Types Of Your Friends

“People are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”

I don’t remember if I read this on a greeting card, a meme or what but it has really stuck with me and helped me understand so much. For most of my younger life I wandered around wondering why friends I thought would be friends for life were no longer there for me. I had this idea in my head that if someone was truly a friend they would be there for life.

The fact is there are many different levels of friendships and relationships and if people were more accepting of this fact they would ultimately be much happier. If people would be more honest with one another and more clearly define what their relationship was it would save a lot of misunderstanding and heartache. If people would learn to move on from a relationship that was over they would be better off; learn what there was to learn from it but move on.

All the people that come into your life just are not going to be friends for your whole life and that is OK. Those kind of friendships are rare. If you have one person in your life that is friends with you for life you are truly blessed. Those types of friendships are usually between a married couple who stay together for life.

Know the value of just being a friend. Why is it that every opposite sex relationship thinks they have to be boyfriend/girlfriend? Why can’t we just have guys that are good friends and girls that are good friends? Even a marriage relationship needs to have a strong foundation of friendship. What is a friend anyway? Well, it is a person you know and with whom you have a bond of mutual affection. Friendship is exclusive of sexual or family relations. Although your spouse should be your best friend, still your friendship should have nothing to do with sexual relations. And as far as family, yes, you may have a friend who is also related to you but even then your friendship should not have anything to do with being related to them. These two explanations are what I mean by ‘Friendship is exclusive of sexual or family relations’. Don’t undervalue friendship, both having friends and being a good friend.

Let’s look at the different kinds of friendships:

• THE SOCIAL FRIEND: This is the kind of friend that most people have most of. This kind of friend is not someone who you hang out with all the time or live with but you know them and associate with them at a bar, church, store or some other public place. Friends you have that have moved far way fall under this category. They are nice to talk to when you see them and are usually good for a laugh. They are not good for sharing a problem with. Sometimes you leave wishing you hung around together more but that just isn’t this kind of friend. Just accept your relationship for what it is.

• THE COUNSELOR: This is a friend you go to when you need advice or just someone to listen. You value their wisdom or at least the fact that they are good listeners and empathize with you. You can tell this kind of friend almost anything without fear of gossip or condemnation. They are the kind of friend you can trust but you just don’t hang out together, unless you want to talk about something important.

• FUN BOY/GIRL: This kind of friend can usually be counted on to go somewhere with you at a moment’s notice. They like hanging out with you whether it is going to the store or a bar or whatever. They are good tension relievers because you know you are just going to have a good time, let your hair down, maybe even be a little crazy. This kind of friend is not the kind of friend you go to for advice; in fact you should not put a damper on your relationship by getting serious with them about something. They are trustworthy and you know they aren’t going to gossip about what you do together. Don’t expect anything else from this kind of friend; just have a good time.

• SPIRITUAL BROTHER/SISTER: This kind of friend is most often found in churches but not always. This kind of friend is someone that is fun to be around but not like Fun Boy/Girl. It is a more laid back relationship that you can sit around with them at home and talk about God, family or spiritual matters. This kind of friend will pray for you and even help you out on a project or a loan or something. You can’t really cut loose like you can with Fun Boy/Girl but it is good to have this kind of friend when you just don’t want to be too wild but want to have a good time. This is the kind of friend that you just leave with a ‘warm, fuzzy feeling’. This friend leaves you with a fulfilled feeling. They make you feel good about yourself. They are sometimes good for sharing things with like The Counselor but usually they just are a pleasure to know.

• WORK FRIEND: This is the friends that you have at work. You interact at work only. This may include going to break together, maybe even shopping with them or running an errand during lunch or after work. They are usually not good to get advice from but on some occasions things might be discussed and you give each other advice. Mostly though you talk about the job, family and other friends.

• LIFETIME FRIEND: This friendship is very rare and as I said usually is found in marriage relationships they stay together for life. This friend is all the above all rolled up in one.

The Bible has this to say about friendship: “A good friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.”(Proverbs 17:17). These are the type of human relations we should desire on all levels whether friend or spouse. Look at what the Word has to say about the value of friendship: “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:6) “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17). 1 Samuel 18:1 describes the friendship of Jonathan and David being so strong that their ‘souls were knit together’.

Why You Still Need Conflict In Your Life

Have you ever stopped to think why you respond to conflict like you do? This is not only interesting information, but very valuable information for anyone who finds conflict in their life… oh yes, that is ALL of us! I do not remember where I read this information, or I would give proper recognition, however, this is so good – I just have to share it.

What is conflict?

1. a serious disagreement or argument

2. incompatibility or at a variance; clash

What do we feel when we have conflict? We feel a range of emotions from anger, to fear, to hurt and so on.

The definition of emotion is: energy in motion

To add to that definition, emotional energy follows the path of least resistance. Where it has gone before it will go again!

Picture every emotion you have ever had. It was, indeed, energy in motion. And, we have all experienced the same emotions when we are in the midst of a conflict similar to others we have previously experienced.

Here is the part I find both fascinating and frustrating. Each time we find ourselves in a similar conflict – not only does our emotional energy follow the path of least resistance – but, each time that path is traveled the path becomes 10 times stronger! Picture a path through the grass that one person has walked down. Their may be very little evidence that the grass has even been walked on. But picture the same grass after ten people have walked on it and it is becoming quite compacted down. Picture once more that grass after one hundred people have walked on it. There is an undeniable path worn.

If we compare the grass to each time we have a particular emotional response… after just three times it has already had the equivalent of 100 people walking down that path.

It isn’t hard to see why, in the midst of conflict, we find ourselves having the same behavior, saying the same words and experiencing the same outcome.

I often respond poorly to conflict, but it is also possible to respond to conflict in better ways. Personally, I desire to turn the cycle around so that each time I experience the same, or similar conflict, the path I follow to ending (or diffusing) conflict becomes ten times easier.

Path #1

Conflict occurs

Negative emotional arousal/response

Poor result

Emotional unrest

Path #2

Conflict occurs

Positive (good/neutral) emotional arousal/response

Better result

Emotional rest

As a Christ follower, I am very aware that I am weak in my good intentions. That is why I count on God working in me to do this. I desire to change and He does the changing.

Tips to Choose Friends Wisely

We all need friends that we can talk to, someone who we can vent our hardships in life. Or we just might want a friend who we can have fun with. Finding the right friend who can meet your expectations can be challenging. You want a friend who you share the same values a friend who can encourage you, congratulate you after accomplishing something, respects you and also a friend who does not take advantage of you.

By choosing the right friends you will avoid disappointments, stress or even depression.

You should look for a friend who has your best interest in their hearts. There can be such people who look like they care about your life but in reality they are just interested in getting something from you for their own selfish gain and they will do anything without caring about you, even if you are friendly to them.

Before you know how to choose your friends you need to “study everyone” know their weakness and strength, try to understand them. This will give you an understanding in choosing your friends and also becoming a leader.

The Following Are Steps That I use to help me select the Right Friends.

1. Choose a Friend with the Same Values as You.

Everyone has their own values and it is a must for a person who is your friend not to go against these values.

Let’s say you are very respectful about your possessions and you would hate someone who would treat your possessions with no respect. Then you should look for a friend who has your best interest in their hearts and not a friend who is willing to please people without caring about your boundaries. This is a person who can easily betray you especially if it is a person trying to be cool so that he or she can fit in another social group.

2. Choose a Friend who encourages you.

A Friend that encourages you is almost the best friend. This is a person who is interested in your life, your goals and what you want to accomplish without manipulating you for their own selfish gain. A friend who encourages you will not put you in a spot where you are envious. A person who makes you envious and is pretending to be your friend does not really care about you.

Such a person will almost all the time talk about their biggest accomplishments or their next big projects that will make them successful. Avoid these people because their actions will make you envious which will lead to stress and later depression, they can easily destroy your life and will not even care what happened to you.

3. Choose a Friend that share similar interest.

These are the fun friends and are the best friends to be around with when you are feeling down. You could share interests like music, sports, arts or adventure.

4. Choose a friend that can celebrate your Success.

A friend that can celebrate your success is very rare to find. If you find one make sure you keep them close. This is a true friend because such a person is interested about you, he/she will push you to accomplish your goals and celebrate every milestone.

5. Avoid people who are manipulative.

People who are manipulative are clever. They can easily trick you into becoming their friends. This is how such people trick you into becoming their friends;

  • They will tell you some truth about their life so that they can create trust with you (you will in turn think that this is a person who sees you as a good friend and you will not want to disappoint them.)
  • They will start to help you when you need assistance even when you have not asked for it.
  • They will then notice your interests and will come up with something that will make you envious.
  • They will ask about your goals and accomplishments in life for their own selfish gain and they will not encourage you to attain them.

If you suspect that someone is manipulating you for their own selfish gain make sure you terminate the friendship.

6. Avoid people who love to gossip.

Gossiping is childish; you should look for a friend who likes to mind their own business. Do not be quick in choosing your friends. People who love to gossip and are your friends can easily destroy your reputation, even if it means to save their own skin.

If you have a friend and you are suspecting he/she is gossiping you make sure you carefully confront them, because if you don’t do it this will make your friendship awkward and you will eventually become enemies.

7. Choose a friend with common goals.

If you have a goal in life to own a certain business and you come across a person with the same dream, you should make sure that you become friends. When selecting such friends (this is not the case with all situations as it depends on the people working together) make sure that you do not have the same skills as this can lead to competition and instead of working together you will be rivals.

8. Choose friends who always want to gain more knowledge.

Knowledge is the key in life, having friends who can help you learn something new from them is great. They can give you information that will help you in your life.