If your friends tend to choose you rather than the other way around, you may be providing them with a good example. On the other hand, they may be influencing you to make decisions that are out of character. Actually, the same thing is true if you tend to choose your friends without considering how their personalities and life decisions mesh with yours. It’s important to be aware of this and to make sure you aren’t surrounding yourself with people whose values and interests don’t match your own.
If you find at least one friend with a firm backbone, they can help you increase your own self-control. This is especially helpful if you struggle to resist things that are bad for you. (Just one more cookie! Just one more Game of Thrones episode!) According to Forbes magazine, people with self-disciplined friends were able to rely on them to boost their willpower on tough decisions.
Without self-control, long-term goals, such as college and career planning, become much more difficult. If you are tempted to blow off PE because it’s lame, a more motivated buddy can encourage you to do it for your health. If you have limited funds and you want to blow your money on the latest iPhone unnecessarily, a level-headed friend can help you consider all outcomes.
How Friends Influence Your Choices
You probably already go to your friends for advice. However, friends influence your choices even when you don’t want them to. Friendship provides moral support when you need it, but it can also cause you to make impulsive decisions. So, choose friends that are only partners in crime for small indulgences, like eating chocolate or harmless Netflix binges when everything else is done.
On the other hand, positive friendships bring out the best in you by encouraging you to be your best. The most valuable friends can help you plan ahead without taking life so seriously you forget to enjoy it. Besides, it’s great to have someone reliable to turn to for a supportive shoulder.
Who Gets Priority
No matter how much you love your friends, you will likely drift apart from at least some of them. Perhaps you will go away to college or move out of state to start your career. With this in mind, know who is likely to be in your life long-term and move them up the priority list. Sometimes, this means giving siblings and less popular friends priority because you know they would drop everything if you needed them.
Don’t be afraid to evaluate the part each friend plays in your life. If you tend to spend more time with books or your cell phone than talking to people face-to-face, make an effort to be social and maintain close bonds with at least a few people. Friendship can greatly improve your quality of life, and it might even help you live longer.
Leverage Healthy Friendships into Good Decisions
Most teens go through a kind of trial stage when they are figuring out what their moral reasoning process will be. At this point, your opinion of yourself depends largely on what other people think of you. So, if you surround yourself with people who like to party or pressure you to become involved with a member of the opposite sex, you might not like the person you become. Once you find yourself in this situation, you have to make some hard decisions and walk away from friendships that are holding you back.
Positive Behavioral Change
The best friendships occur when you choose friends that have a positive influence on you or you are chosen by others because they like your values and personality. These bonds are extraordinary when both friends can encourage each other to follow a path that leads to success. Friends help each other reach academic and sports goals by participating in activities together and energizing each other.
Even if you fall out of touch with one person, building social skills and a solid network is something that is useful in all stages of life. Besides, it’s much more fun to have someone to help you celebrate important milestones like college graduation or landing your dream job.
written by Greta Scribe on Sept 22nd 2017
photo by Omar Lopez from unsplash.com