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Happy Afro Girl Dancing On The Beach With Her Boyfriend At An Evening Beachparty

Navigating the Friend Maze: Five laws of friendship to help you get out alive

I am an introvert. I enjoy solitude and have deep friendships with a few people. I am married to an extrovert who can make friends easy. In Wikipedia under the word “Extrovert” there is a picture of my wife and her million friends. I have five. On a good day.

Whether you are an extrovert or introvert of a inexvert (combination of two, word I made up) you have friends that are at this moment either helping you or delaying you.

Thinking back over my best and worst moments I have noticed that friends either contributed to my mistakes, sustained me through my trials or enhanced my growth.  Here are five laws that can help you navigate the friend maze.

1. We attract who we are.

A most important realization for me was to understand that like attracts like. It’s very hard for a positive person to establish deep levels of connection with a chronic complainer. You see it church. Whom do gossipers hang out with? You see it in school. Put 100 kids in a room and by weeks end they will naturally gravitate to people similar in tastes and attitudes. Do me a favor. Look around. The people around you reveal who you are. Do you like what you see? If you don’t here is some advice. Focus on growing and changing you. As you start to grow, some will naturally go.

2. Friends. Friendly. Know the difference. (see awesome chart)

I believe scripture calls us to be friendly with EVERYONE and friends with SOME. You decide

who you let in that inner circle. Since they determine in large part your attitude and altitude, choose

wisely. It’s best to spend a moment of loneliness than a lifetime of regret. Jesus was followed

by a multitude, he sent 70, hung around with 12, had 3 in his inner circle and only one was called “beloved”. Not everyone who is good to you is good for you.

3.  Ask yourself honest questions.

a. Is my friend bringing me closer to Jesus?  “as iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” (Proverbs 27:17).

b. Is my friend helping me get closer to my #goals? (I am assuming you have clear, measureable, written down, God-inspired goals)

c. Is my friend getting closer to me, only because of what he or she can get out of me?  A good friend respects your no’s. Try saying no sometime. Their reaction will reveal the value they place on your friendship.

4. Careful with cool sounding dangerous phrases.

We all have that one friend who is perpetually sharing inspirational quotes on your TL. (and messenger, which is paramount to killing puppies and I wish people would stop, but I digress) Here are my top two that sound so nice and familiar but can be deadly:

Follow your heart. One problem, however. My heart is wicked, so…

You can do anything you want to do. Also false. I wanted to dunk yesterday. Pulled a hamstring instead.

5. The gift.

There are 4 types of friends you must give a gift to.

TOXIC- always in crisis mode and they want you to join the drama party. Give them a gift.

TAKERS- always get never give. Give them a gift.

TALKERS- Have you ever said to yourself “boy you really talk a lot about stuff you aren’t willing to do?”   If so, give them a gift.

TODLERS-  nothing worst that a 50 year old in skinny jeans. Almost as worst as a married person that won’t mature, a “boyfriend” that won’t commit or a girlfriend that is extra sensitive. Give them a gift.

What’s the gift? The gift of Adios.

With that I also say bye-bye. (SNL flight attendant voice)

To good friendships!

Any other suggestions about friends leave them in comment section.

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The Haystack is awesome. Nuff said.

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