Making friends is a crucial part of school. Thirty years from now, you may have the same best friend or even look back at all the good times that you shared with your inner circle. Whether you surround yourself with one or two close friends or prefer to have a large group around you, friends add a bit more depth to our normal, routine lives.
When making new friends, it’s important to remember to surround yourself with positive people who uplift you and support you. Although we are each responsible for our own decisions and in control of our actions, it can be very easy to get influenced by the people around us. The best thing is to often be friends with people you share common values and goals with. Have you ever heard the saying, “Birds of a feather flock together”? It’s much more than a cute rhyme! It means that people usually hang around like-minded people—people who are quite similar to them. Despite the way the saying goes, this isn’t always the way things play out.
We’ve all had a bad friend or two. Not that they were a bad friend to you, but they were doing bad things or getting into trouble. Sometimes, they may have even involved you in it. Since these are the people we call our friends, we may get sucked in to joining in on those bad things. Does this kind of friend sound familiar?
If you realize that you may have a friend like that, don’t worry—you aren’t alone! Trust me, I have been there. We all have been there. Sometimes, it’s easy to get blinded by these negative influences in our lives. People like this may be really good friends to you and it may even be pretty exciting to try new, adventurous things that are outside of your norm. But I’m here to tell you that people like that aren’t our real friends. Real friends accept you for who you are and don’t try to change anything about you. True friends would never put us in the position to do things we aren’t comfortable with or potentially get us into trouble.
If you have a friend or multiple friends like this, you don’t necessarily have to forget that they exist and never talk to them again. Instead, express how it makes you feel. One of the keys to a good friendship is communication. Tell your friend that allowing her to look at your test answers made you feel uncomfortable, or that picking on another student at lunch was not okay with you. It might put you in an awkward position, but if someone is really your friend, then he/she will listen to what you have to say and take into consideration how certain things make you feel. If he/she can’t do that, then it may be time to reconsider the friendship.
A true friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.
Girl Talk Marketing Volunteer
Girl Talk is a peer-to-peer mentoring program that pairs middle school girls with high school girls who serve as mentors. Our mission is to see confident girls to grow up to be confident women who are strong leaders and are passionate about giving back to their community.