What do you look for in a friend


#1

OK, what are the qualities you look for in a friend. What are the things that make you think 'Better not spend too much time with this person' and what are the traits that are wrong but yet for a good friend you would overlook

What are things that are healthy and what are things that are unhealthy. Specific examples from real life experience would be nice

CM


#2

Things I look for (positive):
Shared interests, sense of humor, kindness, tolerance, ethical

Things that make me run the other way:
Angry, always talking about themselves (always!), rigid, super critical

I really don't care if they're rich or poor, super educated or street smart, or if they share my skin color or political views. What I do care about is their character, and the things I mentioned above.


#3

It's hard to know right from the get-go with whom you should seek a friendship or not... I tend to see my potential friends as potential people God wants me to spend time with.

However, there are some qualities in people that make them less likely to be my friend, such as being overly-critical, not respecting my beliefs and trying to encourage me to do things I know I shouldn't, and just for some reason not bringing out the good in me. One girl I met at the beginning of college seemed like a really great potential friend, until I realized that when I was with her, I tended to gossip more and be more critical. She was like that, and brought it out in me a lot. So, I spent less and less time with her.

The single quality I love most in a friend is being real. No pretenses, no talking behind people's backs, no trying to be something you're not---just being real and open. I love those things in people, and when I meet someone, I try to see who they really are inside... I try to bring out their true self and help them feel like they don't have to have any pretenses with me. Most people have walls up for one reason or another, and I like to tug at those walls until they come down. And in the process, my friends realize that I love who they really, truly are, and they feel better about themselves.

Anyway, that's my experience with most of my friends. :)


#4

[quote="kristleful, post:3, topic:250488"]
It's hard to know right from the get-go with whom you should seek a friendship or not... I tend to see my potential friends as potential people God wants me to spend time with.

[/quote]

What a great perspective thank you for mentionning that

[quote="kristleful, post:3, topic:250488"]
However, there are some qualities in people that make them less likely to be my friend, such as being overly-critical, not respecting my beliefs and trying to encourage me to do things I know I shouldn't,

[/quote]

And here is where (if you don't mind) I would like more detail. For example, personally I don't like red hair. A lot of people over the years have suggested to me 'Have you ever though of dying your hair red I think it would look good' I say 'no' and the topic is changed. I take that to be a suggestion and politely say no and the topic is changed, That is not what I would consider 'talking me into doing something I don't want to do'.

Then there was this other situation where a girl knew I did not have a car and offered to bring me shopping at a good mall that was out of town. I saw some underwear and put the size large in my basket. This girl immediately spoke up and said in a forcefull voice 'Quit being so hard on yourself you are not fat buy the medium.' She was starting to make a scene in the store and since I was depended on her for a lift back I bought the medium. Got home they were way too small and threw them out. I considered that to be wrong of her and never went shopping with her again

CM


#5

[quote="cmscms, post:4, topic:250488"]
What a great perspective thank you for mentionning that

And here is where (if you don't mind) I would like more detail. For example, personally I don't like red hair. A lot of people over the years have suggested to me 'Have you ever though of dying your hair red I think it would look good' I say 'no' and the topic is changed. I take that to be a suggestion and politely say no and the topic is changed, That is not what I would consider 'talking me into doing something I don't want to do'.

Then there was this other situation where a girl knew I did not have a car and offered to bring me shopping at a good mall that was out of town. I saw some underwear and put the size large in my basket. This girl immediately spoke up and said in a forcefull voice 'Quit being so hard on yourself you are not fat buy the medium.' She was starting to make a scene in the store and since I was depended on her for a lift back I bought the medium. Got home they were way too small and threw them out. I considered that to be wrong of her and never went shopping with her again

CM

[/quote]

This is an interesting story... I would have to have been there, experiencing how much of a scene she made and what her tone was, to know what I would have done. However, I've known people like this, who are trying to be helpful and complimentary, but they're just a little too forceful. The thing is, you have to realize that they are doing this with good intentions, but you also have to be completely honest with them and tell them how that makes you feel in front of the people around you. Don't be afraid to talk with your friends about what they say and do and try to foster better understanding between the two of you. At the same time, be aware that some people are just so naturally a certain way that they're not going to be able to help it, as was the case of the girl who continually gossiped and was critical. That was ingrained in her character, and I could tell it was best to remain acquaintances, but not close friends.

When I say there are people who encourage you to do things you shouldn't, I'm talking about things that go against your character, morals, or faith, for the most part. When I was a teen, I immediately backed away from friends who began smoking or trying to talk me into thinking about boys in ways I shouldn't. I knew better than to stay in their company, and it was a smart choice, because these teens headed down very bad paths, all of them becoming teen mothers, smokers, or druggies. Now that I'm in my twenties, it's more adult issues... For instance, if a friend and I are talking about our spouses, and all she can do is belittle and complain about her husband to me, that's a red flag. If she talks about our husbands or men in derogatory, disapproving ways, and she expects me to nod my head and say, "Yeah" or support what she's saying, then I will try to help her understand the guys' point of view or offer some positive things about our husbands. If she shoots those down, or I see that this is going to be a continual struggle because she wants me to agree with her about these things, that is when I will begin withdrawing from the friendship.

Other more serious things would be a friend who encourages you to disobey a Church teaching, like taking birth control or getting a divorce instead of trying to save the marriage... Things like that.


#6

People who share my interests, are genuine, are people of integrity, and who don't violate my boundaries. People who are uplifting to be with as opposed to dragging me backward in my faith journey.

You can, by the way, deflect well-meaning but intrusive directives (such as the red hair suggestion) merely by saying, "Oh, I'll consider it." What can they say to that? Absolutely nothing. It's not dishonest either, because you've considered it and decided that it was not your tastes.


#7

What do I look for most in a friend? I expect all of the qualities below to be expected of me.

Honesty: the moment I find out I've been lied to I cannot trust that person again. Forgive them, yes. Trust? No.
Loyalty: I want to know you've got my back. I was raised in a family that places a high price on loyalty - traitors within the family are effectively exiled. (Thus, there are large portions of the clan that simply do not speak to each other).
Intellect: This can take many forms (street smarts, experiential wisdom, book smarts, people smarts etc.), but a friend for me has to be able to use their head.
Passion: have something you care about, something you love. Something that boils your blood. Something that gives your intellect life.
Tradition: it does not matter if you belong to the tradition you visit - you honor it. Traditions are to be honored because they determine who we are. I don't care if you are liberal or conservative politically - but you'd best respect tradition.
Respect: This is the cement. It is to be earned, not given away. The concept of respect in American society is sorely lacking. My family, both sides, have large portions of Blackfoot. When I mean respect, I mean Native American-style respect. Respect that both is fed by and feeds loyalty.

The following are absolute deal-breakers. Of course, the opposite of the above are among them, but, in addition to those are (including one clarification):

Progressive: seeking change for the sake of change. Give me a reason, and I'll consider it. No reason, no deal.
Greed: If others suffer and you can help and are in the position to do so but decide not to, you become worthy of contempt. Worse yet is if you earn wealth on the suffering of others.
Violence: play-fighting or a just war are exceptions. I am talking about an individual using force on another to impose their own will upon the victim. Define individual and another to be broad enough to include nations.


#8

[quote="kristleful, post:5, topic:250488"]
This is an interesting story... I would have to have been there, experiencing how much of a scene she made and what her tone was, to know what I would have done. .

[/quote]

Trust me, it was the worse shopping trip of my life. We went to a towel store. I needed some large towels and went to the bargaing section. There were some really towels they were practically giving away because there were bleach stains on them. She pulled me by the arm out of there and refused to let me look telling me I deserved better than bleached towels.

Then we were in the regualr section and after a while I realized I had put more towels in my basket than I could afford. I started to put some back and she got mad at me. I told her that I had hard financial times in the past and I wanted to save me money just in case I see hard times again. At that point she grabbed both my arms and said 'I know you were poor in the past but you can't think like that, you need to tell yourself that you have money today and it is OK to spend it. You deserve something nice. When men sleep over at your place they will be much more impressed if you give them a nice matching face cloth to go with the towel.'

At that point I told her I was Catholic and men did NOT sleep over at my place. She told me to quit being such a clown and to buy the face cloth. I told her I was not joking and I was not going to have a man sleep over and I was not going to buy the face cloth. After putting the face cloth back, I then proceeded to put 2 towels back (I still had to towels in my cart). Then as I was putting the bath mat back she jump over to me and said 'Now wait a minute you are buying that.' When I said 'I don't really need it' She said 'Now my foot is down, you will not be so hard on yourself and you will buy the bath mat'.

I ended up buying the bath mat, I had a small place and it got in the way and 2 weeks later I got rid of it (I either threw it out or gave it away, can't remember)

[quote="kristleful, post:5, topic:250488"]
However, I've known people like this, who are trying to be helpful and complimentary, but they're just a little too forceful. The thing is, you have to realize that they are doing this with good intentions, but you also have to be completely honest with them and tell them how that makes you feel in front of the people around you. Don't be afraid to talk with your friends about what they say and do and try to foster better understanding between the two of you. .

[/quote]

So as you see I did talk to her she refused to listen. I really don't think this woman had good intentions half as much as she had a massive control issue

CM


#9

[quote="ZDHayden, post:7, topic:250488"]

Loyalty: I want to know you've got my back. I was raised in a family that places a high price on loyalty - traitors within the family are effectively exiled. (Thus, there are large portions of the clan that simply do not speak to each other). .

[/quote]

Just curious but what if it was a situation were you made a mistake (like all humans do) and your friend pointed it out. And your friend also made it quite clear that she did not expect perfect of you, still wanted to be your friend, but when asked by others she would say your behaviour is wrong. Is that still loyalty?

CM


#10

[quote="cmscms, post:9, topic:250488"]
Just curious but what if it was a situation were you made a mistake (like all humans do) and your friend pointed it out. And your friend also made it quite clear that she did not expect perfect of you, still wanted to be your friend, but when asked by others she would say your behaviour is wrong. Is that still loyalty?

CM

[/quote]

In the case of a friend pointing out a mistake - this is one of the highest forms of loyalty for me. You are ensuring that the other is made better and is held accountable for their actions.

There is an essential difference between making a mistake and betraying someone. Making a mistake is the result of cowardice, ignorance or a lack of diligence. All easily forgiven. A mistake could even be intentional but later regretted. This is more difficult to forgive, but forgivable.

Betrayal is intentional - it is malicious and does not seek forgiveness. One can desire to forgive someone who does not seek forgiveness. But forgiveness at its core is two-ways. It does not happen if one person does not want it because forgiveness is a moving on, and to fully move on after a wrong, all parties must be willing to move on. Without this, no one can ever honestly say that they have moved on. They are still bitterly connected to the incident in someone's mind.

I hope this clarifies.


#11

Good Qualities
Generosity
Honesty
Independence
Respect

Traits I dislike:
Dishonesty
Greedy
Lack of self respect
Self absorbed
Spiteful


#12

Shared interests are important, but the two biggest for me are probably honesty and respect. I can't tolerate dishonesty and I really can't stand to be around people who don't respect me, my family, my opinions and my beliefs.

For a good stretch of years I figured shared experiences were enough to keep a friendship going (as in, we've been friends for years, which automatically means we'll always be friends). I'm at the point now, though, that just because we partied together back in college, that doesn't mean we have any reason to keep in touch now. A lot of people I was friends with back then either aren't the same people they were then, or even worse, are very much the same people they were then. At the same time, I've found that I now have a lot more in common with some of the people I wasn't very close to back then, and enjoy hearing from them a lot more than I do from some of the people who were my closest friends in college.

One other thing that I've come to really value in a friend is a healthy outlook in regards to their faith. I don't mean they have to be Catholic, but if they have a good moral outlook and aren't afraid to discuss it, I feel a lot better talking to them than someone who doesn't. The odd thing is, I have several people in my family who are very active in their churches (all Catholic) yet they clam up whenever I try to talk to them about anything even remotely related to religion. I'm not sure the reason, but it'd be refreshing to be able to talk them openly about the Church, our beliefs, or even just tell them about a really good homily without them acting as though I'm breaking some sort of taboo.


#13

A lot of people here have shared a lot of good points but they all seem to be relate to what is needed from a from when times are tough. I am also curious about the little day to day things

For example, someone could be honest and loyal yet always interrupts (that drives me crazy) Or some people have annoying habits like always saying 'wait for it'

So I am curious if people could also answer about the little things.

For example, if someone is always 10 minutes late that wouldn't bother me. Just little things like that

CM


#14

On a day-to-day basis, a good sense of humor is important to me. Common sense, as well. I like people who can be serious when needed, but not so much that we can't have a good laugh. I highly prize anyone who can give good advice, but who also understands if I don't or can't follow it.

I also like people who, when I'm having a bad day, will let me vent. I quit talking to one coworker after spending countless nights listening to him complain about an endless variety of topics and never interrupting or criticizing him. He called me one night after I'd had a particularly rough day. After all the times and countless hours he'd vented to me, I figured I could take up fifteen minutes of his time getting something off my chest. After about thirty seconds he interrupted me, said he got it and then said who cares. I kept things strictly professional after that.

One thing I absolutely cannot take is people who are never wrong. The type who, no matter the subject, they're an expert. I told one acquaintance about an issue I ran into at my girls' school. He listened intently then called me a liar. He said it never happened and insisted that I made the whole thing up. I calmly explained that it truly had occurred and he proceeded to throw a fit, giving me all the reasons why he knew I was lying. He yelled for a bit and got his blood pressure way up over the whole thing, and slung quite a bit of profanity at me. A friend of mine was with me at the time and, after this guy had ranted for a good spell, finally spoke up and told him that, not only was what I said true, but he'd seen the letter from the principal that detailed what I'd said. The guy called him a liar, too, then stormed off. He's the exact opposite of what I look for in a friend.


#15

[quote="cmscms, post:13, topic:250488"]
A lot of people here have shared a lot of good points but they all seem to be relate to what is needed from a from when times are tough. I am also curious about the little day to day things

For example, someone could be honest and loyal yet always interrupts (that drives me crazy) Or some people have annoying habits like always saying 'wait for it'

So I am curious if people could also answer about the little things.

For example, if someone is always 10 minutes late that wouldn't bother me. Just little things like that

CM

[/quote]

Punctuality is a quality I look for. If someone is late, I won't end a friendship, but it does get annoying.

Awareness: some of my best and closest friends act like children when we are together at leisure, but are very mature in public or when work must be done. It's simply a knowledge of when it's time to have fun and when it's time to work. This is frequently a distinguishing mark between "friend" and "acquaintance".

Modesty, especially with my numerous friends of the opposite sex. I should not be distracted when I am around them.


#16

[quote="Gordon_Sims, post:14, topic:250488"]
On a day-to-day basis, a good sense of humor is important to me. Common sense, as well. I like people who can be serious when needed, but not so much that we can't have a good laugh. I highly prize anyone who can give good advice, but who also understands if I don't or can't follow it.

I also like people who, when I'm having a bad day, will let me vent. I quit talking to one coworker after spending countless nights listening to him complain about an endless variety of topics and never interrupting or criticizing him. He called me one night after I'd had a particularly rough day. After all the times and countless hours he'd vented to me, I figured I could take up fifteen minutes of his time getting something off my chest. After about thirty seconds he interrupted me, said he got it and then said who cares. I kept things strictly professional after that.

One thing I absolutely cannot take is people who are never wrong. The type who, no matter the subject, they're an expert. I told one acquaintance about an issue I ran into at my girls' school. He listened intently then called me a liar. He said it never happened and insisted that I made the whole thing up. I calmly explained that it truly had occurred and he proceeded to throw a fit, giving me all the reasons why he knew I was lying. He yelled for a bit and got his blood pressure way up over the whole thing, and slung quite a bit of profanity at me. A friend of mine was with me at the time and, after this guy had ranted for a good spell, finally spoke up and told him that, not only was what I said true, but he'd seen the letter from the principal that detailed what I'd said. The guy called him a liar, too, then stormed off. He's the exact opposite of what I look for in a friend.

[/quote]

I really liked this answer. Because I am really getting frustrated because I can't tell you how often I am in situations such as you described and I am starting to feel 'weird'. It seems the story of my life to always listen to others and the second I share something they couldn't care less. I am feeling really alone

For example, once I met a guy and he asked me out. We ended up not getting together because I told him I would not get into his car and we needed to meet somewhere I could get to by bus since it was the first date. We got into such an argument about me not wanting to get into his car on a first date that I told him I was no longer interested. A few days later I had to put my cat to sleep and a friend said 'Call me anytime tonight if you need to talk I will listen. Don't worry about calling too late'. So when I called at 10pm, it sounded like she wasn't there so I said 'Hello are you there' to which she replied 'My boyfriend is trying to fall asleep and I am tickling his ears. I found that invalidating since she is the one who told me to call she would listen. Then (foolish me) kept talking and told her I wasn't going on the date because he didn't respect my 'no getting into a man's care on the first date rule' she laughed and said he was right and I was wrong

A few months later I met another guy who said 'I have a boat. I would love to take you out but I understand it would be uncomfortable for you. Invite along a few of your friends so you can feel safe'. When I asked her if she would like to come on the boat she blurted out 'I don't know this man I will not get into his boat.'

It just hurts that there are 2 sets of standards. When I want to play it safe, I am stupid but if when she wants to play it safe she is high class

As for the guy who though you were a liar. I also can't take that. Kind of like the lady who told me to learn to shop for dress pants. I have spent HOURS over the years trying to find dress pants and I really don't see why I should kill myself finding pants when I am more than happy to wear skirts. And in one five minute conversation she blurts out 'You need to learn how to shop' It is as if she is discounting all the energy I spent over the years, which makes me frustrated it. And also, she is acting like I SHOULD wear pants when really it is my personal decision

CM


#17

[quote="ZDHayden, post:15, topic:250488"]
Punctuality is a quality I look for. If someone is late, I won't end a friendship, but it does get annoying.

Awareness: some of my best and closest friends act like children when we are together at leisure, but are very mature in public or when work must be done. It's simply a knowledge of when it's time to have fun and when it's time to work. This is frequently a distinguishing mark between "friend" and "acquaintance".

Modesty, especially with my numerous friends of the opposite sex. I should not be distracted when I am around them.

[/quote]

Thanks for this answer. I can relate to the 'when it is time to work and when it is time to have fun'. There is this one girl at work that everytime I need to look up a file so I can teach her the next step after 2 seconds gets bored and starts talking to me socially. It drives me nuts. But I also think that perhaps it is a subjective thing and what makes a friend a friend is that they are on the same wavelength and agree when it is time to be serious or not

Like my dad use to always make a joke with the waitress (innocent ones). I though it was cute. But maybe others would think it is embarrassing

So if modesty is important to you, I take that you are a man. But what about times where it really isn't the girl's fault? Life once I was at work and I was wearing this top where the fashion was to have a solid undershirt on and the blouse was sheer. No one should see anything because of the undershirt. Well....... my undershirt got twisted and much more than I care to admit got exposed. I didn't know until I went to the washroom and fixed it. That might I threw the outfit out to never be worn again. I had just spent 1 hour with a male co-worker and by his behaviour, I NEVER knew. He kept his eyes very polite. I actually really appreciated his professionalism but I also made a conscious effort never to let that situation happen againg

CM


#18

[quote="cmscms, post:17, topic:250488"]
Thanks for this answer. I can relate to the 'when it is time to work and when it is time to have fun'. There is this one girl at work that everytime I need to look up a file so I can teach her the next step after 2 seconds gets bored and starts talking to me socially. It drives me nuts. But I also think that perhaps it is a subjective thing and what makes a friend a friend is that they are on the same wavelength and agree when it is time to be serious or not

Like my dad use to always make a joke with the waitress (innocent ones). I though it was cute. But maybe others would think it is embarrassing

So if modesty is important to you, I take that you are a man. But what about times where it really isn't the girl's fault? Life once I was at work and I was wearing this top where the fashion was to have a solid undershirt on and the blouse was sheer. No one should see anything because of the undershirt. Well....... my undershirt got twisted and much more than I care to admit got exposed. I didn't know until I went to the washroom and fixed it. That might I threw the outfit out to never be worn again. I had just spent 1 hour with a male co-worker and by his behaviour, I NEVER knew. He kept his eyes very polite. I actually really appreciated his professionalism but I also made a conscious effort never to let that situation happen againg

CM

[/quote]

Yes, I am a college-age male. I think it is rather obvious most of the time when exposure is not the woman's fault. What I mean is intentional immodesty - wearing clothing designed to reveal. I know very well the weakness in certain virtues that comes with the surging testosterone of youth. I don't need any help stumbling, thank you - I'm morally clumsy enough to do that on my own.

I enjoy my female friends - in fact, most of my friends are female. I'm not a 'feminine' male either. I tend to not approach people in the intention of forming a friendship. My friends first approached me, and most of them happened to be female. I recall my girlfriend/fiancee (we have not yet set a date and have many problems, one including doubt about whether or not our relationship will survive long enough, but we are still, behind it all, best friends.) used to wear long, ankle-length skirts before we started dating. I loved that. This past year, however, she tended to wear jeans or shorts. I'm the kind of person who is growing to dislike jeans. If it were within my budget, I'd change my wardrobe to be a far more formal collection (dress pants, polos, dress shirts, black shoes, the like). I wear jeans because it is what I have and I have only one or two pairs of dress pants. I like a more formal and modest garb. I digress. Sorry.


#19

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