Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Friends (Part 1): Good Friends vs. Frenemies

I thought I would share what I've learned about spotting the good friends in your life and weeding out the bad friends. I have had a number of frenemies over the years and I have realized that sometimes they are hard to spot.

Understanding the differences can help you in a number of ways; you can begin to address the problems that are occurring in your relationships, you can mitigate toxic people from your life, and you can start to understand the traits of the people you want to bring into your inner circle.

Traits of Good Friends

1.) They listen
When friends listen, they really listen. That means minimal interruptions, re-framings of what they hear, asking of questions, and other symbols of quiet compassion. 
2.) They are there
The friends you want in your life are present. That means they listen and they want to be there for you. When you ask them for help, they offer it gladly. If physical distance is an element to your relationship, they do little things to remind you that they are there.
3.) They are happy for you
Good friends are genuinely happy for you when your life is good. When you hit a snag,  they cheer you on, They are eager to hear how things turn out and are thrilled when you share your good news.
4.) They accept you
They aren't trying to change you. Good friends like you. They like you at your best and they like you at your worst. 
5.) They push you to accept yourself while encouraging you to improve
This means they do accept you but they also listen to your ambitions. They are your cheerleader and coaches. They are the ones that give healthy perspectives and that feels damn good.
6.) They have your back
This means when you do something stupid they don't shame you. They jump in with you. Yes, they might want to have a conversation with you if you want to go on a murder spree. However, in everything else you have a unquestioning partner ready to bring it.
7.) They practice forgiveness
Everyone makes mistakes and a friend understands this. They will be the person that is eager to forgive you because you are important to them. Just be sure you aren't putting your friendship on line by expecting unreasonable or repeated forgiveness.
8.) They will humble you
Their caring for you will act like a mirror. It will inspire you to want to be better and invest more into the friendship. It will remove ego and make the relationship about the friendship and not the individual.
All of these things are elements of a good friendship and of course there other things to consider like; shared interests, personalities, distance, etc. Soon I'll address what things can be indicators that you actually have a frenemy on your hands.

Edit: Here is the post about frenemies called Frenemies (Part 2): Good Friends vs. Frenemies for your enjoyment.

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