Monday, February 9, 2009

Keep+Make f.r.i.e.n.d.s

Advice on How to Make and Keep Great Best Friends
(Adapted from Life's Secret Handbook for Having Great Friends)
COPYRIGHT © 2009 by Ernie J. Zelinski All Rights Reserved

  1. Make new friends, but cherish old ones
  2. Remember that everything worthwhile usually takes longer than expected.

  3. Refuse to give up on looking for a new friend because it may take a year or two to find one. The year or two will pass anyway, and if you don't look, you will still be without a friend.

  4. Watch less TV.
  5. Take friendship seriously but never take yourself too seriously.

  6. Don't be deceived by first impressions.

  7. Refrain from judging people by their relatives. Just as important,

  8. Seize every opportunity to meet somone new. All it takes is one special person to change your life forever.

  9. Be pleased to meet someone who holds colossolly different views from yours. If you were to meet someone that is an exact replica of yourself, one of you would be redundant.

  10. Life will always hand you a lot of friendship opportunity if you look for it. Look for it!

  11. Never try to deprive someone of hope, even if you think it is false hope. Everyone is entitled to hope. Besides, they may prove you wrong.

  12. Go slow when choosing new friends. Quality beats out quantity ten times out of ten.
  13. Never lend money to a friend — old or new. In the event you don't get paid back, you will end up losing both.
  14. Judge slowly. Forgive quickly.

  15. Don't admire wealthy individuals for how much money they have but for how generous they are with it in helping others less fortunate than themselves.
  16. Be neat.

  17. Be tough minded about what's really important to you and tenderhearted about everything else.

  18. Be courageous in meeting new people. Even if you aren't, appear to be. Most people won't be able to tell the difference.

  19. Some of the most fascinating people we meet in this world are those that we don't go looking for. Thus, allow more chance into your life. The more chance you allow, the more interesting people you will get to know.

  20. Opportunity for friendship knocks often. The question is, how often do you hear it knocking?

  21. Most circumstances are neither good nor bad, but our thinking makes them so. So why not look at the freindship game as an adventure instead of a burden?

  22. Create a comfortable and inviting home to share with new acquaintances.

  23. Just for the record, it need not be a big house. Remember that a small house can hold as much happiness as a big one. With the right people inside, it will hold even more.

  24. Don't believe everything you hear about a new acquaintance. Let him prove his worth and not someone else.

  25. Show respect for how everyone earns a living, regardless of how trivial it may appear in comparison to your career. In fact, show extra respect for anyone whose job is much harder than yours and pays less.
  26. Be original. If that means people will consider you eccentric, more power to you for being remarkably different from everyone else. Research studies indicate eccentric people are much happier than normal people. And most people like meeting happy people and not unhappy ones.
  27. Present your life story with excitement — not with explanation.

  28. Be geniune. Let people know what you stand for — and what you won't stand for.

  29. Be modest.

  30. Watch your manners. Be suspicious of anyone who dwells on telling you how honest they are. Usually, they aren't.

  31. Seek out the good in people and you will find it. Seek out the bad and the same applies.

  32. Be curious and flexible.

  33. Captilize on opportunites that present themselves for making others feel important.

  34. Be enthusiastic about the success of others. At the same time, don't flaunt your success — and don't apolize for it when someone mentions it.

  35. Keep good company if you want to meet good company.
  36. Pay your fair share when you go to dinner.

  37. Measure people by how big their hearts are — not by how big their possessions and bank acccounts are.

  38. Don't worry that you can't give people the best of all personality traits. Give them the best of what you have.

  39. Give people a second chance when they compromise their integrity.

  40. Even a third chance is sometimes warranted. But like baseball, three strikes and they're out.

  41. But do not shy away from conflict entirely. Conflict is good for friendship. It determines whether it has staying power.

  42. Remember your friends' birthdays.

  43. Accept pain and disappointment as part of life if you want to play the friendship game full tilt.

  44. Don't say you don't have enough time to spend with a new- found friend. You have the same number of hours in every day as Bill Clinton, Nelson Mendela, and many other famous people who spend time with their friends. If you say you don't have enough time to spend with your friends, you are saying you don't have enough time for happiness — and life!

  45. Attend class reunions and try to rekindle old friendships.

  46. When a friend doesn't see things your way, remember that it works both ways. You don't always see things her way, either, do you?

  47. A few words of praise or encouragement can make your friends' day.

  48. Never walk out on an argument with a friend. If you must, bite your tongue, and say, "It was all my fault." Do this even if it wasn't. Deep down, your friend will know whose fault it was. So will you. Perhaps, all things considered, it doesn't matter whose fault it was.

  49. Be physically there for your friends when they are ill. It is nice to send a card, gift, or flowers. But your presents can never substitute for your presence.

  50. Great friendship is not about great things happening to you. It's about what you make happen through your creativity, intention, and good chararcter.

  51. Make it a habit to send thank you notes promptly when a friend does something unexpected and special for you.

  52. The best way to keep your friends is to ensure that they want to keep you as a friend.

  53. Some criticism is good for you. Look at the purpose of your friends' criticism as being to assist you and not to humiliate you. The way to handle criticism is not to overreact when a friend or partner says something critical. It's not what they say but how you choose to react to it.

  54. Don't be boring. Surprise any way you can.

  55. Resist the temptation to run any of your friends' lives. Who the heck is going to run yours in the mean time?

  56. Make new friends, but don't let old ones languish. It's ten times easier to maintain an old friendship than to develop new ones.

  57. If a friend is not experiencing a great day, use your cheerful presence to make it so.

  58. Forget your friends' shortcomings as quickly as you do your own.

  59. Seek professional advice from lawyer friends, accountant friends,and architect friends only if you are willing to pay the going rate for it. Most people don't like freeloaders, particularly when it comes to professional advice.

  60. Think big, big thoughts about your friends, but relish the small pleasures you experience with them.

  61. Don't expect every friend to return every favor you afford. It's easy to forget that you receive more joy from what you give than from what you get.

  62. Just one time do something adventurous with your best friend even if you think that you can't afford it. Your memory of the experience will be priceless.

  63. Learn a lot of jokes to spice up your friend's days.

  64. Get your priorities straight. At least once a day remind yourself that happiness is not a function of money, possessions, power, or status — it is a function of enduring relationships with people you love and admire. Ensure that you are devoting most time to the things that matter the most.

  65. When you give advice — regardless of how good it is — to friends, don't be upset when they don't follow it.

  66. Contribute to your friends' dreams any way you can.

  67. There will always be people who question your choice of friends. Generally speaking, ignore them.

  68. Allow some things about your friends to remain mysterious.

  69. Return all things you borrow from your friends promptly.

  70. Don't sacrifice the small joys of friendship in search of the big joys of life that advertisers promise, but seldom, if ever, deliver. To enjoy even tiny happenings with others like a beautiful flower is what makes friendship one of the biggest rewards in life.

  71. When a friend offers to help, let him, even if you don't particularly need the help. Accept even if he slows you down. This will kill two birds with one stone. You will make your friend feel good and spend quality time with your friend.

  72. Don't gossip to friends about other friends.

  73. Don't burden a friend with a secret that you don't want her to tell anyone else.

  74. When a friend falls down, don't give up on them. A few words of encouragement can make a friend's day.

  75. Learn to recognize what works and what doesn't work in friendship. For instance, friendship thrives on frequent contact.

  76. Never be envious of success that your friends have attained. Being envious of someone always creates a barrier in your relationship with them.

  77. Above all, if friendship is more important than anything else in life, then spend more time at friendship than at anything else in life.

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