The Four Kinds of Friends We All Need
I was a first-grader. It was a warm spring day, so all of the kids had stripped off their heavy coats at recess and left them in a big pile. As I walked past the pile, I heard voices. The voices belonged to two girls in my class.
From underneath the pile, they were calling me horrible names.
I was heartbroken and spent the rest of recess hiding behind the evergreen trees on the edge of the playground, wiping tears away with my sleeve.
At age seven, I hadn’t developed the inner strength to fight off the lies that came from that pile of coats. So the lies eventually became “truth,” magnified whenever I found myself on the outside.
I did a lot of things to try to be amazing and compensate for my flaws. But most of the time I just felt … weird.
It took me a lot of years to find that my own brand of weird was actually quite wonderful. It took me quite a long time to realize I was preapproved.
That journey toward loving myself — as I was, not who I was trying to be — began in college. Of course, God was a huge part of that. One of the ways he worked: through friends. In college, I found a few people who helped me be the best version of myself. And I did the same for them.
That was a huge step toward embracing who I was, and becoming all God created me to be.
Like my friend Holley Gerth says, “The journey of life isn’t about how far we go — it’s about who’s with us.”
What’s true at age 7, is also true at age 19, 28, 42, 55, 78, 92.
Who we surround ourselves with makes a big difference in who we will become.
There are the four kinds of people we all need in our lives. (Ideally, one person can accomplish all four.) That said, be with these kind of people:
1 – Be with those who help you be you.
You are wired the way you are for a reason — to make this world a better place, and bring God glory, with your unique set of gifts. Surround yourself with people who want to nurture that person.
2 – Be with those who believe in your dreams.
We need cheerleaders on our journey. We need people who will see the best in us. We need friends who will help us stand up when we fall — because they believe in our dreams as much as we do.
3 – Be with those who make you better, not bitter.
There’s enough negativity in the world; try not to insulate yourself with people who see the worst in everything. Negativity is contagious, but so is positivity. Find the positive people, and be one of those people.
4 – Be with those who aren’t afraid to hold you accountable.
Often, the people who believe in you the most — the ones “who help you be you” — are the same people who aren’t afraid to speak truth when it needs to be spoken. Keep those friends especially close.
A final note: It’s not enough to surround yourself with these people. BE one of those friends to the people in your life.
YOUR TURN: What kind of friends do you need most?
Hey Tell His Story crew! It is a joy to gather here every week with you. The linkup goes live each Tuesday at 4 p.m. (CT). If you would use the badge on your blog, found here, that would be great! And if you would visit at least one other blogger in the link-up and encourage them with a comment, that would be beautiful! Be sure to check the sidebar later. I’ll be featuring one of you over there!
Our featured writer this week is Crystal Twaddell. As you search for the perfect pumpkin this fall, I hope you’ll reflect on the truth Crystal shares in this post. I know I will! What beautifully timed words. Find Crystal here.
To be considered as our featured writer, be sure to use our badge or a link to my blog from your post. xo Jennifer
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So good! I’ve been struggling with the balance between revealing too much of me and just enough to help not harm, seeking people who will truly align with me…yet, I’m afraid scaring some off. I am praying that I will begin to allow Jesus to be the Editor of my writing, not readers who might praise me or promote me or pity me. I do have a few of these friends and I am so very thankful.
And thank you for that parting note! I don’t want to miss the opportunity to BE this kind of person in the lives of my friends.
I need all of these kinds of friends. The friend who fits into all four categories is special for sure. May we all be these kind of friends to others and find the friends who want to be these for us too.
Appreciated your comment, Mary. I was thinking the same thing, that “a friend who fits into all four categories is special for sure.” I’m blessed to have several. What precious gifts from the One Friend who knows exactly what we need!
I like that, better not bitter. And I wish I did have someone who believed in dreams.
Thanks for hosting!
Jennifer, I love the types of friends you have shared here. I have to agree with them. And with the idea that we should also strive to be those friends to those around us. I think the kinds of friends I need most are those who are both encouraging and truth-speaking.
Loved this post. And your memes/pictures are beautiful!
these four are priceless as well as are my friends who live these out – just spoke on the Friendship Connection – women are longing for connection where they can be themselves yet called to be who they are meant to be – will share !
Great roundup of friends we need and need to be. I so appreciate these friends in my life and want to be this kind of friend back.
HI Jen! I almost missed the linkup today! As they say…better late than never. 🙂 I love what you’ve shared here. I particularly love Holley Gerth’s quote: “The journey of life isn’t about how far we go — it’s about who’s with us.” She has such a way with words! No wonder she’s your friend. I love all of your points, but especially #4 – friends that hold you accountable. Thanks for sharing and hosting. Blessings!
Yes, we need a friend or fiends with these qualities and sometimes we need to be that kind of friend for someone that can’t return it.
Loved this post! Yes, for so many reasons. Thank you.
These traits are so important to look for in people, but your challenge to also be that person is just as important! Thanks for sharing!
Hi Jennifer–I was in my thirties before I embraced who God made me to be. Thankfully, he gave me good friends along the way while I figured it out. This post is excellent, and I am happy to share it on Facebook and Twitter.
These are the type of friend I strive to be. And I have been blessed with many of these types of friends in my life too. And for that I am so thankful. Love this post friend!
Thank you for this post…I’m praying for friends like these. I’ve been without even a “best” friend for a long time and am a little gun shy.
Praise God for these special people who help us be what God created us to be, encourage us in our dreams, approach life with a positive attitude, and give us the honest truth when necessary. Wonderful analysis of what to look for in a friend, Jennifer!
Thankful for you, Jennifer. You are a generous friend.
I’m thankful for friends who do all these things. And I like the emphasis on being that kind of friend as well.
Hey Jennifer! I always say that I have the “World’s Best Friends”! These are definitely great traits to have in your friends…I’m so grateful to God, then even though many things in life did not go as planned, I had friends who were with me along the way. God bless!
Thank you so much for sharing the notion that we are “preapproved”. Have a great day.