Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Important Qualities in Friends

As an introvert, my circle of friends isn't huge. I'm okay with that. When I was younger - in elementary, junior high, and senior high school - I believed that popularity was an important quality or trait. I envied the "popular" kids because they had so many friends.

However, as an adult, I realize that simply having lots of friends isn't as important as the quality of the relationships that you have with your friends. I would much rather have individuals with whom I can connect with on an emotional or intellectual level than have a large number of shallow relationships.

Girls with Suttons
Sophia and Olivia with family friends (Maureen, Larry, and Heather) 
I've known since the 1960s.
(Taken on June 27, 2009.)

Some of the things I keep in mind and continually try to work on are:

=> Trying to ask meaningful questions to give insight into a person's character and life.

Olivia with Cloverbud Judge
Olivia answers questions that the judge was asking 
her about the painting she did.
(Taken on July 14, 2010.)

=> Being a good listener by letting others talk and be heard by me. It's better to ask a friend to go into more detail about a story or experience they are talking about rather than immediately sharing something about my life.

Jam and Baked Goods Judging
Sophia listening to what a judge was telling her at the 4-H County Fair.
(Taken on July 14, 2010.)

=> Thinking before I speak so my comments are more meaningful towards others. It also helps prevent me from saying some things that I may regret saying.

=> Avoiding controversial subjects.

Voting in an Historic Election
Talking about politics is something my parents 
told me to avoid when with friends. 
They believed political discussions divided 
rather than united people.
(Taken on November 4, 2008.)

=> Being myself. I try not to act like an expert on certain subjects just to impress others.

=> Developing some personal interests and hobbies that I do on my own. These solitary pursuits can help spark some interesting conversations with my friends.

4 White Window Stars
Origami window stars that I made.
(Taken on January 11, 2010.)

=> Doing activities with a more limited size group of people or one-on-one so stronger relationships can be built.

Whey Beyond the Naked Truth


Julie Jordan Scott said...

Such a thoughtful post. I love the listening and the asking questions. Sometimes I worry I am interrogating my new friends, but then I discovered they LIKE being listened to (it is more rare than I like to think!)

I am glad to be catching up with my ABC friends. Recovery from my surgery took longer than I expected... and it is far from over!

Kelley Johnsen said...

Thank you for your post! It was a wonderful read for my friday! :-)