Have you ever watched any episodes of Leave It to Beaver? Remember Eddie Haskel, the kid that June Cleaver had no respect for. Some of Eddie’s remarks about her appearances, how lovely she looked, with her hair and clothes, how Eddie offered to help Beaver with his homework while waiting for Wally to come home. Eddie was the kind of friend that would get you into trouble, and when you needed him most he would bail on you. He talked tough, but would run away from any fight. Wally, seemed to keep him around because nobody else liked him enough to be his friend.
Do you have any friends like Eddie Haskel? I have had a few like Eddie in my lifetime, my parents never warned me about people like Eddie, I was the quiet one, never in trouble, kept to myself, worked hard in school. Obeyed my parents, always did chores without being asked. The Eddie Haskel’s in my life were more for entertainment then friendships. I was pretty wise for a kid my age, kinda like Wally Cleaver was as a teen.
As I became an adult, I still would be pulling for the underdog in life, the person who had no friends, seemed out of place, and was ignored by most people. Some of those folks became great friends, sort of diamonds in the rough. I had one friend named Randy back in Wisconsin, not many people liked him, he was rude, impolite, stand offish, but had a gentle spirit about him. I would get strange looks from people when I took him and some other friends out to dinner. I could hear whispers in the background and see the stares directed at him and the group I was with.
I have been with the pompous types when I was a Doc back in Wisconsin. They were full of themselves, their money, stocks and bonds, and property were constantly brought up in conversations. The country clubs that they belonged to, were to much for me. I was not a part of this group at all. I hung out with those who ate at sports bars, even though I never drank, I loved these people. I played softball with them, went to church with them. I was invited to their BBQ’s, weddings, baptisms, and even funerals.
So many people want to have friends that have money and fame, not for the real and down to earth friendship that last a lifetime. You have to be careful with those you hang around with. If someone you know has issues with drugs, alcohol or is looking for trouble, then you avoid them. Your reputation must be guarded at all costs. I get plenty of calls from people who wish they would have never gotten involved with a certain person. Their life has been nothing but trouble since they met the person in question.
So, what do you look for in a good healthy friendship? Communication is key in building friendships. I have many friends and believe me, we love to talk, and share what’s going on in our lives. I will get many phone calls from my friends, just checking in. How that makes me feel knowing people care and want to know how I’m doing, is awesome! A good friend will be someone who understands your life and can identify with your situations. You can find potential good friends via the Internet, at work, at the gym, at parties, in your neighborhood and through mutual contacts. A good friend needs respect, caring and kindness. You should think of your friend on holidays and especially their birthday. You should be there when they are hurting and need support. You should do favors for your friend, knowing that you may need a favor someday. And most importantly, never take a good friend for granted because a true good friend is hard to find, once you find them, hang on to them.
The first one on my list is mutual interests, do you enjoy helping people? Do you like fishing or collecting antiques? Is the person your looking for in a friend have a good habit of complementing others. Over a period of time you can see if the time your investing in a friendship is paying dividends. Are you happy, do you look forward to doing things with your new friend? These are the indicators that let you know that you are in a healthy relationship.