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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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        Last Updated on April 6, 2020

        10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

        10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

        Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

        Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

        Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

        So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

        1. Be Authentic

        To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

        Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

        Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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        2. Listen

        Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

        To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

        Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

        Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

        3. Become an Expert

        Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

        You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

        4. Lead with Story

        From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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        If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

        5. Lead by Example

        It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

        ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

        We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

        6. Catch People Doing Good

        A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

        Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

        7. Be Effusive with Praise

        It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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        Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

        8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

        I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

        The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

        If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

        9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

        The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

        The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

        If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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        10. Understand Your Lane

        If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

        Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

        You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

        Final Thoughts

        Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

        It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

        More Tips About Making Influence

        Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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