So I started binge watching the old hit sitcom... F•R•I•E•N•D•S and it got me thinking. Friendships are important, just like all other relationships. Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, said it best: "You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with." This means that if the average success of your 5 friends is high, your success will also be high. If the average is low, well….. maybe it’s time for new friends? 

Let’s talk about what makes up a dope friend group:

1) Ambition
Make sure your crew is striving for something, or else they will never understand your own busy schedule.

2) Passion
Are you guys passionate about the same things? Do they only respect your values or do they actually share the same ones?

3) Fun
Your friends should always help you take away the stress, not bring it!

4) Faith
Doesn't have to be the same religion, but find people who believe in something.

5) Acceptance
Your friends should accept all of you, whether it’s your expressive style, your weird sense of humor, or your OCD.

6) Trust
Can you depend on them? Are they reliable? If you’re always there for someone, but never the other way around, that person is not your friend.

7) Support
Make sure your crew is supportive. Doesn't mean they will be your 'yes man', but they should support your dreams and want to see you succeed.

8) Honesty
If you're wrong, your friends should be able to tell you that. Don't stick around people who tell you what you want to hear because you will not grow that way.

Friendship Reality Check
Often times, we have high and unreasonable expectations of our friends. You need to remember that your friends are not puppies who just follow you wherever you go. Also, don’t expect them to do everything you say. Accept that they won’t agree with you 100% of the time. I, myself, am a pretty tough friend to my own friends because I think tough love is important. At the same time, I’m learning to not be judgemental or overprotective. Let your friends grow up on their own.  A friend should definitely not live in your shadow and learn to know when to mind your business. As you get older you realize the importance of a private life. Sometimes you just want your friend to listen. No  advice or opinions just someone to listen to you vent. 

Friends vs. Associates
Friends are the people with the 8 qualities I listed above. Associates are just people you hang with from time to time. It’s important to know the difference:

Back in the day, I hung out with a group of people who were my friends at the time. We always went out together, but as time went by and hangouts became the same routine, some of us got new jobs, I slowly began to notice the dynamic of the relationship changing due to jealousy and hate. Most of all, when we hung out, I always ended up in trouble or in some type of drama, fights, just all around negative vibes. Looking back, I didn't realize how unhealthy those friendships were and how much it affected me and my life. I was not happy and most off all, I was holding myself back from being the best version of myself. Looking back, I realized that when we would link up, we didn't have conversations about our futures or any goals. Today, I know that they weren't friends, but just associates.

To have good friends, you have to be one.
I recently found myself complaining about my friends "sucking" in our friendship. I was so hurt by what they did and didn’t do. Today, I am learning that the key to good friendships is to be a good friend. A friend is one who doesn't judge. A friend is someone who accepts you for you--flaws and all. I am not perfect and neither is your friend because we are all humans. I am learning to be more understanding and to stop blaming my friends for everything.

Meet My Dope Friends

Today I am in a good place. I’ve learned a lot about relationships and how to be a better friend. I have now surrounded myself with like-minded people who I can truly say are my friends, and not just people I hang with on the weekends. We recently started All Us Hippies, a company that’s all about friendship, fun, and philanthropy. We are hippie enthusiasts who celebrate the style and culture of the hippie life, by spreading love through the arts. We share our passions and have unconditional support for each other. I also have best friends from childhood who are basically family at this point. No matter the distance or how often we talk, I know they are there for me. 

 Check out this article. Funny but so true and so my friends. 25 Reasons “Friends” Still Gives You Friendship Group Goals and You know they’ll be there for you

My friends, my angels
For me, my friends are angels who God put on earth to help make this thing called life easier; however, God didn't place them in my life to be a mini Him--to save or protect me. We have to be OK with the fact that our friends will disappoint us a few times. Some people are so lonely in this world, that they end up committing suicide. So appreciate who you have because this life is not meant to be lived alone. Enjoy your friends. Forgive your friends. Show them unconditional love and be understanding. Life gets tough, yet good friends make life a little better.

Key to Friendships that last a lifetime.....