Does it matter really who your close friends are?

Picture of a group of friends.

Having friends is one of the things that contributes most to the joy of living.

People who isolate themselves and shun others are never really happy.

What is there about friendship that adds so much to our happiness?

Doing something with a friend seems to multiply our enjoyment of life’s pleasurable experiences and accomplishments.

Yes, we normally want to share good things with friends, and our pleasure seems to double as a result.

On the other hand, when things do not go so well for us and we feel depressed, a good friend can do much to reduce our sadness.

Friends can often be of tremendous help when trouble threatens, warning us against danger or helping us to escape it, giving us extra strength at critical moments.

A quality that outstandingly marks real friends: loyalty.

Being a friend really means more than justacting friendly.

A genuine friend is loyal to you and to your best interests. Are your friends like that?

So, it is good to have a friendly disposition toward people in general; but if you want genuine friends you need to be selective about those you accept for close friends.

How about you?

Are you selective in the matter of friends?

Do you have reliable way of knowing who your true friends are?

Since you will be influenced to some extent by the friends you keep, would it not be good to be selective?

Let us see why it so important for you to be selective as to the matter of who really becomes your close friend?


Why choose your friends wisely?

A group of young people.

It is a basic principle of social relations that you tend to become what those around you are if you associate with them long enough.

Your choice of friends tells a lot about what kind of person you want to be.

Your close friends are bound to have a ‘molding’ effect on your personality.

Do you choose friends who have qualities of honesty and decency, who are considerate and who have respect for you and have the courage to do what is right?

Or are you attracted by people who have a very high opinion of themselves and who run others down, who pride themselves on being able to ‘outsmart’ others by slick methods, and who, in place of genuine courage, have only a foolhardiness that makes them take blind risks for no real purpose and with no worthwhile goal in view?

They may engage in criminal acts, or steal or take drugs and then brag that they are ‘getting away with it.’
If they try to hook you into going along with them, can they rightly be called “friends”?

Remember, if you should become close friends of such persons you will either have to go along with them in what they do or disagree with them.

To disagree with them will probably end the ‘friendship.’

Why?

Because, while such people often like to ridicule others, they usually cannot take reproof themselves; they hate it.

Real friends can talk frankly to one another and help one another to improve and to correct and strengthen themselves in things where they are weak.

When you have a really good companion who thinks straight and talks straight, it is almost like having a second mind to use for your good.

If you seek close friendship with people who think only of the present, you can be sure they will spoil your hopes and efforts toward gaining a really happy future.

Sometimes a person may say that he or she associates with another of questionable reputation and practices with the idea of ‘helping such one.’

To want to help others is a fine thing.

But if you go along with them in pursuit of selfish pleasure, how much help are you giving them?

After all, if you saw a child in a mud puddle, would you take some soap out into the puddle and try to clean the child with it?

You would only get yourself dirty as a result.

You would first have to try to encourage the child to come out of the mud puddle before you could hope to do anything about cleaning him up at close range.

Actually, to accept a friend with bad habits as your close associate will often have a bad effect on that person (as well as on you).

Why?

Because it may encourage such one to keep on in the same way, feeling that, in spite of what he is doing, you still find his close friendship acceptable.

Would it not be of far greater help to limit your association to times when you can really aid the person by pointing out good counsel or by inviting him or her to accompany you to places where that counsel is discussed and explained?

Above all, you should think seriously as to how association with persons of questionable practices may affect your reputation.

Would not people be justified in thinking you do approve of such one’s practices and would they not be justified in giving you a similar reputation?

If you really want happiness now and in the future, by all means learn to prize of true friendship.

Perhaps the most vital factor to an enduring friendship is the choice we make in the first place.

Many people make the mistake of picking friends for their usefulness.

They choose friends for what they have or can contribute and not really for what they are.

Generally such friendships do not flourish.

Other people are purely social climbers and status seekers.

Their friendship is tainted with a selfish purpose.

Unlike many who may pretend to be your friends, a true friend will not give up on you or abandon you because you run into difficulties.

If you put your trust in them you will find that your times of trouble will be when their help and support are most evident.

Since a true friend is a trusted confidant, we should also be sure that our friend is not the sort who would gossip about us, to our harm.

Do you really appreciate true friends?

Then show it by seeking friends like them.

Seek out loyal friends who accept and will live up to the obligations of being a true friend.

Through thick and thin, they will prove to be the kind of friends worth having.

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