Friends. They can be such an important part of our lives, can’t they? While spouses and family members are important, there is simply just a space that only friends can fulfill in our lives. Maybe, like me, you have come to find out that not all friends are necessarily a benefit, however.
Oftentimes it is nothing that is specifically due to this person, rather, it has more to do with the connection between you both. Some personalities just don’t mesh well while other personalities can can leave us feeling like a complete pair of gloves.
I love how in chapter two of Breaking Busy, the author says, “Our calling is not to keep trying to win over the jerks.”
I’m not saying that certain friends are jerks, but we all know those certain people who are. This makes me wonder, why is it that so often we completely wear ourselves out trying to do this?
We all know the people who will never be satisfied with anything we do no matter what we do or how we do it. This can even be the case with a friend. Again, it may not have so much to do with that person per se, but more about how that person interacts with us, what that person sparks in us, and the way that person makes us feel about our own self.
This whole idea left me wondering, what makes for a good friend and what doesn’t?
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A good friend is one who:
Is there for you when you need them
Does this mean at the drop of a hat? No. Most certainly not. But, a friend who can willingly make the time for you at a time when you need it in a timely matter is a sign of a friend who is often worth investing in.
Really hears you
Have you ever known someone who just never really listens? You can be talking, and then within a few minutes that person asks you a question that you had just answered – had they been listening. Of course this happens with us all from time to time, but a friend who enriches will be a friend who listens, really listens, nearly all the time.
Is willing just to listen at times
A good friend will be one who will just listen and emphasize without analyzing, solving, or belittling the things you are saying when you need them to. Will a friend instinctively know that you only want a listening ear? Sometimes, but at times you will need to tell them. Either way, a friend who listens is one who enriches.
Speaks the truth in love
When the truth needs to be spoken, a good friend will do so in a way that speaks love to you.
Holds you accountable
I’ve written quite a bit about choosing the right accountability partner, but a good friend is one who will hold you accountable in the way that you need to be held accountable.
Tells you the hard stuff about you, even when it’s not fun to say or fun to hear
Not all friends can do this. If you find a friend who will tell you what you need to hear at times even if you really don’t want to hear it, that is a good friend.
Offers friendship that isn’t conditional
Friendship that isn’t conditional means that this person will still be your friend no matter what you do or don’t do. There may be times that you could experience some bumps in your friendship, but a good friend will not retract their friendship based on behavior.
Wants what’s best for you
A good friend is one who is your cheerleader, one who celebrates with you, and one who genuinely wants you to succeed.
While these have been the qualities that make for a good friend, these are the qualities that may not make for a good friend. These are the qualities of a friend who you may need to separate from in order to break busy.
Someone who tries to one-up everything you say
You can be sharing about something that made you feel sad, something that hurt you, or something that worries you, and this friend is one who basically dismisses what you are saying only to share of a time that they felt the same way only much worse when this or that happened to them. Oftentimes it can be difficult to see how their experience even relates to yours. When sharing, it is usually not a nice feeling when a friend reacts by trying to one-up what you are sharing.
Whether they are dismissing your feelings, dismissing your struggles, or dismissing your triumphs, being dismissed by a friend doesn’t generally feel very good.
Has unrealistic expectations of you
We all have our seasons, our limitations, and our struggles, and these things need to be taken into account when people are placing expectations on us. There are those, however, who simply don’t take these things into account, and therefore there is no way that we can ever meet these expectations when we are living our lives in light of our season and our limitations.
Talks bad about others
If they talk badly about others, guess what…they also talk bad about you. Is that someone you want for a friend?
Demands too much time
Some people are just very needy people. But, if you happen to be friends with someone who demands more of your time than you have to give, this is someone who you need to break ties with in order to break busy in your life.
Doesn’t understand or respect you
Even within a friendship, there needs to be mutual respect for one another. Sometimes, two people just aren’t able to give or recognize this in each other.
Leaves you feeling exhausted
There are just certain people whose personalities leave us feeling drained. Oftentimes, we don’t even know why, but if you have a friend who just seems to suck the life right out of you, in an effort to break busy in your life you may need to make some hard decisions regarding this friendship.
Having relationships that enrich our lives rather than hinder them is something that we need to be intentional at if we are to control the busyness in our lives. If you are looking to break the busy in your life, take a look at the relationships you have with friends to see where all the pieces seem to fit.
When we are looking to give our best yes and to break the crazy busy cycle, it would serve us well to discern the answers to these questions.
This post is reflection of the book we are reading as a book club community. This is the book we are reading.
Here is a bit more about our book club…
This book club is a way of encouraging others to carve out the time to read at a pace of just two chapters a week because I’ve learned that finding time to read never just happens on its own.
Generally, every Monday and Thursday there will be blog posts here with Monday’s Inspirational Reads somewhere in the title with my reaction to each of the two chapters for the week.
All you have to do is grab your book above, and you’re good to go! We’d love to have you join it, otherwise, grab your own copy and read any of the posts with Monday’s Inspirational Reads in the title and you can join in on your own time!