Good friends are hard to find. Take a minute to think about your best friend. What are the qualities they have that make them a good friend? Do they listen to you? Can you count on them in a pinch? Do they encourage you to do the "right" thing? Are they honest with you? Do you talk about things when you have a disagreement?
If you answered yes to all of the questions above, you're in good shape. For those of you who can't say that your best friend does these things, maybe it's time to start evaluating what types of people you are hanging out with.
Are your friends energizing, or draining you?
Maybe you're not sure what effect your friends are really having on you. Take some time to really be honest with yourself about how you answer the following questions:
- How do you feel after you hang out with your friends?
- Do you feel like there is always drama going on?
- Do you feel like you are always trying to solve an argument?
- Do you notice you always make bad choices when hanging out with certain friends?
- Sit down in a private place with paper and a pen.
- Write each of your friends' names on the piece of paper.
- In just a couple of words, describe each of your friends' qualities (kind, supportive, complains, cheerful, self-centered, calm, etc.).
- Now put a plus (energizing) or minus (draining) next to each friends' name depending on how their descriptions impact you.
Take a few minutes when you're done to look at your list. What do you notice? Are most of the people on your list draining? How much time are you spending with draining people?
If you are spending the majority of your time with people who make your life more stressful, you may want to be a little more cautious about how much time you spend with them. Ask yourself how much they influence you. What type of person do you turn into when you're with them? Evaluating the value and impact of your relationships can be a positive step in surrounding yourself with people who create less stress in your life, and make you happier as a result.