As humans, we have a natural desire for positive and healthy relationships with others. The status of our relationships heavily impacts our well being and sense of self, which is a tough situation if we struggle to connect with others. Likewise, connecting with unhealthy relationships has the potential to derail a positive life and outlook. Are you surrounding yourself with supportive relationships?
High Integrity vs. The Trump
Having high integrity means doing the right thing in a reliable way. Individuals with high integrity are honest, hard working, and transparent with others. They will be by your side during the biggest events in life, support your decisions, and consistently follow through when they commit to something.
If your friend’s stories seem to be reliably embellished for their own ego, you can’t seem to get a straight answer from them about anything, or you know they aren’t going to show up for the party you planned (again), you may have a Trump on your hands.
Don’t panic; Trumps have redeeming qualities, too. They know how to inspire and evoke emotions from others, are typically wonderful entertainers, and grab the spotlight in every room they enter. It is possible for a Trump to open their eyes and embrace a deeper level of relationships, but until that time comes, keep this person and their self-absorbed world at arm’s length. Trumps are worth loving and accepting because, believe it or not, they are human, too.
Deep Empathy vs. The Kim Davis
The ability to connect with others during difficult trials and obstacles in life is a golden ticket to being a good friend. It’s human nature to shudder at the phrase “I told you so,” and a friend waiting to say it to you is no friend at all. No one is perfect, and every situation is unique to those involved. If your friend is always open to hearing your thoughts and feelings, supports you, and shows grace in times of confusion, you found a keeper. These friends are self-aware enough to see their own mistakes, learn from them, and to allow others to learn without conviction on their personal path.
If you are thinking of a friend who points a finger of judgment at others for making mistakes, especially for the same mistakes they made themselves, you may have a Kim Davis on your hands. We all fall short of perfection, which is why we are told to embrace each other with love and forgiveness. We are called to understand one another and to provide a safe place of reason and conversation. A Kim Davis friend is eager to shout fear, judgment, and exclusion toward others to feel better about their own current and past mistakes.
It may be tempting to turn the discrimination on Kim Davis friends, but keep in mind that they were likely deprived of acceptance in life and don’t know how to extend it to others. Focus on the positive qualities of these personalities, which usually include deep loyalty, a protective love of others, and confidence in their beliefs. These individuals need to work on understanding the path others will walk, but it doesn’t mean they care about you any less. Don’t let critical comments keep you down, but don’t cut these friends out of your life permanently. We all need grace and room to grow.
Congenial Host vs. The Kanye
Congeniality is coined with a warm, easy to get along with personality. Congenial people want everyone to feel welcome, cared for, and comfortable at all times. They are not in the business of intimidating others, compulsively one-upping friends, or making everything about them. They are supportive, encouraging, and the first person to invite a new neighbor over for dinner.
The Kanye, commonly known as the friend who is anti-everything which will not benefit them personally, is the last one to welcome others. They want new people to feel uncomfortable until they personally decide this individual is worth accepting. You have to “earn” your way into their circle, which is tightly wound and blindly supportive, and they constantly find ways to remind you that you can be replaced in the blink of an eye. This person thrives on intimidating others because it validates their own self worth. Are you struggling to keep up with the ridiculous expectations of someone with an inflated ego? Cut them loose, but do it gently. The Kanye is as insecure as they want you to feel, although they hide it strategically behind their accomplishments and ridiculous demands. These friends are worth loving, but not worth sacrificing your happiness and well being.
Keep in touch to let these friends know that you care, but don’t get close enough to fall into their orbit. These individuals likely deal with a heavy level of fear and anxiety, which drives the protective and seemingly superficial exterior they present. Do your best to get to know who they really are as humans, which is likely intelligent, charismatic, and creative, but don’t lose sight of reality in the process.
What qualities do your best friends offer? What do you offer them? How do you know when you’ve found a life-long friend? Share your thoughts!