‘Birds of a feather flock together’ is one of the oldest sayings and there is a great deal of truth in it. It emphasises the importance of a good friend, Most people assume that it means that people become friends because they are alike. However, it is also true that people become more alike because they are friends. The more time you spend with someone, and the higher the importance that you afford them within your life, the more likely you are to become like them. Choosing a good friend can have a major impact on your life.

I was talking to my cousin about a young man who lives with his family – a good friend of his daughter. This young man was a little out of control for a while a couple of years back. He was living with some of his friends and they liked to smoke, drink excessively and take drugs. His life started to take a downward spiral and to put it simply his life was going nowhere – fast!

Last year, he made a decision to change things. He decided to move out of the home he shared with his friends, though he remained friendly with them, and asked my cousin if he could move in with him and his family. He applied himself, began a course and managed to acquire some work experience. He has now been awarded a place on an apprenticeship scheme. Things are looking up for him and all because he chose to spend his time with a good friend who was willing to support .

If you are not achieving the results you desire in your life, it may be partly due to the company you keep. There are many ways in which your friends can have a negative effect on your life, including:

  • Bad habits
  • Lack of ambition
  • Failing to support you
  • Trying to prevent you from changing
  • Unconstructive criticism

The best friendships tend to be based on mutual values. To define your values, check out Values Based Living.

Rather than endure this, identify a good friend or two and choose to spend more time with them. A good friend will always support you when you try to change your life for the better. Those who do not support you do not always have to be removed from your life. In most cases, as in the case of the young man mentioned earlier, you can remain friendly with these people as long as you give them a lower level of importance in your life.  By affording them a lower level of importance in your life, you are less likely to become like them and more likely to be the person you wish to be.

Take a look at your friends and the people you spend time with and ask yourself if they support you and bring out the best in you. If they do not then you might want to consider the importance they have in your life. Of course, friendship is a two way street, and the best way to make a good friend is to be a good friend yourself.


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