Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.

If your circle of friends is filled with toxic and negative people, you’ll slowly become a reflection of who they are and what they stand for. A good, positivity-filled support system is essential for the achievement of our goals and aspirations, and surrounding ourselves with people who have a problem for every solution is detrimental to our success.

A 2007 study published in the University of Chicago press journals suggests that “negative opinions cause the greatest attitude shifts, not just from good to bad, but also from bad to worse [1.” The researchers presented their participants with new products, giving them information on the products and allowing them to gather reviews from their peers. Results show that the opinion of other people strongly affected the participants’ decisions on the products, despite the initial information provided to them.

It’s important to surround yourself with positive people who would rub off an attitude of happiness on you. It doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t tell you the truth or offer an honest opinion when the situation demands it. Nevertheless, there’s a fine, thick line between honesty and outright negativity.

Here are 7 things you can’t miss in genuine friends [2]:

They don’t backbite you

Your true friends wouldn’t spread false rumors about you behind your back. If they are discussing you with other people, then they are definitely speaking highly of you. When they hear other people gossiping about you, they’ll call them off and defend you vigorously.

If there’s something they want to correct you on, they’ll come to you and speak their minds in a constructive, gentle manner, being careful not to hurt your feelings or put you down. They’ll hold your hand and tell you the truth, never sharing your secrets with anyone else.

They celebrate even the silliest of things with you

Your true friends are genuinely happy for you at all times. They want to see you be the best of who you were born to be, and every little success calls for some form of celebration. From getting married or having a new baby to losing five pounds or finally finding the pair of shoes you’ve been wanting to buy, every win has to be cheered upon. They live in your heart and you live in theirs, with no animosity or envy clouding the love.

For better for worse, they stick with you

It doesn’t matter how bad things may get or how downhill your life may go. Genuine friends will never leave you or get tired of you. They’ll stay with you at the hardest time of your life – encouraging you, supporting you, and doing what they can to ease your suffering.

They won’t let silly quarrels put a strain on your friendship. Once in a while, there may be a fight and words may be thrown about, but your true friends will never let the anger bud and grow. You are theirs, they are yours, and nothing can change that.

They are always worried about you

Your friends are people who call you at 2:00 am when they know you’re up working on your thesis. They’ll give you a little distraction to get away from the mental stress, cheering you up with laughter and silly chit-chat. They reach out to you in tough times and good times, letting you know that you have people who carry you around in their hearts.

They’ll show up with a bottle of wine and a box of pizza when you’ve just suffered a heartbreak, and together you can list all the awful things about your ex.

They invigorate you

Your true friends aren’t people who would go out of their way to make you feel like crap. They don’t nag you about your weight, your thinning hair, your crappy relationship, or your boring job. Even if there is something they inevitably have to mention, they’ll say it a way that will let you see how much they care about you.

They give you energy, invigorating you and taking away doubt and fear from your mind. Your true friends will encourage and motivate you, spurring you on to becoming the best version of yourself.

They are not possessive or insecure

Genuine friends don’t get jealous or angry when new people come into your life. They don’t move away and play the “rejected friend” card. They will accept the new person and identify with them, and any feelings of insecurity would be discarded. They won’t try to hoard you to themselves or dissuade from hanging out with the other person. All they want is for you to be happy and to be surrounded by loving friends at all times.

They give you a sense of belonging

Your true friends form a “clique” around you, giving you a sense of belonging, acceptance, and family. They are your “go-to” people who you can share anything with. Nobody can intimidate or terrify you, not when your friends are there to put them in their place.

They love you for who you are, despite all your shortcomings and inadequacies. If they advise you on your bad habits or character, they are doing it because they love you, and they’ll walk with you on the journey of becoming a better person.

Identify your genuine friends today, and raise a glass in a toast to everlasting love.

References:

  1. “Negativity Is Contagious, Study Finds”, Science Daily. October, 2007.
  2. “Surround Yourself With Positive and Loving People”, Higher Perspective. May, 2019.
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