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Mike Hendricks

Mike at Night

Mike Hendricks recently retires as social science, criminal justice instructor at McCook Community College.

How many friends do you have?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Not nearly as many as you think you do because we confuse friendships with acquaintances and they're nowhere close to the same. Most people know a lot of people and most people think the people they know are their friends but they're often mistaken. Through the years, I've put together kind of a check list to help me figure this out if I don't already know. Maybe the check list will help you too.

FRIENDS PULL YOU UP, NOT PUSH YOU DOWN

A true friends wants you to succeed as much as you do. They're always there to cheer you on and they're the first person to console you with a true heart when your dreams don't come true. Often acquaintances give lip service to you getting what you desire but in their hearts, they're jealous when you do. So they're actually pulling against you instead of for you because when you fail, they feel better about themselves!

FRIENDS AREN'T JEALOUS OF YOUR SUCCESSES

We've all known people who talk about their friends successes in a negative way and their failures in a positive way when their friends aren't around. Obviously they're oblivious to the possibility of someone telling their friend what they said about them or they just don't care. Either way, this is a far cry from meeting the definition of a friend.

A FRIEND IN NEED IS A FRIEND INDEED

All of us have heard this one before but it's always amazing who heeds the call when they're really needed. We give a lot of lip service to always being there for somebody else if they need us but when they DO need us, the only ones who ARE there are our true and trusted friends. And they don't need money, thank you's or a pat on the back.

In fact, they will often be there for you before you even knew you needed them. They're other-directed instead of inner-directed.

They care about their friends and the needs of their friends as much or more than they care about themselves. Regardless of how many friends you think you have, see how many of them show up the next time you're in need.

TREAT THEM THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED

I'm not sure but it seems to me that this is the one that's hardest for a friend to do but says more about them than anything else does.

A friends greets someone with a warm, knowing and caring hello, not a smart-mouth comment. Show someone every time you're with them that you care for them and that they're special in your life rather than disrespecting them, making light of them, or greeting them with a rude or loud comment. That doesn't translate to others or the person you're talking to that you're their friends.

In fact, most people would interpret it as just the opposite. So be careful what you broadcast to others about a 'friend' of yours because the word will get back to them.

These are just a few things to look out for as you're trudging through this journey called life. Some people will respect you for who you are, some won't. Some will respect your for your achievements, some won't. Some will respect you for your accomplishments, some won't.

But the people who will respect you the most are those who admire you for being the kind of friend everybody wants and needs.

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