February 28, 2024

TOP TEN OF MY TOP 10

THE FRIEND-TYPE PHENOMENON

Discovering the Shared Threads of Character in Those We Cherish Most

The saying “birds of a feather flock together” didn’t just spring up overnight. It’s a well-worn phrase for a reason. One day, in a curious moment of reflection, I took a delightful inventory of my top ten favorite friends, began to notice some shared threads of character, and began a very interesting  journey that led me to the discovery the top ten of my top 10.

Upon closer examination, an amusing revelation dawned on me: they all, in some wondrous way, shared the same unique qualities. I couldn’t help but giggle to myself, “It seems I have a ‘type’.” This prompt of whimsical discovery led to a deeper exploration and the creation of this article.

It’s a testament to the age-old adage that we are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with. If that’s true, then what does the nature of our closest friends say about who we are? And more significantly, what beautiful characteristics do we seek in others that are often mirrored within us? Such a revelation is like savoring a glass of lemonade on a hot sunny day – invigorating, sweet, and incredibly refreshing.

Let me share the ten (plus) distinct qualities I observed in my top ten friends:

  1. Real, Authentic, Genuine & Down to Earth: There’s no room for façades or pretentiousness. Their authenticity is like a breath of fresh air. This trait is a cornerstone for many because it speaks of genuineness. In a world brimming with superficiality, authenticity stands out. We’re innately drawn to genuineness because it’s a rare gem. When we find someone unabashedly themselves, it gives us permission to be our true selves. That’s the beauty of a real and down-to-earth friend.
  2. God-Centered & Belief in Beyond: A spiritual grounding that provides them with a higher sense of purpose. Spirituality, regardless of specific religious beliefs, offers a sense of connectedness. These friends guide us during times of uncertainty. They’re the ones who, on a challenging day, remind us of the bigger picture, instilling hope and faith in our hearts.
  3. Nonjudgmental & Open-minded: They accept others for who they are, offering safe spaces for genuine conversation. Life is a kaleidoscope of experiences, and every person has their unique story. These friends are the listeners, the ones who provide comfort without casting judgment. They remind us of the importance of acceptance and understanding, broadening our horizons and challenging our preconceptions.
  4. Caring, Compassionate, & Empathetic: Hearts as vast as oceans, always reaching out with warmth and understanding. Such friends are the embodiment of love in its purest form. They feel deeply, extending their warmth even on our coldest days. Their presence serves as a reminder that kindness is a superpower that can heal and transform lives.
  5. On-Purpose Living: Driven by passion, they move with intention and inspire those around them. Purpose is the compass that directs our lives. Friends who live with purpose inspire us to pursue our passions, chase our dreams, and live life with intention. Their drive and passion become infectious, urging us to set sail on our unique voyages of discovery.
  6. Nurturing & Wholesome: A nurturing touch and a heart that cares, wrapped in a cocoon of wholesomeness. These friends are like the warm blanket on a chilly night. They care for us, ensuring we’re mentally, emotionally, and physically well. Their love is like a lighthouse, always guiding us back home, even during life’s most tumultuous storms.
  7. Honest, Smart, Wise, & Curious: Their wisdom is not just in bookish knowledge, but in the inquisitiveness with which they approach life. Life is an endless learning journey. These friends remind us to stay inquisitive, to never stop questioning, and to always seek knowledge. Their wisdom and insight help shape our perspectives, providing clarity in times of confusion.
  8. Community & Family-Oriented: They understand that true strength is in unity and the bonds we forge. The essence of human existence lies in connections. These friends prioritize family and community, emphasizing the importance of togetherness. Their actions echo the sentiment that alone we can do so little, but together, we can achieve so much more.
  9. Nature & Animal Lovers: With a profound respect for Mother Nature and every creature, big or small. Our planet is a marvel, filled with wonders. These friends remind us of our intrinsic connection with nature and the world around us. They instill a sense of responsibility, ensuring we care for Mother Earth and her countless inhabitants.
  10. Authentic Leaders & Entrepreneurs: Pioneering change, leading with love, and carving out pathways unknown. Leadership isn’t just about leading others; it’s about leading oneself. These friends exemplify the spirit of leadership, taking risks, pushing boundaries, and pioneering change. Their entrepreneurial spirit serves as a testament to the limitless potential that lies within each of us.

When reading through this list, can you reflect personally and identify a pattern in your close friends? Maybe start with five shared qualities among your top five pals. Recognizing these patterns is like unearthing a treasure chest of self-awareness.

Friendship is magical. It’s in those shared laughs, the comforting silences, and the shoulder to cry on during life’s roller-coaster rides. There’s unparalleled strength and support in community, reminding us that no one is truly alone in this vast universe.

If you ever said or thought the same thing at the same time as one of your closest friends, there is validation that great minds, especially those of deeply connected beings share some invisible wiring and often think alike. This heightened connection generates the seemingly random synchronicities and is the foundation of the playful dance of relationship, friendship and self-reflection.

As life rolls on, it’s vital to check in with our friendships. Like a garden, some relationships will blossom perpetually, while others might need a bit of pruning. Keep watering, keep nurturing, and never stop cultivating those irreplaceable bonds.

In wrapping this up, I want to offer a challenge. Think of your closest friends. Reflect on the qualities that draw you to them. It’s a beautiful journey, discovering parts of yourself in the mosaic of friendships you’ve built. They often say, “Life is good when you’re surrounded by good people.” Even during the tough times, this remains true. So here’s to good friends, shared qualities, and the lemonade moments that make life so very sweet.

The Layers of Friendship: The Why Behind the Who

Beyond the initial revelation, it’s essential to delve deeper. If friendships mirror certain aspects of our personalities, why do we resonate with particular qualities? And more importantly, how do these qualities shape our individual and collective experiences?

Organized, Clean, and Tidy : Ah, the unsung heroes of characteristics. It might seem trivial, but there’s an undeniable charm to friends who exhibit this trait. They’re the ones whose homes are an oasis of calm, where every item has its place, and there’s a method to their apparent madness. They are the friends whose car interiors don’t resemble a mini tornado aftermath and whose workspaces are a testament to their structured minds.

But this trait goes beyond mere aesthetics. Being organized, clean, and tidy is a reflection of one’s inner world. It showcases discipline, commitment, and respect for one’s surroundings. It’s not just about folding laundry or arranging books alphabetically (though that’s commendable); it’s about creating an environment where peace and productivity thrive.

I must confess, this is a trait close to my heart. I find solace in order, cleanliness, and structure. When the external environment is harmonious, it resonates with my inner equilibrium, making challenges more manageable and joys even more pronounced. As the saying goes, “Clean space, clear mind.”

When you step into the home of an organized friend after a chaotic day, the calm environment acts like a balm to your senses. Their dedication to tidiness is infectious. You find yourself inspired to declutter, both physically and mentally. These friends teach us that our external environment often reflects our internal state. By fostering order and cleanliness, they inadvertently promote mental clarity and peace.

It’s a delightful revelation to acknowledge that this trait is mirrored within me. And it’s not just about loving labeled jars or having an alphabetized bookshelf. It’s about the joy of knowing where things are, the satisfaction of a well-organized plan, and the peace of mind that cleanliness brings.

Furthermore, this trait is a testament to respect — respect for oneself and for others. An organized person values their time and energy, ensuring minimal wastage. Their clean surroundings reflect their respect for themselves and anyone who might step into their space.

To my organized, clean, and tidy friends, a hearty salute! You inspire more than you know. And to those reading, if you ever find yourself constantly aligning coasters or rearranging your workspace for the umpteenth time, remember, it’s not just a quirk. It’s a quality. One that speaks of discipline, respect, and an inherent need for harmony. Embrace it and let it shine!

Embracing Chaos, Celebrating Order: There’s a beautiful dichotomy within many of us, especially those who value organization. This appreciation for order does not negate our love for wild, unfettered experiences.

For instance, I adore the liberating feeling of trail running, where each step is a dance with unpredictable terrain. The splashes of mud, the unpredictable twists and turns of the path, and the exhilaration of being in nature’s embrace is pure, unadulterated joy. Similarly, while I might revel in the thrill of a competitive tennis match, sweating it out on the court, that doesn’t translate to a preference for chaos in other aspects of life.

In the sanctuary of my home, car, and office, order prevails. These spaces reflect the parts of me that crave structure and calm. It’s in these organized environments that I recharge, recalibrate, and refocus. The neatness is not about rigidity; it’s about creating an atmosphere where my thoughts and emotions can flow without unnecessary distractions.

Take, for example, the presentation of food on a plate. It’s not about being finicky or excessively particular. It’s about appreciating the art and the effort. When food is presented with care, it’s a testament to the love and attention that went into preparing it. Every detail, from the placement of ingredients to the garnishing, enhances the dining experience. It’s a feast not just for the palate but also for the eyes.

But it’s crucial to clarify that this penchant for order doesn’t stem from a need to control or a source of stress. Instead, it’s about celebrating the beauty and positive energy that structure and tidiness can bring. It’s akin to the satisfaction one feels when looking at a beautifully painted canvas or listening to a harmonious symphony. Order, in its essence, is another form of artistry.

It’s this balance between embracing life’s wild, unpredictable moments and cherishing the serene, organized ones that makes life so rich and varied. It’s not about boxing oneself into labels of ‘neat freak’ or ‘adventurer.’ It’s about understanding that the human spirit is multifaceted, capable of finding joy in both chaos and calm. It’s about recognizing that while we might dive headfirst into the messy adventures of life, there’s also immense pleasure in returning to a space of tranquility and order.

The act of evaluating our friendships isn’t merely an exercise in self-awareness. It’s an exploration of the soul, a testament to the human experience, and a reaffirmation of the values we hold dear. It’s amusing to think that in recognizing patterns in our friendships, we’re also uncovering layers of our personalities.

Moreover, this discovery emphasizes the power of choice. We choose our friends, and in doing so, we’re also choosing the qualities we value and admire. Each friendship is a testament to the things we deem essential, a mirror reflecting our desires, aspirations, and the values that mold our character.

Consider this a heartfelt invitation. Reflect on the qualities that shine brightest in your circle of friends. What patterns emerge? What do these patterns reveal about your aspirations, values, and the essence of who you are?

Ponder on it. Dive deep. Because within this introspection lies a profound realization. We’re not just shaped by our experiences but also by the people we choose to share those experiences with.

Lastly, a nugget of wisdom wrapped in a humorous example: let’s say you are finding yourself surrounded by friends who love cheesy jokes, remember, it’s not just them – it’s a little bit of you too! Embrace it, celebrate it, and never forget the magic that friendships infuse into our lives.

In essence, our friendships are the melodies that make our life’s song resonate with joy, hope, and love. Here’s to recognizing the beauty of these melodies and to many more years of harmonious friendships.

An Ode to the Unshakeable Pillars of Friendship: The Silent Strengths

There’s a core of values, often overlooked in today’s fast-paced world, that forms the backbone of any enduring relationship. These values are not flashy or particularly glamorous, but they’re foundational. They are the silent guardians that make friendships thrive decade after decade. Let’s dive into these qualities that many of my top ten friends embody.

Committed & Dedicated: These two traits walk hand-in-hand. Commitment is a promise, a vow to stick around not just during the sunshine-filled days but during the stormy nights as well. Dedication is the active manifestation of that commitment. Friends who are committed and dedicated are in it for the long haul. They’re there to celebrate the highs and to offer a shoulder during the lows. Their steadfastness is a daily reminder that come what may, they’re here to stay.

Reliable & Responsible: The joy of having reliable friends is the certainty they bring. You know that if they say they’ll be there at 5 pm, they will be – not a moment later. Responsibility ties into this, as it’s not just about punctuality but about taking ownership. When they make a mistake, they admit it. When they take on a task, they see it through. The reliability and responsibility they exhibit make them the anchors in our lives.

Loyal & Trustworthy: Loyalty is a gem in today’s world. It’s about standing by your side, even when it may not be the popular choice. Loyalty isn’t blind allegiance but a conscious decision to support through thick and thin. Trustworthiness is the bedrock of this loyalty. It’s about keeping secrets safe, honoring promises, and ensuring that their word is their bond. With loyal and trustworthy friends, there’s a safety, a surety that our hearts and stories are in good hands.

Thoughtful & Considerate: Small gestures often leave the most lasting impressions. A text to check in on a bad day, a surprise favorite snack, or even just yielding the last slice of pizza – these are the hallmarks of thoughtfulness and consideration. Such friends are attuned to our feelings and needs, often anticipating them before we voice them. Their actions scream, “I see you, I value you, and I care.”

Incorporating these qualities into our own lives enriches not just our friendships but our very essence. It prompts a deeper introspection: Do we embody what we seek? Are we also the reliable, loyal, and thoughtful friend someone else treasures?

The beauty of these traits is their silent resilience. They don’t demand attention or acknowledgment. Yet, their presence or absence can profoundly influence the dynamics of any relationship. They’re like the roots of a tree, often unseen but holding everything together, ensuring stability and nourishment.

In celebrating these traits in my friends, I’m also reminded of their importance in my own life. It serves as a gentle nudge to cultivate these characteristics, to be the friend that I’m fortunate to have. The world needs more of these silent strengths – the committed, the loyal, the thoughtful. Here’s to cherishing them in others and fostering them within ourselves.