If you first look at home for your circle of friends,
that circle of friends will never end.
~ Stacy Coles
Every day we are surrounded by people, whether it be at home, at school, at work, or at extra-curricular activities. It's important to be friendly to everyone and to accept others. It's also important to surround yourself with positive influences.
From the time we enter kindergarten, we are on a journey to find our place and our individuality. The irony is that this identity often comes through those we associate with. We allow our friends to somewhat define who we are, whether we intend to or not. We "try out" different friends to see which ones fit our personalities and interests the best. Some people get lucky and connect with that perfect individual or group who sticks by them through thick and thin. Some aren't as lucky and keep trying out different friends, even through adulthood. And some act as chameleons and blend well with whomever they are with at the time.
Take inventory of the friends in your life. Value the ones you have, but always make room for more. If your circle of friends is a positive one, you will always have a great support system. In good times and in bad, you will never feel alone. If you have a friend or two who constantly bring you down, or are always negative, keep them as friends (you may be the positive influence they need in their lives), but don't let your social identity depend on them. Search for those who will make you want to be better and who will support you in making good choices. Parents, encourage your kids to look for friends who make good choices, but be careful not to pick their friends for them. Remember, you are the parent. By default, the friends you choose for your kids will be the ones they want nothing to do with.
As you acquire your circle of friends, don't overlook your own family. As the old saying goes: friends may come and go, but family is forever. We all know that family can be the hardest people to get along with, at times. But, these relationships are the most important to maintain. Learn to let bygones be bygones; forgive and forget; praise the accomplishments; support through devastation; love unconditionally. Family can make the best friends.
It doesn't matter if you have one friend or 100. Be the kind of friend you want to have. Before you know it, others will be wanting you in their circle of friends (and your family will want to keep you in theirs).
|Circle of Friends|