Last week brought the passing of a close friend of mine. Since that time, my FaceBook feed has exploded with scores of people recalling various memories with Taira and establishing the level of impact she had on their lives. While I’m a slightly more private person, this did get me thinking about friendships.
I’ve been blessed to have had some great friendships in my lifetime—and I’ve also had some friendships where, well, I don’t think they helped me become a better person. Regardless, I started to process what it meant to be a friend worth having, and here are a few thoughts I wrote down in my journal.
1. You’ve gotta be a friendly person
-This seems pretty basic but Solomon was onto something when he said if you want to have friends you’ve got to first be a friendly person.
2. Take the initiative
-Having friends/being a friend isn’t easy. It requires someone taking the initiative. Sometimes it’s you and sometimes it’s the other person. Either way, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there for the right people.
3. Learn to listen
-There’s huge value in asking a friend how their day is and then sitting and listening. Fight the urge to jump in to babble about your day. There will be time for it but right now is about them.
4. Know who to trust
-A good friend of mine and I were talking about friendships one day. He made a great statement that I won’t soon forget: Not everyone deserves to be in your space. Identify who has earned the right to have your friendship and be aware of counterfeits.
5. Know when to walk away
-This is the hardest advice for me to follow. As an emotional hoarder I don’t walk away easily. This leaves me open to a lot of frustration and hurt. Be sure to guard heart.
6. If you’re not willing to make the investment you don’t deserve the friendship
-Stop making excuses. Pick-up the phone and make a call. Plan a chance to get together for coffee. If not, walk away and cut your losses but don’t call yourself a “friend” when you’re more interested in living like an acquaintance.