I have a lot of friends in my life, and I feel fortunate to have them. When I think about the friends I’m truly close with the list narrows down quite a bit. As of this moment I have four friends I consider Lifetime Friends. They’re great to have in my life. I can pick up the phone and chat with them, see them in person and have a great time and I truly care about how they are doing. I also have many other friends who I have less of a connection with, but I still enjoy quite a bit. These friends I can see at birthday party or a backyard BBQ and have nice conversations with, but that’s about as far as the friendship goes. I’d like to add to the number of Lifetime Friends. So it got me to thinking, how do I go about this?
I think the way to obtain more friends is to be a good friend. I should try to be the person I’d like others to be for me. I came up with a list of qualities I look for in a friend:
1. Interesting. I love a good conversation, and not everyone knows how to maintain an interesting conversation. Some people can’t even make small talk to kill the silence. So this is a biggie for me, I love friends who know how to engage in a two way conversation. It’s even better if it comes naturally and isn’t forced, but that can take time to develop.
2. Not Flakey. There’s probably a better word to describe this quality, but until I think of it, I’ll be using the term, not flakey. Unreliable people who flake out on getting together, returning phone calls and the like drive me crazy.
3. Loyal. Have you ever had a friend who you trusted betray you in any way shape or form? Yeah, this doesn’t feel too good. Enough said.
4. Positive. Generally, I like to be around people with an upbeat nature because it’s contagious. We all have down times, and I’ll touch on that next. But, by and large being around people with positive attitudes is so much more pleasant than being around a ‘Debbie Downer’.
5. Sympathetic. Everyone needs a shoulder to lean on at some point. Good friends are there in times of need. They will listen attentively, provide advice if requested, and keep quiet if someone just needs to vent.
6. Mutual Effort. Friendships can’t be one-sided. Both parties need to initiate phone calls, emails, texts, and get-togethers. Otherwise one person will feel they are being taken advantage of.
7. Shared Values. People tend to gravitate to others who share their same beliefs and values. Obviously this isn’t something that can be changed, but an important factor nonetheless.
So in my quest to increase the number of “Lifetime Friends” I’ll be conscious of these traits and try to enhance some areas where I may be weak.