Friends are an essential part of your life, so choose wisely.
Walter Winchell said,
A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”
Well said, don’t you think? Friends are the spice and variety that we bring into our lives. The best of them can accept you the way you are while pushing you to become the best version of who you are.
That’s why it is super tricky choosing friends. If I were to talk about all the tips you can use to choose your friends, I could fill a book. So, we’ll take it one tip at a time so that we can go as deeply as possible into each one.
Today’s tip isn’t something you would expect because many people do not think about it or pay attention.
Watch out for how your friend treats other people.
You may not pay attention or think about this because that friend is already, you know, a friend, and they treat you alright. But will that continue?
The reason you should watch out for how your friend treats others is that there’s a high chance that they’ll treat you similarly as time progresses. So, if they’re polite, friendly, empathic to everyone they meet, you can be sure that they will extend the same treatment to you always. If they’re rude, cruel, unfair, intolerant of other people, and sometimes without reason that you can see, you better watch out!
C.S. Lewis, the famous author of the book Chronicles of Narnia, said that friendship is often born when two people find out that they share something in common, and they’re not the only ones that enjoy something as they may have once thought. True friendship is tough to find, and many people spend a long time thinking that they have true friends when the truth is that they do not.
When the way you treat other people and the way your best friend or close friends treat other people are similar, you can say that you share the same values. Here’s a storytime example to make things clearer;
Sam and Jude were best friends for a long time, about seven years. Jude was a bully and was especially cruel towards people in the LGBTQ+ community. It did not sit right with Sam, who was tolerant and positive towards everyone, but he never confronted Jude because he did not want to lose a friend.
One day, after Jude was unnecessarily rude to a couple, Sam confronted Jude while they were alone, pointing out that it wasn’t nice what he did to that couple and that Sam had a cousin who was in a queer relationship.
Jude was shocked and said horrid things that don’t deserve to be publicized. That was the end of what Sam thought was a great friendship because Jude hasn’t contacted him ever since.
Sam and Jude did not share similar values about their interaction with other people, especially those very different from them. What happened seven years into the friendship was inevitable because sharing the same values as your friends is super important.
Sharing the same values does not mean being the same person as your friend or mimicking their every move. If you do not stand for any kind of bullying or mistreatment of other people in any situation and your friend feels the same way, you share similar values. It means that on that issue of how to treat other people, you agree on the same things; treat people with respect, dignity, acceptance, tolerance, whether they’re the same or different from you.
It can be tricky.
Sam would never have thought it possible that a friend of 7 years could switch up on them because they confronted them about how they treat others and revealed a detail they thought unnecessary to even mention prior. If you’re like Sam, and you’re avoiding tough conversations with your friends about how they treat other people, you have to understand that your friendship may end abruptly one day.
We deserve friends that share the same values with us. But, when it comes down to it, we should be able to make the tough decision to end or never begin a friendship with people who act in ways that just don’t sit right with us.
I hope this helps!