Tips on Finding an Extraordinary Group of Friends
I have so much love in my heart when it comes to my friends. And I’m talking about TRUE friends…those ones you can turn to at any point in your life. Forever friends. So far in my life, friends have come and go but I can confidently say that there are a select few that are MY forever friends. I don’t see them going anywhere anytime soon. In each of them, there is something consistent I have found. It’s what makes up my amazing group of friends. Unfortunately, I’ve seen so many times where people are stuck with toxic “friends” and others that don’t truly care about them. So, I wanted to share the characteristics that I truly believe make an extraordinary friend group.
One of the biggest things I’ve found that you really can’t do without is honesty. You should really never feel the need to lie to your friends. I’m not saying to tell them every detail of your life, but if there is something they should know, then you should be able to tell them. This includes something as small as a horrible outfit to as big as telling them what you think about their abusive partner. Sure, sometimes the bigger things might put you in the pound for a while. But, they will come to realize that you were only looking out for them and wanted to be honest. If THEY are a true friend, they will understand that and respect your opinions.
Luckily, one of my group of friends have been pretty solid and genuine since high school. We never really drifted, in fact, in some ways, our friendship has become stronger. There are other friends I had throughout school years that were great but we did end up going separate ways. I would never hold any ill feelings towards them (because of course, it takes two to maintain a friendship), but you can be certain that forever friends won’t be seasonal. It’s normal to drift a little during certain chapters in your life, but you will always come back to each other. It’s exactly that way for another friend group of mine that I’ve had since college. We live in different states but I know the friendship is genuine because we plan to travel to meet up or we try to FaceTime despite the different timezones.
Another huge characteristic is trustworthiness. Do you feel comfortable telling your friend details about yourself? What about secrets? A true friend won’t spread confidential information about you to anyone. You should feel safe telling your group of friends anything that you want. To tie into this, I want to quickly bring up judgement. Your friend has a right to have a respectful opinion of what you tell them. However, this is different from them being judgmental. We each have our stories and series of ups and downs in our life, so no one has the right to judge you, just as you don’t have the right to judge someone else. It’s uncomfortable to know that a friend might be negatively judging you, so if you’re feeling uncomfortable, then they probably aren’t the type of person you want in your life.
Now this one can get a bit tricky. Reliability. It is 100% unrealistic to always be counted on, all the time. It’s also extremely unrealistic for someone to always say yes to plans and to always follow through. Having said that, there is a balance. The best friends are ones who are reliable in the ways that they are there for you when you really need them. And if they can’t be, then they make sure to check up on you OR reschedule plans. Life gets busy, especially as we are transitioning out of school and into jobs and starting families. The way I see it is if you have a friend who is extremely busy all the time (with school, work, etc.) then don’t judge them based off that when they cancel plans. Instead, look more at what they do after. Do they never hit you up again? Do they continue to cancel plans and not reschedule? If they know you’re having a hard time, do they check up on you? These are the things that matter.
As I mentioned, we have so many transitioning phases in our life. One of the biggest being school and graduating onto college and/or getting a job. These can be confusing times especially if you aren’t set on what you want to do for your career and future. How are your friends during these times? I’ve seen it go two ways. Either they don’t ask at all about your future plans or they have a full on conversation with you about your path. I can confidently say the best friends are ones who are looking out for your well being and pushing you to do and be better. The last thing you want is to be surrounded by people who don’t care about their future. You want friends who will motivate you to keep progressing or challenge you when you’re at a standstill.
A great group of friends really makes all the difference as you continue on through life. They are the people to lean on, laugh with, and enjoy to the fullest. I truly hope that everyone has or finds a worthy friend group at some point in their life that will be with them forever. I know I did, and I’m thankful every single day.