What should you look for in a good friend whose companionship will bring health and happiness to you instead of just raising your blood pressure? There are a few things you should ask yourself before befriending someone. First of all, make sure to choose a friend who has positive things to say to you. Every once in a while, a good friend may need to tell you something that might be tough to hear—“hard truths”—but these remarks should be very infrequent and you should generally walk away after spending time with them feeling better about yourself.
Also, look for friends who are living life in a responsible manner. Otherwise, the stress of their own lives due to their bad habits and poor decisions will surely stress you out. Nobody is perfect, but avoid befriending people who are making bad life decisions such as abusing drugs, having extramarital affairs, and engaging in criminal activity, for instance. Every once in a while, a good friend may make a bad decision; this doesn’t mean you should abandon the friendship, but help them instead. However, my best advice is that if you meet someone and find right off the bat that his life is out of control, it’s best to refer him to help and save your energy for friends who are overall positively contributing to society.
Having lots of friends can boost your immune system, help you survive longer after a heart attack, fight serious illnesses such as cancer, and increase your life span. With such positive advantages, you should make sure to increase your number of friends, but also keep in mind the importance of avoiding stressful, low-quality friendship and seeking out positive companionship.