The 7 People You Absolutely Need In Your Life

by Ron Haynes

One thing that we all need is a friend … or two, or three. Too many times we think of someone as a friend, when they’re really just an acquaintance. True friends have qualities that acquaintances do not. Can one or two people have all these qualities? Sure. I would say that if you find someone who exhibits all of them, you’ve found a true friend, maybe even a soul-mate.

Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.  –Aristotle

I believe there are 7 types of friends we all need. I’ve found all 7 in my wife!

A friend to listen to us

It happens so rarely, perhaps that’s why nothing is more powerful than the art of listening. When someone focuses on you and listens to your ideas, your thoughts, and your concerns, you’ve found a friend. Bonus points if they can listen without prejudice, passing judgment, or feeling the need to constantly give advice or tell you “what they would do.”

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. –Dale Carnegie

A friend we can trust

Trust is a tricky issue and is rarely an “either/or” proposition. Trust is something that comes in degrees, but it is something that is a vital part of any friendship. As a matter of fact, without trust, there can be no friendship.

It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them. –Confucius

A friend to accept us

Acceptance is a willingness and an openness to see things as they really are without scurrying around trying to change them to fit our mold. For example, if you’re feeling tense, you’re just feeling tense. That’s it. A friend doesn’t think it’s horrible or catastrophic or that it will last forever. They certainly don’t think you won’t be able to handle it. It doesn’t mean anything, except that you’re feeling tense at a particular moment.

Acceptance doesn’t mean blanket approval. We can accept a situation without approving of it. Acceptance doesn’t mean we’ve given up. I can accept a diagnosis without giving up on treatment. Acceptance means we’re paying attention.

When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old. –Mark Twain

A friend to help and support us

Friends help and support each other. Simply put, a friend is loyal and will set aside his or her interests to help. They will faithfully support your decisions and help you see things from different perspectives, even if you don’t always see eye to eye.

There are three faithful friends – an old wife, an old dog, and ready money. –Benjamin Franklin

A friend to love and respect us

Love is putting someone’s highest interests at the top of your priority list. Respect is understanding that others actually can make a worthwhile contribution. It’s hard to have one without the other. A friend is someone who both loves and respects us.

Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.  –Mother Teresa

A friend to hope with us

Hope is the confident expectation of great things to come. We need hope. Someone without hope is a pitiful, dying soul. We need friends who will build up hope inside of us, that will help us hang on just a little while longer when things seem their darkest.

Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.  –Henry David Thoreau

A friend to challenge us

We need people in our lives who will challenge us to become better, to strive for more. No, I don’t mean in the sense of accumulating more things, or climbing the corporate ladder, but in becoming better in all the areas I’ve just outlined.

It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.  –Ghandi

We need each other. Plain and simple. We need each other for friendship, for companionship, for fellowship.

Now the big question: How well do YOU stack up in these areas? Don’t answer that in the comments, but answer it in your own voice inside your head. Where do you need to improve your friendship skills so that someone absolutely needs you in their life?

When you choose your friends, don’t be short-changed by choosing personality over character. –W. Somerset Maugham

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1001 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.


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{ 7 comments }

Positively Present

Great question at the end… I will definitely be giving this some thought. I agree that we need ALL of these in our lives and especially the friend who challenges us. This can be the hardest sometimes, but it’s important to have people in our lives who push us in positive directions, who encourage us to be better people, and who make us think about who we are. I love this post! I’m going to pass it along to all of my friends.

Laurie | Express Yourself to Success

Thank you for this thoughtful post; I’ll certainly be thinking about it today.

I really like your opening, acknowledging that we call acquaintances friends. This happens all the time. It’s easier to be an acquaintance than a friend and it’s important to differentiate between the two.

Jeff@MySuperChargedLife

We need friends that aren’t afraid to tell us the truth! Oftentimes, people just tell us what they think we want to hear. They are yes-men (or women). True friends will tell you when you are out-of-line. They will do it in a gentle manner, but they’ll let you know. We certainly need these kinds of people in our lives!

Srinivas Rao

This is a really great post. It make you really think about how your friends bring a certain balance to your life.

Rana

After reading this post I realized all of my closest friends I have known since childhood. They have been the ones to stick with me and by me through all the good, the bad and the ugly in my life. Yes I have a lot of acquaintances and they are nice people, but my group of friends is small and I like it that way. I know if I need something or if they do we will be there for each other in a heartbeat, and if I’m out of line they will straighten me out. I know there are things I need to work on to be a better friend. Thanks for giving me some things to think about. Great post!

Carla

Great post, but I don’t think I even know that many people. At least people I feel close enough to consider a friend. That is the one think that’s lacking in my life. I get along very well with others, I’m just not close to anyone.

Zach Younkin

My biggest weakness is not challenging my friends enough.

I need to do better.

I WILL do better!

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