Making friends has always been pretty easy for me. But there’s some key things to look for in a friend that—to be honest, you won’t find easily. Even though I have lots of friends, there’s a big difference between friends and finding “your people”.
So what’s the difference?
“Your people” are the friends that are making you a better person. They are supportive, positive, and willing to call you out when they feel you’re making a decision that will hurt you or others. Whenever you spend time with your people, you feel energized.
So let me ask you this, do your current friends make you feel this way?
Do you find that after spending time with your friends you feel tired, or like you don’t quite measure up?
I used to experience this on a regular basis. And although I really enjoyed these friends, I thought that I just felt this way because I was introverted. You know, that I was having too much “people time” and I needed to spend time alone to refill myself.
Then my perspective of friendships changed when I experienced some friendships where I walked away energized and not drained. Something was different about these friends. At first, it really surprised me. I actually couldn’t wait to spend more time with these friends!
These friendships helped me to realize the truth.
I wasn’t feeling drained from previous friendships because I was an introvert. It was because some people are actually a drain on me. It wasn’t healthy for me—and it wasn’t healthy for them either. Even Mayo clinic talks about how friendships are supposed to enrich your life and improve your health.
So why did I feel drained?
These friends, were just friends. They were not “my people”.
Maybe you’ve experienced this too.
If you’re looking for deeper meaningful friendships that help you to be a better you—here are the six things to look for in a friend that will help you to find your people.
What qualities do you look for in a friend?
Finding the right friends takes time. That’s why I think it’s challenging for us moms—time is something that we always feel like we never have enough of it. But once you find your people, you know it because it just “clicks”. They get you!
Here’s six things to look for in a friend to help you develop good quality friendships. I’ve also included some questions to help you evaluate whether someone possesses that quality.
1 . POSITIVE
Positive friends are attentive to words and actions. Think about it this way. When interacting with someone, does that person tend to complain a lot? Do they talk nicely about others? Do they tend to have a positive outlook on life—being a mom is soooo hard or being a mom is challenging but rewarding?
If this person is negative or exhibits any of tends to complain a lot, then likely they will be someone who drains you.
Does this friend communicate that they want to help you—pray for you? Do they give to you when you’re in need either emotionally, physically or financially?
Is this person an encourager? Do they see ways that you do things well and encourage you to pursue opportunities that would help you?
4. THEY KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE.
Your people are those friends who at their heart of hearts really want you to be the best version of yourself. To do that well, they are also the ones who are willing to call you out, lovingly, of course. And especially when they feel like you are making poor decisions either for you or your family.
The key here is lovingly. Has your friend ever confronted you?
5. THEY ENERGIZE YOU
This is an easy way to determine if a friendship should continue or not. It may just need better boundaries or if it’s a really negative friendship you may need to dissolve the friendship all together. Also if someone energizes you, it’s a good signal to pursue a deeper friendship.
All good friendships are a combination of give and take. It will be fairly easy to tell if the friendship is one of reciprocity, convenience, or proximity.
Convenient friendships are usually because of what someone can get from you.
Proximity is how easy it is for that person to maintain the friendship—like you see them every week at church.
Then there is the friendship of reciprocity. This is the one to invest in because this friend is genuinely interested in you—not what you can do, but for who you are.
Reciprocity friendships may include convenience and proximity, but the key is for a strong foundation for friendship, is reciprocity. But don’t get confused by the term reciprocity. It doesn’t mean that you feel equal reciprocity all the time.
Sometimes I’ve gone through seasons of giving and giving without receiving anything from a good friend. And they really were a good friend that exhibited reciprocity. But, don’t get discouraged by this, rather think of it as a love bank into your friend. You’re simply making deposits and at some point, you will experience a dividend.
How can I find a good best friend?
Each time that I’ve had to search for friends, my experience has always looked similar—especially as a mom. These are the places that I look:
- My Church (If your church is large like mine, you will want to look for other opportunities to connect with a smaller group. Some ideas may be a Sunday School class, a Home School Fellowship, serving in the nursery or another area of ministry, weekly small groups, etc.)
- Local mom groups and meet ups
- The library
- Facebook Groups
- Bloggers who offer private membership communities
- The Grocery Store
Two of my closest friendships actually started in the grocery store. I had seen both of these women in the local mom group I was attending, then when I saw them in the grocery store, I ended up starting a conversation.
It turned out that we often went to the store at the same time, so we’d see each other frequently. Our friendship might not have developed further in our mom group alone.
Don’t be afraid to take advantage of any opportunity you have to connect on a deeper level with others.
As I’ve worked to overcome loneliness as a mom, out of all of these places that I’ve looked for friends, by far the best place has always been the local mom group.
Why? Because this group of women are in the same spot as me in life. They are going through some of the same things I am and are attending this group to become better at being a mom.
What makes a good best friend?
Although I’ve already talked about the qualities of a good friend and where you can find a good best friend, here’s some of the things to look for in a friend that I think would make a good best friend.
- You have fun together.
- You’re honest with one another.
- You’re always there for each other.
- You can call them anytime—even in the middle of the night.
- No matter if they disagree or are disappointed with your decisions, they love and support you anyway.
I have to tell you though that even though I have this list—I’ve never actually had a best friend.
As long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted a best friend.
When I was growing up, it was something that I longed for so much. It was really popular to have friendship necklaces—you know the one where there’s two hearts and your friend gets one heart and you get the other.
When apart, the necklaces are broken but when their together they form two hearts joined as one. As a little girl, this was something everyone had, but me.
I tried to have best friends, but I always felt like my friends chose someone else.
They were still good friends, but I always felt left out. They were there for me, but not always. I certainly couldn’t call them in the middle of the night because, who does that? And, there were many times where my friends disagreed with me and my faith. I often felt alone and left out because of that.
Even though I have always longed for a best friend and I’ve never really experienced that for myself, I’m grateful for that void in my life. Because it has continually pointed me to the best of the best friends that I do have—God.
Because I don’t have a best friend to go to with my deepest struggles—I turn to God for everything. When I really get frustrated, discouraged, or even depressed about being a mom—I turn to him. He truly is always with me.
And just so you know, my husband is also my best friend and I’m super grateful to be able to walk through life with him. But, let’s face it. He’s a man and doesn’t really understand me.
Please know that I have a lot of good friends and I think that God actually wants us to have many friends in our life to help us to overcome loneliness. But, I still really long for that best friend and I actually pray about this often.
Maybe someday, if the Lord blesses me with that gift, until then, this is my prayer.
A Simple Prayer for the Right Friends
Here is my prayer based on Proverbs 1:9–10.
“God I pray that you will bring the right friends into my life and keep me from the wrong friends.”
As I’ve prayed this prayer the past couple of years, I’ve seen the Lord bless me with my request. In times when I’ve really wanted to see a friendship develop with certain moms, I kept feeling like things just weren’t clicking.
Later the Lord revealed to me that He was actually keeping me from those friendships developing because He was protecting me. I began to see character qualities and choices that those individuals were making that would have been a bad influence on my life.
I’m fully confident that if you continually submit this area of your life to the Lord and pray this prayer as well, God will guide you into the right friendships and keep you from the wrong ones.
Even as you read this, I want you to know, you’re not alone.
I know what it feels like to be in a place where you feel all alone—especially in motherhood. And that’s one of the reasons why I started writing this blog. Because I was in a place where I felt like I was stuck doing the same thing over and over and I began to wonder,
“Am I making a difference?” or “Does what I do, really matter?
Well, here at Healthy Living Mom, I provide simple, practical solutions for making motherhood meaningful in the areas of faith, health, family and lifestyle. I’ve found that so many moms struggle with feeling overwhelmed that they feel like their losing themselves in the process.
Which is why it’s my passion to help moms to be a just right mom—so life and motherhood are enjoyable again.
What my readers love most, is there’s no pressure to work harder, faster, because let’s face it—you already do that as a mom. I think you’d really be encouraged by what I have to share and I’d love for you to join our community, by subscribing.
And as a subscriber, I’ll send you my Make Life Easier checklist. It’s one of those things I learned that I must have as a part of my day—to get rid of that every day overwhelm—and replace it with peace and productivity.
I’m so glad you’re here!
Do you have any ideas for some things to look for in a friend?