On the 8th of May, I started the series “Make a list“, where I explained the benefits of making lists to move forward in life. Last week, I touched the area of self-identity with “how to describe yourself to an unknown person“. Today, let’s explore friendship and friends.
100 people I consider my friends
Our definition of friendship evolves over the years. At first, our friends are the kids we play with, even when we envy them or hate them. As we grow up, our definition becomes deeper and more meaningful, but also more selective.
This list will help you examine your relationships over the years with the people around you.
The first thing you should do is travel in your mind to different periods of your life – childhood, teen years, college/professional training, travels and different jobs. In each period, examine every person you have met and assess your feelings and thoughts about your relationship with that person.
Note there is a difference between someone you love and a friend. You love your baby very much, but he/she is not your friend.
There is also a difference between someone who has made a difference in your life and a friend. Even your “enemies” could have made a difference in your life, possibly even a huge difference, but they were not your friends.
Even the people who have inspired you were not necessarily your friends, because you can be inspired by a character in a movie/book or a person in the news, but they are not your friends.
Many people, when listing their friends, tend to ignore relationships that have ended on a bad note. However, listing all of those who have been your friends at some stage will help you find the properties of friendship that were important to you during different periods of your life. So list those people who are no longer your friends, even if they have been your friends only for a short while. It is the learnings we take from each other that matter, not the duration of the friendship.
Ideas to add to the list
- Friends from preschool
- Friends in the family (cousins, aunts/uncles)
- Friends from school
- Friends who have shared hobbies with you
- Friends from the neighborhood
- Friends at work
- Friends you have met by accident
- Friends you miss
- Friends who have betrayed you
- Friends you have betrayed
- Friends who have turned their back on you
- Friends you have turned your back on
- Friends you have had the longest relationship with
- Friends you have had the shortest relationship with
- Friends you do not know why you were related to them
- Friends you have never told anyone else about (maybe you are ashamed of them somehow)
- Friends you are proud of being associated with
- Friends who have made you feel good
- Friends who have made you feel small, helpless and unworthy
How to use your list of friends
When you are done, you will have a list of 100 people you have considered your friends at one time in your life. There are theories that describe a friendship as a “give and take” relationship or an emotional exchange. According to them, we associate ourselves with people because there is something we want from them they are with us because there is something they want from us.
- For each of your listed friends is ask yourself, “What was the thing I got from my friendship with this person?” If you find it hard to think of something, ask yourself what they had that you did not have or what you learned about yourself through your relationship with them.
- Rank your friends in order of importance or closeness. In the innermost circle, put those who mean the most to you and label this circle “close friends”, “best friends” or “soul mates”. Further out, list people in decreasing level of closeness or importance and label the circles “buddies”, “team mates”, “work friends” or whatever applies.
- Find connections among your friends. Ask yourself what they have in common. Finding the common things among friends will help you you’re your own needs. For example: you may be able to identify why or how a certain type of friendship repeatedly ends and learn from that. You may find that you prefer a certain kind of people, like lovers of country music, because your best friends all seem to like the same songs.
- Remember: the main idea is to learn about yourself – your thoughts, ideas, beliefs and identity.
Next week, come back and read about the next list – things I want to do in my life time.
Until then … be happy in life,
This post is part of the series Make a List:
- Make a list: List Making
- Make a list: About Myself
- Make a list: Friends and Friendships
- Make a list: My Lifetime
- Make a list: Things I am Happy about
- Make a list: Childhood Memories
- Make a list: Ways to say “I love you!”
- Make a list: What I like about me
- Make a list: Things to ask for my birthday
- Make a list: Improve My Life
- Make a list: Things to tell my parents
- Make a list: Beliefs about Money
- Make a list: Feelings I Want to Feel
- Make a list: If I Could Live Forever
- Make a list: Beliefs about Kids
- Make a list: Beliefs about Kids cont.
- Make a list: Events that have shaped my life
- Make a list: Ways to be kind
- Make a list: Be More Productive
- Make a list: Mistakes (and what I can learn from them)
- Make a list: Expectations
- Make a list: Beliefs about Traveling
- Make a list: Rules I Follow
- Make a list: Good Parenting Qualities
- Make a list: Excuses
- Make a list: Quotes to live by
- Make a list: How to use my time better
- Make a list: If I were Santa Claus
- Make a list: If I had one year to live
- Make a list: Things that Make Me Happy
- Make a list: Movies I loved
- Make a List: My Fears
- Make a List: Find your Happy-ism
- Make a List: Inspiring People
- Make a List: Books that have changed my life
- Make a list: Inspiring Movies
- Make a List: Things to be Grateful for
- Make a List: Ronit’s Gratitude List
- Make a list: Life Lessons Learned