A Greek friend had once shared with me the expression, “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.” On the surface, it can come across as judgmental and not really of complete accuracy. It can be interpreted that your friends are exactly like you; however, I think that is taking it way too literally. When I think about my closest friends, sure–we share some commonalities but none of them are “exactly like me.” What the takeaway is that the friends who you choose to be a part of your support system are a reflection of who you are and often represent your core values. Typically, the people you gravitate towards have the qualities, interests, goals, beliefs, and other important attributes that you appreciate most.
I think that the underlying meaning of this expression is that the friends who you choose not only display their character but also reveal your true character. Think about it, if you associate with other like minded people who are ambitious, goal oriented, and successful–chances are that you also possess these qualities. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you choose friends who lack direction in life, have substance abuse issues, and other overall negative qualities, then people will tend to associate that you are the same way.
It is for this reason that I cannot emphasize enough the importance of good CHARACTER when choosing your friends. Aside from their personal qualities to describe their character, their character also describes how they treat you and others which also should be taken into consideration. Does this person support you and accept you for who you are? Do you trust this person? Is this person reliable if you needed a favor? How does this person treat their own family? These are just a handful of questions to ask yourself when you examine character. Unlike family, when it comes to friends, we have the power to choose who we want to associate with so always select wisely–friends who possess good character along with those who add a positive impact on your life. Lastly, always choose people who choose you—they equally love, support, and are there for you when you need them most. 🙂