Who do you choose to surround yourself with and why? I read a post today which suggested that in order to be happy, among other items on the list, we surround ourselves with like-minded people. I’m probably taking the author’s intent a bit out of context, but it got me thinking. Are like-minded people really the ones with whom we should surround ourselves? What about those friends who provide a different perspective?
There’s an old quote I love which says that, “I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that.” I love a friend who can be my sounding board, who can come at an issue from the other side, who can talk me off the ledge. A good heart and a sense of humor are a plus in my book too.
Yes, like-minded people are wonderful because we all love to be around those who truly “get” us. Our like-minded friends are the ones who support us, the ones we want to be around on a daily basis – and the ones who understand when we need to be alone.
Yet I feel that like-mindedness is not as important as finding the qualities that you value most. For instance, I love being able to have deep conversations with friends who can teach me something new or provide a different philosophical standpoint without heated debate. In that case, like-mindedness in terms of philosophy or interests is not as important to me as the ability to disagree.
Here’s what others say they value most in a friend:
Someone we have a special feeling about from the very first moment….
“I have found that with my closest friends I have almost always ‘known’ we were going to become close. So I’ve come to rely on that instinct or intuition and have found my closest friends have started from that place.” Tania at PureNaturalDiva.com
Someone with strong core values….
“Honesty is the key to every great friendship.” Kelly at TheCentsibleLife.com
“Loyalty. We can have a knock down, drag out fight but will always get over it and move forward together.” Kadi at KadiPrescott.com
“Grace. A true friend will always assume the best about you and your intentions and will understand when you’re having a bad day or when you stick your foot in your mouth.” Jo-Lynne at MusingsofaHousewife.com
”Loyalty and honesty are the two most important qualities that I look for in a friend. I want them to call me on my stuff and are open to the same from me. As for loyalty, I want a friend that I can call up at three in the morning and tell them to meet me at a 7-11 in the middle of nowhere. I am blessed to have friends like that.” Lee at CoupleDumb.com
“Trust, love and patience. I’ve been best friends with the same girl since 5th grade. She is my heart and soul and I know I can count on her for everything… to have my back and to tell me when I’m being a heinous beast.” Erin at AParentingProduction.com
“All of the above PLUS being there for both the ups AND downs.” Christine Young at FromDatestoDiapers.com
Someone who is self-assured…
“I look for stuff in common, honesty, someone who doesn’t cause friendship drama because that is a deal breaker for me. And I don’t do needy. I’m not needy and it’s ok if we don’t talk a million times a day. I’m a good friend and I expect the same from my friends.” Melissa at RockAndDrool.com
Someone with a sense of humor….
“A good laugh! Laughing and smiling always makes me feel better… There’s nothing more special to me than a friend who gets my sense of humor!” Audrey at MomGenerations.com
Someone who appreciates us for who we are….
“I look for someone that loves me for simply being me.” Tina at LifewithoutPink.com
“Someone who will love me for who I am so I can really let my hair down and be myself and know that nothing I do or say will cause them to judge me.” Jessica at ItsJessicasLife.com
“I look for people like me. People who have similar interests, understand what I do and why. It’s funny, I tend to befriend people with similar lifestyles, i.e. parents, work at home, social media junkies, entrepreneurs, etc.” Desiree Peeples of MommyReporter.com
“Someone that I can hang out with and just be myself with and know that with that person in my life I am a better person.” Tessa at SingleMomAndaTeenagedGirl.com
Someone who understands that friendship is a two way street…
“Friendship goes both ways. Giving of yourself and accepting what’s being given to you. Balancing that soft place to fall and having the ability to laugh at and with each other is paramount to me.” Rajean at RajeanBloomquist.com
“Someone who takes a genuine interest in what I have to say. There needs to be a back and forth with conversations. I want to find a friend who is as interested in what I have to say as I am in listening to her.” Jill at MusingsFromMe.com
Perhaps it’s a common interest or a case of opposites attracting. Maybe it’s one of the qualities mentioned above. What do you value most in a friend?