Choose your friends wisely without any expectations

A FEW days ago, I received a friend request on Facebook. This was a person I didn’t know from Adam and I had no memory of having seen or met. The only saving grace was that he seemed to have three common friends.
Sudha Umashanker
Sudha Umashanker

Chennai

I wasn’t willing to go by that because on an earlier occasion, when I checked with a friend upon receiving a request from a stranger, if she knew the person (since she was shown as the stranger’s friend ) she drew a blank. Therefore this time, I decided to ignore the request.
But how tempting it is to click the ‘accept’ button more often and enlarge one’s circle of friends.
And how nice it would be to announce to the world that one has reached the maximum number of friends and cannot accept any more!
The point is: Do we want quantity or quality? Is it better to have a few friends who are true and reliable rather than a random, motley crowd of people- some of whom are mere acquaintances or strangers to whom you don’t matter and who will not think twice before ditching you royally? Granted that on rare occasions, strangers do become close friends but that is perhaps one in a million.
Not for nothing is it said that one must choose one’s friends with care. Friends are people who will be there for you, who will stand by you and who will caution you when you are going wrong.
Real friends won’t push you to do things that you shouldn’t be doing or that will land you in trouble. They won’t backbite on chat groups and elsewhere or stab you in the back. They don’t steal your boyfriends or girlfriends or contacts or projects.
However, it is best to never get into a friendship with expectations. If you presume that if I do this for X, he/she will do that in return for me or if I befriend Y, this is my route to success, then you are bound to be disappointed for it doesn’t work like that.
Also, just because X is friends with your friend Z, doesn’t mean you will hit it off as well. People have agendas, equations, history and other things that come into play.
As the saying goes ‘Fools rush in where angels fear to tread’. So, observe people carefully over a period of time before you befriend them.
If you are a reasonably good judge of people, you will in the process get a good picture of whether the person is artificial or genuine and real.
That said, all the above goes for you too. When you lend your friendship to someone, you should be true, loyal and dependable.
Life is not really a popularity contest. If you are playing it like that and choose all and sundry as friends, then you must be prepared for what comes with it, disappointments and surprises that so-called friends spring on you.
–The writer is a motivational coach

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