We’ve all heard the saying that you’re the average of your five closest friends, but how many have truly sat down and thought of the ramifications of such a statement? Which of you have really taken a close look at the men you hang out with and came to some uncomfortable conclusions? I can tell you I have and it can be tough, especially if those friends are friends you grew up with.
However, as men, you must learn how to set aside your emotions and look at things with a critical eye. Some friends are simply toxic and it would be best to remove them from your life.
The way I see it, friends fall into three broad categories based on why you hang out with them. These categories are fairly permeable so there will be quite a bit of overlap, but after spending some time with them, you’ll get a good idea which general category they fall under.
The Hobby Friend
These friends share a mutual hobby that you both enjoy. Hobbies are natural ways to build camaraderie among men and can range from shooting hoops to playing cards.
The benefits of these types of friends are that you’re getting out and socializing and possibly even getting some exercise. They’re great for unwinding after a long work week and are an integral part for your overall health. As I’ve said before, humans are social creatures and do best when we have at least some social interaction in our lives. No man is an island.
The Accountability Buddy
These guys share a common goal or passion with you and so you both hold each other accountable for reaching that goal. It may be hitting the gym, training in a martial art, or discussing issues going on in your life.
Sometimes a friend like this is in your life for a set period of time (for example, a workshop), and other times, you meet up regularly to work out or simply catch up on how each other’s lives are going.
In my experience, having friends like this provide the most value in the long run. You encourage each other to make yourselves better while also giving swift kicks in the ass when someone is slipping. While judgment may be reserved, excuses are still not tolerated.
These are the friends that you might not always see eye to eye with, but that’s part of the beauty with these friendships. These types of friends will call you out on your bullshit and demand you to back up your claims.
You may talk about politics, religion, philosophy, history, or whatever else comes to mind. Yes, conversations may get heated, but that’s simply what men do. Brush it off at the end of the day and don’t hold any grudges.
There are many men out there who don’t fit in any of these categories and would probably be best being cut from your life. It sounds harsh, I know, but we only have 24 hours in each day and wasting such finite time on just anybody is foolish.
On the flip side, there are men that may fall into one or more of these categories that you still may want to avoid due to their temperament or other serious issues that you don’t want to get involved in. That is fine too. When choosing friends, it is better to be too picky than the opposite.