prudence & care: choosing friends

Show me your friends and I will show you your future.

This wise phrase has been said to us constantly. Yet, the realization that are friends truly do shape who we are to become does not always impact the way we choose them.

But the actuality of it is our friends will most likely influence the way we dress, talk, behave and even dictate the activities we get involved in. Simply think of someone you spend a great amount of time with. Do you say the same phrases as they do? Do you pronounce certain words like them? How have you changed as you became their friend? Did you change to become more like them?

This is not necessarily a bad thing. It is not wrong to become more and more alike over time. Couples do this. Families do this. It is normal. But when it comes to friends especially, since we get to choose who we allow into that arena of our lives, we should be very prudent in who we spend time with and who we decide to steer clear of.

A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself how you feel after you leave a certain person. Mother Teresa claimed she never wanted people to leave her presence without feeling happier. Granted, we should not hold our friends to this standard for every encounter. Sometimes we have off days and we are a grouch and our friends get the raw end of the deal. But, for the most part, a friend should be uplifting, bearing your burdens and making the journey more enjoyable.

Look at your friends and see if they do that.

Do they listen to you? Do they interrupt? Do they talk only about themselves? Do they ask you questions? Do they keep eye contact? Do they have poor phone manners? Do they remember important details of your life and ask your about them? Do they initiate get togethers? Do they keep commitments? Do they run habitually late? Do they gossip? Do they constantly use sarcasm or perverse speech? Do they sound dumb when they speak? Do they have excellent vocabulary? Do they do things simply because you enjoy them or do they grumble when things don't go their way? Do they go with the flow? Do they live in the present?

Even looking at their well being is interesting. If your friend is active and eats well, you will likely catch onto her healthy lifestyle. If your friends deems every meal a time to eat the fried foods or be a glutton and she ends up on the couch far more than on a hike, you will often follow her example.

What your friends does will influence you (turn the tables and think how your life influences your friends). It is inevitable.

Friends are a beautiful, precious gift. They should be treasured, celebrated and cherished. But they also should be chosen wisely and with care.

Have you seen the repercussions of your friend's habits becoming yours? Are they good habits? Or poor habits? Do you choose your friends with prudence and care? Have you thanked a lovely friend lately?

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