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15 Signs That You Are Surrounded By Good Friends

15 Signs That You Are Surrounded By Good Friends

An old saying goes, “Surround yourself with the people you want to be like.” Successful people want to surround themselves with successful people. Optimists like to be around optimists. How can you tell if you’re hanging around with the right group of friends for you? Here are 15 signs that you are surrounded by good friends who care about you and not just what you can do for them!

1. Your friends listen to you.

A good friend can tell when you need an ear, or just to take the floor for a few minutes and talk something out. More importantly still, they help you determine where you have good, solid, actionable ideas and where they think you’re a little off base.

2. Your friends care about you.

Good friends take the time to ask about your life, your interests, and your opinions. They also take the time to be there when you need them, and want to help you be the best person you can be.

3. Your friends know when to throw a party.

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    There’s nothing wrong with blowing off a little steam, celebrating a milestone, or just making an event happen “because.” A group of friends who are really in tune with your needs know exactly when and how to party without taking it to extremes or getting you involved with anything illegal or uncomfortable.

    4. Your friends know when to end a party.

    Even the best party has to end eventually, and good friends can tell when it’s time to leave. If someone’s getting drunk and belligerent, or you’ve been yawning for the last half hour, they will understand it’s time to call it a night and leave gracefully.

    5. You feel like your friends have your best interests at heart.

    You may not always agree with what your friends say or their perceptions of a situation. However, they’re always thinking of what’s best for you in the long run. This can be a tricky line to walk, and sometimes you have an obligation to ignore the advice of others. Nevertheless, a good friend will be less worried about sparing your feelings than looking out for you.

    6. Your friends support you.

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      Even when you do something your friends don’t agree with, if they’re really good friends, they will support whatever you decide to do, within reason. They may not agree or like what you’re doing, like moving across the country to snag a good-paying job, but they’ll be there with the pizza and beer while you load up the truck!

      7. You always hear the truth from them.

      Good friends don’t lie. (Except on rare occasions of the “Does this dress make me look fat?” sort. Those kinds of lies don’t count, because they are intended to spare your feelings.) When the chips are down and you really need to be told the truth, your friends may hate it…but they’ll do it. This applies in situations like when your friends tell you maybe you’re partying a little too much or working too hard. If they tell you something like this, they’re speaking from the heart. You owe it to them and your friendship to listen.

      8. Your friends check in on you.

      A good friend cares about the people close to them. If they don’t hear from you periodically, they pick up the phone or even send an email. “Dude, where you at? Everything okay?” This doesn’t mean they constantly worry about you, because sometimes people get sick or busy and life happens. But they do take the time to let you know they’re thinking about you.

      9. Your friends know when to leave you alone.

      Sometimes you just want (or need) to be left alone. Work assignments, homework, or relationship woes can all leave you feeling like you just need a little downtime to work out your situation. A good friend understands and respects this. They’ll make it clear that they’re available if and when you need them, but they also understand that everyone needs alone time once in a while. Conversely, they also know you well enough to say, “Enough’s enough!” and drag you out of the house by your hair if necessary!

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      10. You don’t feel like you always have to reciprocate.

      A good friendship doesn’t come with a balance sheet. While you should always try to give as good as you get from your friends, that doesn’t mean you or they should feel obligated every single time. The point of a friendship is to be there as much as you can, when you can, to the fullest extent you can. Sometimes that means Jim picks up the beer, while you bring the pretzels. Sometimes Josh throws the party and you pitch in with the cleanup. Sooner or later in a good friendship, the books will balance naturally and intuitively, without either side having to do anything except be themselves.

      11. You can call your friends anytime you need them.

      Let’s put some rules on “anytime.” This does not mean three in the morning, unless someone is dead! Within reason, however, and during the hours when you KNOW they’ll be awake, you can call and say, “Hey…you got a few minutes? I need an ear.” If they say, “Not now, but let me call you back,” then respect that. If they’re willing to sacrifice time to help you out, it’s only fair that they should be able to do it on their schedule, especially for those who have “real jobs.”

      12. Your friends feel like they can call you when they need you.

      Part of being a good friend is being available, and this applies just as much to you as it does your friends. A friend who feels like you’re available for them when needed is more likely to be there for you when you need them!

      13. Your friends celebrate your victories and help you get over your setbacks.

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        Milestones deserve to be celebrated, and misery loves company. A good friend will congratulate you on your accomplishments and achievements without letting you rest on your laurels. Similarly, a good friend won’t let you wallow in self-pity when things go a little sideways. A good friend will celebrate or commiserate with you as appropriate, always asking the question, “So what’s next?”

        14. Your friends see you for who you are.

        We all wear masks and put on a show in our public lives, whether we choose to admit it or not. A good friend sees beyond the mask or the front and looks at the real person behind them. You can tell a good friend because they’re not afraid to call you out on your front, but they still want to be around you even when what’s behind it isn’t always the nicest, kindest, or best person. A good friend inspires you to be and do better than you are, but cares for you because of who and what you are.

        15. Your friends tell you when you’re making a mistake.

        No one likes to hear it when they screw up. That’s just human nature. However, a true friend is able to tell you you’re making a mistake without making a federal case of it. People who love you and support you even when they don’t necessarily agree with you are the kind of friends that are worth keeping, no matter where life takes you.

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        J.S. Wayne

        J.S. Wayne is a passionate writer who shares lifestyle inspirations and tips on Lifehack.

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        Published on September 23, 2020

        6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

        6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

        I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

        If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

        What is Negotiation?

        First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

        Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

        In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

        Places We Negotiate

        I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

        1. Work/Business

        This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

        When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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        In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

        Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

        2. Personal

        I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

        I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

        Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

        3. Ourselves

        You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

        I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

        Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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        Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

        Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

        We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

        My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

        If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

        As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

        6 Negotiation Skills to Master

        Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

        Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

        1. Preparation

        Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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        It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

        For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

        After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

        2. Clear Communication

        The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

        If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

        3. Active Listening

        Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

        If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

        4. Teamwork and Collaboration

        To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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        If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

        When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

        5. Problem Solving

        Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

        Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

        From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

        There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

        6. Decision-Making Ability

        Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

        Conclusion

        There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

        Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

        More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

        Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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