How To Not Suck At Picking Friends(Guilty.)

[DISCLAIMER: This post is pretty long, and I did go on a lot of rants and all over the place. It’s all unedited with a few exceptions, but yeah, just warning you, you’ll find out a lot about me and what really ticked me off that night.]

Until recently, I really can’t say I had super-duper close friends. I wasn’t a social outcast or anything, I just had a crappy childhood and trust issues (who hasn’t?) which led me to believe that people my age sucked and that older and younger friends were better, since you could learn from one and teach the other. I felt like it was a give and take thing, that relationships were built purely on what you could do for someone, which is true to an extent, but still pretty limited. I was a mature (read: boring) little kid, and I seriously couldn’t wait to “grow up.” Seriously. I loved the idea of paying bills and doing my own finances. I was (and still am) fucking weird. But anyways, this post is about you, not me.

Or maybe you and me. Who knows? I’m still trying to figure it out.

Anyways, once college hit, I went on a whole roller coaster ride of meeting new people and now this whole “best friend” ordeal is taken care of. I’ve gone through the whole “being polite” then “deep talks” then “fucking around cuz you know i’m kidding even though it’s pretty fucked up” stages I believe are part of making friends. I’m sure you have, too.

Lately, though, I’ve been trying to find people my age who are better than me and act as mentors to this whole blogging and internet thing. Monetizing it, staying motivated to write, etc. And it’s really great to have an online support group (Blogger’s Anonymous?..no wait that’s not right.) to provide..well..support and advice and such..but I think it’s important to find people who are physically close to home as well.

Unfortunately, what I’ve found is that I’m taking a path that’s not traveled by many people who succeed to tell the tale, at least I don’t know anyone personally in my immediate friends and family. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since I go to college, live in a family where becoming a doctor is praised (Asian..Filipino to be more specific) and business is “too risky”(lol) and aside from that I seriously care what my mom thinks of me…and one of my main motivations is to really just shove my paypal and clickbank statements in ALL of their faces as a proverbial “fuck you for not believing in me” testament and show them that YES I CAN MAKE A LIVING NOT IN THE MEDICAL FIELD. My friends (at least here in California) are lazy as shit and like to party all the time. Or maybe I’m just the stuck-up asshole, too neurotic and un-chill for my own good. Holy shit this post is not going where I wanted it to go. Yeah, I am kind of an asshole sometimes. The whole lesson was supposed to be relevant to the title…umm.. my friends in California are nice people, seriously, they’re so chill and go with the flow it’s nerve-wrecking. Unfortunately I had to learn how to chill out consciously, which is hard. Props to them. [EDIT: I originally had the title as “Have Friends Who Are Better Than You…But Don’t Forget About You.” and changed it. Yay honesty.]

So if you’re reading all the way down to this, I already love you, and you know more about me than most people in my life do. Just to remain relevant, I think it’s important to make sure that you have friends that you’re proud of, and not just friends that you put up with. Seriously, like with my above example, one thing about my Cali friends (and probably Cali people in general) is that they’re flaky as shit. The whole “yeah i’ll definitely hit you up” and they don’t hit you up, and then your ego is too strong to hit them up or call them out on their flakiness so nothing happens, is utter bullshit. I’ve done that so many damn times this week alone it’s sickening.

FUCK THAT.

If they were your friends, you should legit be able to be real with them and call them out on their bullshit. That’s why I feel like you have to go through the fire with a person to truly find out if that’s a friend or not. I found out a good friend of mine is going out with my ex-girlfriend. While it was never a serious thing, and I really could care less what they do, he failed to tell me. While he’s still a good person, I’ll admit I have lost some respect for him. Why? Aside from it being an unspoken man law to at the very least notify you’re fellow man about it, he’s had multiple chances to let me know, and well he just sucks.

Look he’s a great person and I’m not going to make it a habit to use this blog as a weapon of bashing on people, but it’s just merely a lesson to not suck at picking friends(like I have found I am quite skilled at…). Real friends would drop anything for you, not just hang out with you because you’re the most convenient. You know how you do that? By doing it first. Drop the ego and be real. Like with my above example of not texting back, if he really was a good friend of mine, like straight up family, I definitely would have. I haven’t found that he’s really got my back, and it’s through his actions I can see that. I’ve found that looking at what someone does(how they react to situations, adversity, etc) aside from what they say really does say a lot about a person. As DMX once said:

“Talk is cheap, mothafucka.”

Tim Ferriss wrote a really good (and quite amusing) post on the subject, which I suggest you check out and apply on a not-so-extreme level. You gotta keep it OG gangsta, yo and BE REAL. Honestly it’s one of the best lessons from the cliche, idolized world we all know as “the hood.” If you aren’t real, you’re shady and you aren’t trusted. I’m all about being selfish about my goals and being 100% self-reliant, but if you start steppin on people’s toes, that shit’s gonna come back and bite you. I know I’m probably sounding all over the place, but there’s a fine line between ambitiously taking what you want and deliberately doing something just to hurt someone. I feel like anything of worth requires sacrifice of yourself(your time, energy, focus. etc) rather than it coming at the expense of someone else. That’s too old school and unidimensional. I truly believe that you can have your cake and eat it too. That is, achieving what you truly take time to do and having high-quality friends who support you and that you can have a good time with.

I’ll be honest though, it is something that requires you to meet new people. The higher standard of living that you set up for yourself, the harder that you gotta work. You want a high-quality lifestyle with friends, a girlfriend/boyfriend that are on the same level? You have to seek them out.

So on your next networking event escapade extravaganza, do not arm yourself with business cards and a firm handshake, but with the natural curiosity of getting to know a person, and to develop a legitimate connection with. (Good book, Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi, it’s so good you have no frickin’ idea. Highly recommended)

So just a recap, if you want to have good friends:

0) Don’t suck at making friends(just kidding)

1) Go First. Take initiative in befriending someone, inviting them out to lunch, whatever.

2) Listen to their actions, not their words

3) See how they handle adversity (through their #1’s)

4) Really get to know them and be genuinely curious about their lives.

Remember: These are just guidelines, not a rulebook. Go with your gut. If someone feels shady to you, you’re right more times than not.

-Patrick

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