The Top 6 Reasons Why You Have The Friends You Have
"I can understand some of my friends, but others are a mystery."
"How did I find these crazy friends of mine?"
"How do I meet new friends?"
"I want to meet a better group of friends. Any ideas?"
Your friends can either help you move forward or convince you to remain stagnant.
They introduce you to new things or discourage you from going after your dreams. They may be more positive or more negative in their approaches to life.
Whatever the case with your friends, know this: they profoundly impact your life in ways you may not even realize.
It might be obvious to you why you have the ones that encourage and support you in your dreams and goals, but how did you end up with the rest?
Expand your understanding of why you have the friends you have. It will teach you a lot about yourself.
Proximity breeds friendships.
It's true: we tend to become friends with those whom we come into contact with in our immediate environments, like in our neighborhoods, dorms, workplaces, and establishments we frequent in our hometown.
Where do you spend your time?
We gravitate toward people who dress like us.
- If you look like a hippie from the 1970s, it's likely that a few of your friends do, too.
- If you tend to look preppy or dress like a jock, your friends probably dress similarly.
- If you're clean-cut, your friends are likely clean-cut.
- If you're lackadaisical about your appearance, many of your friends may be too.
How do you get dressed in the morning?
Commonalities draw us together.
You will often befriend those with whom you have something in common. When you share similar experiences, the connection can be stronger.
- Do you play on a baseball league or hang out at the local bar after work on Friday night?
- If so, you'll probably end up friends with other baseball players on the league or those who hang out at your favorite Friday night haunt.
- If you're married, it stands to reason the majority of your friends will also be married.
What do you have in common?
Your stage of life at the time you meet matters.
Where you're at in life when you meet new people largely determines who you will choose as friends and whether you'll put in the effort to have a friendship.
- For example, if you're single and have recently moved to a new community and settled into your first professional job, it makes sense you'll acquire new single friends who are also in your age group and getting accustomed to the full-time working world.
Where are you in your life?
You and a friend might have each gone through emotional traumas.
Interestingly, we tend to be drawn to those who've lived similar lives as our own. We feel they understand where we're coming from and how we view the world.
- To illustrate, perhaps you're going through a divorce and you join a book club. It's quite likely you will acquire a fellow book-clubber as a friend who is also experiencing a divorce at the time.
- When you share a common emotional trauma, it can often cause a strong bond of understanding to form between you.
Have you experienced similar life situations?
Opposites might attract when it comes to friends.
Although this point seems to negate a couple of the other factors, making friends with someone who's quite different from you in some respect is also likely.
Consider this example. Let's say you're struggling financially and admire a neighbor you recently met who barely makes more than you, yet seems to have it together financially. He always talks about investments and saving for retirement.
- You're very interested to learn more from this man. Plus, he has a great sense of humor and you both love to golf. So, you make friends with him.
Are you polar opposites?
It's rarely a mystery why we end up with the friends we do.
Other than the one or two high-school or college buddies you still keep in touch with, the pattern for making friends in adulthood is pretty straightforward.
If you think about each of your friends, they'll likely fit in to one of these six categories.
When you understand these reasons, you're armed to cultivate new and positive, impactful relationships.
You can make better conscious choices to find new friends who support your goals as you grow and work to live the life of your dreams.
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