in a partner. Likewise, I’ve developed a mental checklist I look for in my friends because from my experience, the ones that fulfilled that mental checklist are the ones that I’ve had the best friendships with.
For example, specific traits I’ll look for in friends…
*Always acting with integrity (not only because this is my top core value, but because I want to ensure I’m surrounded by people who will always push me to act with integrity…I have to give a big shoutout to my best friend Avery for always pushing me to be the bigger and better person
*Reliability – this might be an obvious one, but the way I look at it, is if I notice someone flake or be indecisive about certain things that will affect me (on more than one occasion), that becomes a red flag for me and I’ll make note of it and distance myself. Eventually this person will not be within my circle because my time is valuable and as a friend, when I commit to be somewhere or to do something, I don’t flake. Not only because that’s part of my character, but also because I expect the same out of the individuals I call my close friends.
*I’m not afraid to walk away from people that are not meant for me
Again, similar to dating–many out there are just not meant for you. And to be quite frank, it’s better off knowing sooner than later…because who wants to waste time? You have to think about how you feel after being around that specific individual or the group of people. Do you feel better about yourself? More energized? Inspired and motivated to be better in life? Or do you catch yourself making choices that you wouldn’t typically make?
Use that mental checklist to determine if the people you surround yourself with today are the right people for you. From my experience and observations, it doesn’t seem like people take picking friends as seriously as picking someone to date–which is ironic, in my opinion.
You are the average of the five people you surround yourself with most. Remember that, because these people influence your behavior, your actions, and ultimately, the trajectory of your life.