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What Friendship Should Look Like in Your Thirties

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What Friendship Should Look Like in Your Thirties

When you get to your thirties, your priorities change. Things that may have seemed important before will look silly now. When I celebrated my 30th birthday, it felt like a light bulb was suddenly switched on over my head and I realized that my life was about to change. I used to have tons of friends but I couldn’t say every single one of them was a “quality” friend. During my twenties, I didn’t think about the type of people I spent time with. But now that I’m in my mid-thirties, I’m very selective about the kind of people I want to call my friends. Now, I have fewer friends but they are the best I can ever pray for. I am very picky when it comes to new friends because at 34, I want to be committed to these friendships. Like any other type of relationship, I like to make sure my friendships will last. So what traits should you look for in a friend now that you are in your thirties, a point in your life when time is a luxury?

1. You’re alike

There has to be some similarities whether it be love of coffee, politics, literature, movies, or even people watching. There just has to be a common ground. I have a specific friend whose personality is so different from mine that other people wonder why we are friends. However, what they don’t know is that we share a mutual likeness for watching Korean dramas and gory films and then talking about it later over coffee.

likeness
    We are so alike in so many ways!

    2. You show each other mutual respect

    Every smart person knows that respect is earned and real friends respect each other. They know when they need to be quiet and give you privacy and space or when they should shake you back to your senses. My friends give me advice whether solicited or not but they respect my decision even if they don’t agree with it.

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    alone

      3. You have fun together

      True friends have fun with each other even when they are doing the stupidest or craziest things.

      fun
        Yep, we’re cool like this!

        4. You can depend on each other

        I am the type of friend who doesn’t mind getting woken up in the middle of the night when a friend is in trouble. Because I believe that true friends can depend on each other—for their time, for honest advice, for a listening ear, even for money. (But of course, you want friends you can depend on to pay you back too, right?)

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        lesbian
          She’s my part-time lesbo lover!

          5. They’re like family to you

          There is a saying that you can’t choose your family but friends are family that you choose for yourself. My true friends are like my family. I love and treat them like I would treat family members because I believe in that saying. And friends are the people I choose to be part of my family. You and your friends look out for another. So even when it is hard, you should be able to tell her that twerking doesn’t suit her!

          twerking
            No, you ain’t Miley!

            6. They accept you

            This is one of the most important quality of real friends—they accept each other for what they are or are not. They don’t judge each other for the mistakes their friends make, or their past.

            satc
              It’s ok. We already know that!

              7. They’re generous with you

              True friends share and are not afraid to do so, whether it’s with material things, knowledge, opinions, or anything. And friends bring out the generous person in you as well.

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              generosity

                8. They’re thoughtful with you

                True friends think about you, worry about you, and tell you when they’re worried.

                coffee
                  I knew coffee would make you feel better…

                  9. They share your humor (or sarcasm)

                  My real friends laugh at the same things I find funny, even if those things are mundane. I share the same type of humor and sarcasm with them. And most of the time, one look at each other makes us burst out laughing.

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                  humor
                    Or if we are in the Hunger Games!

                    10. They inspire you

                    Real friends inspire you. You see the goodness in them and it makes you want to be good too. They make you want to better yourself, your craft, your life.

                    light

                      Featured photo credit: Bless Castorillo via facebook.com

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                      Last Updated on November 18, 2021

                      10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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                      10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

                      We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

                      A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

                      So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

                      • honest
                      • reliable
                      • competent
                      • kind and compassionate
                      • capable of taking the blame
                      • able to persevere
                      • modest and humble
                      • pacific and can control anger.

                      The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

                      1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

                      All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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                      But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

                      2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

                      How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

                      I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

                      “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

                      Abigail Van Buren

                      3. How does this person take the blame?

                      Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

                      4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

                      You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

                      5. Read their emails.

                      Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

                      • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
                      • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
                      • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
                      • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
                      • Too many question marks can show anger
                      • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

                      6. Watch out for the show offs.

                      Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

                      7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

                      A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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                      Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

                      8. Their empathy score is high.

                      Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

                      People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

                      9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

                      We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

                      “One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

                      Stendhal

                       10. Avoid toxic people.

                      These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

                      • Envy or jealousy
                      • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
                      • Complaining about their own lack of success
                      • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
                      • Obsession with themselves and their problems

                      Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

                      Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

                      Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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