Your friends are a huge influence on your life, AND you get to choose them. Thus, each friend you select to hang out with is an important life decision.
Remember, it is virtually impossible to be a helpful and supportive friend to more than a few. So, it is even more critical to select carefully. When considering befriending someone new or continuing an existing relationship, ask yourself:
- Can I trust this person?
- Do we value the same things?
- Do I enjoy spending time with this person?
- Do I learn something from this person?
- Is this person sensitive to my needs and/or vulnerabilities?
- Is this person supportive of my wants and goals?
- Can I count on this person for honest and constructive feedback when asked (and/or needed)?
- Do we address and resolve occasional conflicts constructively and gracefully?
- Do I get something from this person I cannot find within myself? Can I (and do I) offer similar in return?
These questions and their thoughtful answers are instructive. And yes, these questions are even more important when assessing the one person you might consider spending the rest of your life with, your life partner or spouse.