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How To Select Your Friends

How to select your friends



My years on earth have taught me that one of the most important decisions you can ever make is choosing your friends. This is so because the friends you keep, together, form the flexible bridge between your success and your failure, and I mean this in all aspects.

You are like a pedestrian on this bridge, and it has the ability to either bend towards your development or your destruction. Sometimes, this bridge bends both ways, and it takes divine guidance for you to get down on the right side.

You might be thinking that you know the kind of person you are, and that nobody can influence or pressure you into doing something you are not willing to do. Well, I used to think like that too, but now that I look back at my past, I cannot even remember the number of times I have gone against my principles, my lofty principles as a result of peer influence. Let me share an experience with you.

Three years back (when I was in 300L), my “friends” and I visited the ShopRite at Akure. It has just been commissioned at the time and we felt it won’t be a bad idea to go there and take pictures. Our purpose was clearly defined, but things changed a little bit when we got there and met a beautiful girl called Ebunoluwa.

Before I continue, I want you to know that I was a Muslim (I still am), and I was always conscious of the Islamic extent to which we can interact with the opposite sex.

The first time we saw her was when our paths crossed while we were checking out the mall. We didn’t really pay attention then, or so I thought until we saw her again where she was eating in one of the open restaurants in the building. God had a reason for giving us a second chance and we were not going to misuse it. I can’t really remember how it happened, but somehow we concluded that I’d be the one to walk up to her. And I was willing to. Noticing how nervous I was, one of my friends volunteered to go with me, but he abandoned me half-way and then turned back. And I swear to God, I would have followed him had she not seen us coming already. But to avoid embarrassment, I acted like a man and walked towards her, silently binding every spirit of rejection in her; every spirit of slap-that-guy that might be residing inside her; and every spirit that will make me stupid enough to foot her bill (even though I knew I had no money).

Unsure of how to go about it, I just walked up to her, introduce myself, asked for her name and tell her immediately that I’d like to have her number. Surprisingly, she gave me without reluctance and I thanked her and walked away. Praises followed naturally because my friends considered it a feat- I did too. And about two days later, after doing a series of follow-ups, that same friend suggested that I “chop her and clean mouth.” I hope you understand what I mean. That very moment, I knew that I wanted nothing to do with him again. 

Over the years, I have come to realize that there are basically three kinds of friends you should keep:

1. Friends with Spiritual Benefits: This is the most important category of friends. You cannot afford to exist without them because they are solely for the sake of your afterlife. From them, you find the spiritual support that would enable you journey hitch-free beyond this world.

2. Friends with Worldly Benefits: This category of friends are not as indispensable as the first category, but you need them from time to time for the sake of this world.

3. Friends That Only Get Benefits from You: This category of friends seems useless, but they are not. In fact, they are almost as important as the other two categories. Do not mistake them for parasites, because they are not the ones that set out to feed off you. They are the ones you should personally seek in order to benefit them spiritually and in this worldly life. As a result, you earn benefits in both ways too (you earn reward from God and they help beautify your own character).

However, irrespective of any of these categories, you need to seek these three qualities before you take anyone as your friend:

1. Intelligence: Except you need a few tutorials in stupidity, you have nothing to benefit from an unintelligent person. Sometimes, an intelligent enemy is better than a stupid friend.

2. Good Character: Do not befriend someone who doesn’t have a good character. Discipline, among all other virtues, should be sought after, as it would help in keeping the other characters in check.

3. Ambition: By all means, stay away from anyone who doesn’t have a strong drive for success or someone who is overly ambitious. Either of the two traits in your friends will ruin you.

Note: Since you cannot get the same amount of these traits in the friends you have chosen, you need to interact with each of them based on the level of these qualities within them. 

It is also worthy to note that these potential friends don’t come with these traits emblazoned on their foreheads; so, you need to accept everyone first, regardless of whoever they might be. And when you are satisfied that they have a sizeable amount of any of these traits, then you can make them your friends. However, you are not to do away with those that do not measure up to these requirements nor treat them less good, because as stupid as anyone can be, there is always one thing they are good at… So, don’t be stupid not to learn. 

I honestly hope that you make the right choice. Please let me know what you think in the comments section, and don’t forget to subscribe to Akinyemi’s Journal (You’ll find a space to enter your email address as you scroll down). Thank you

PS This Post was inspired by my friend, Safiyyah Adeyemi, who fits into two of the above categories and has a considerable amount of each of the traits mentioned above.

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