“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”—Jim Rohn
If you haven’t heard this famous quote by Jim Rohn yet, then now you have something new to work with. Let that sink in for a second. You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with. Of course, that’s not an absolute rule, but it’s a general guideline.
It makes sense then, to surround yourself with a close circle of friends that are positive influencers. The people close to me are supportive, driven, and brilliant. I like to think their admirable qualities have rubbed off on me.
When I have a venture I want to pursue, they don’t just nod and say, “Uh-huh. Okay.” I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who would respond to their friends with disinterest. Instead, my friends are curious, and hungry to learn more. Then they’re excited. Finally, they push me.
My point is, you should be closely considering the friends whom you spend the most time with. Are they great influences on you?
There is a large difference between a “convenience friendship” and a genuine friendship. The former is because you’ve settled and that’s not always a good idea (if ever.) Meanwhile, the latter is always something worth pursuing more of.
With this in mind, here are six ways you can tell if you have a wonderful friendship:
1. You’re constantly learning from one another.
Amazing bonds are like a two-way mentorship. You teach the other, the other teaches you. There’s this hunger for growth and who better to learn from than your best friends? Imagine having several two-way mentorships. How could you possibly stagnate as a person with such a system?
2. You strive to grow more like them.
Many things about them amaze you. Perhaps it’s the way they carry themselves or how they seem to connect with everything you say. Whatever the reason is, you want to be more like them because there’s a charming quality there. You can’t always pinpoint what it is, but you just know that being more like them wouldn’t be so bad.
After all, you started your friendship with these people for a reason right? If you don’t want to be like your friends then you should sit down and contemplate whether this is a genuine friendship or just a convenient one.
3. You’re glad to be seen with them.
Oh man, when you are walking with them you want the world to see you together. It’s like being seen with the most attractive person on earth. These friends would be people you’d love your family to know. Speaking of family…
4. They’re your (second) family.
Have you ever had a friend who would come to your house and call your parents “Mom” and “Dad?” Some people may think this is weird, but it’s because they’re 100 percent comfortable with you. You’re related to them by extension. They’re basically your brothers and sisters.
5. They know how you think (and how to respond to you.)
After spending a lot of time with someone, you’re bound to figure out the subtle details that make someone unique. They know how to respond to your mood and they know what you wouldn’t like. Other people who know how you are wouldn’t necessarily care. Your true friends do, of course.
6. They listen completely.
Everyone is constantly fighting for the spotlight during a conversation. Active listening is a lost art where speaking is in higher demand. Your close friends know how to listen with intention and really hear every word that comes out of your mouth.
After reading this, do you feel like you have a valuable group of friends? If so, cherish them because you’re lucky. There are many people out there who are struggling to find others they can connect with. If you don’t feel like you’ve surrounded yourself with wonderful friendships, then I challenge you to start going out to meet people whenever you can. Explore new hobbies, join a Meetup, start a club! Clicking on a genuine level is hard so it take intention. And make sure you don’t settle for convenience friendships.
Friend image via Shutterstock