This is one is difficult to pick straight-off-the-bat; oftentimes we don’t encounter the lies or stabs in the back until much later on in a friendship or relationship. However, if you hear enough stories about a person’s disloyalty to a former friend or lover of theirs, more likely than not, their reputation has preceded them. Sure, gossip and rumors can tarnish someone’s character to the point of complete disfigurement. There are always exceptions to the rules, but there is always a small truth or reason underlying a story about how someone stole their friend’s boyfriend, or got into a bunch of fights on a night out, or cheated on their S/O while they were on holidays.
Flaky and late people are to be avoided at all costs. There is nothing more insulting than have someone cancel on you last minute, or tell you that they’re running 45 minutes late when you’re already at the rendezvous place of agreement: as though your time can be expended their whim.
Reliability comes down to not mere sticking-to-the-plan, but respectfulness. Tardiness can be forgiven and forgotten if they are incidents that occur far and few between, but if it happens on the regular… that’s not an accident that you can apologize for. That’s a habit, and habits form your character. Your character determines your ultimate destiny in life. (To all those who are not well acquainted with Sun Tse, ‘Heed your thoughts – they become words. Heed your words – they become actions. Heed your actions – they become habit. Heed your habits – they become character. Heed your character – it becomes your destiny.’)
On that note, if you ever notice someone close to you forming a bad habit, try to help them stop right in their tracks, before it becomes a part of who they are. And if there’s a new person that’s making their way into your life, make sure they don’t already possess serious deal-breaking habits (what constitutes deal-breaking sometimes varies person to person; for me, making patronizing comments ranks up there with being consistently late). Because people don’t change unless they themselves are willing – as much as you believe yourself to be the knight in shining armor or the ‘girl that can change him’, there’s a 99% chance that you’re not going to be.
Surround yourself with people with passion for what they do. These people motivate you to find your own passion and strive to achieve it. If your passions perfectly align, then (I’m no fortune teller, but) you’re probably #soulmates. Either romantically or platonically; and what is better than finding someone who is equally as passionate as you about something that you can relate to?
That is not to say that soulmates (if they actually exist of course) all have identical interests. After all, they say that opposites attract. But this should only be understood in the context of pre-existing passions. Opposites like ‘someone with a passion for getting up at 4am every morning to go rowing on the lake’ and ‘someone that wakes up at 3pm every day because they have nothing to wake up for’ does not apply.
Also, have you ever dated, or been friends with, or lived with, someone that literally had nothing to be excited for on a daily basis? It’s not only depressing, it’s emotionally exhausting. You begin to feel compelled to find a passion for them. And if that fails, then you kind of start to feel (sometimes not just feel, but know) that you are their one and only passion. You’re their only friend; you’re the only sun that their world revolves around; you’re the only human being they interact with all day. There is nothing more soul-crushingly enervating than having the self-imposed duty to entertain another person 24/7. Seriously. Get out as soon as you can. If you can’t, at least try to surround yourself with other people at every opportunity you get.
This is not about their IQ or GPA. This is about the quality of conversation that they are capable of. A person that holds the capacity to only discuss the latest episode of a reality television show, or gossip about how much weight someone has put on, or boast about how inebriated they got last weekend, is not friendship or relationship material. Oh, but these people will get along great with each other. That is, until one party stabs the other in the back (or another r/f’ship violation – see Point One).
This kind of intelligence can be constantly improved by books you read, people you meet, knowledge you acquire, etc., and is closely interrelated with your passion. Which is why generally, people with low intelligence have correspondingly low levels of passion. If your new friend’s sole hobby in life is getting trashed at a club, or keeping up with the Kardashians, you will not grow as a person with them in your life.
Sometimes it can be difficult to recognize the Unintelligent Person when you first meet them, because maybe you have a bit of an interest in something that consumes their entire life (‘Did you see that episode of The Bachelor? I can’t believe he didn’t give Tanya a rose!’). You may delve into a great conversation full of spark and magic, and you suddenly believe with all your heart that this is it, you’ve found your #soulmate! But alas, no. Because after ten more encounters with them, you have come to realize that they actually have no knowledge or interest in any other topic, on the face of the planet, in all the world’s history, to offer in a conversation.
Signs that this person won’t become a passive-aggressive bitch/verbally-abusive asshole two months down the line of being their BFF or S/O:
a) They laugh a lot at your jokes, and make funny jokes that aren’t condescending or rude, and laugh at themselves when they make a blunder;
b) They are spontaneous and open to trying new things (eagerness at the prospect of trying new food or leaving their activity-comfort-zone are always ideal);
c) They don’t make a big deal out something minor that you’ve done (this does not cover tardiness though, obviously. If they go ape-shit about your canceling plans on them last minute with any excuse other than a death in your immediate family, just get down on a knee and propose. Seriously. This person has got their shit together).
Despite the fact that we all need our friends and S/O to be serious with us when need be, you don’t need someone who is going to give us the cold shoulder for two weeks because you left the toilet seat up, or cry over spilt milk and then take it out on us. In my experience, those that are overly serious in their mannerisms and can’t comfortably relax and have a good time in their friend’s/boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s presence, tend to have borderline psychopathic tendencies. But beware: the more psychopathic they are, the better they are at hiding their non-light-heartedness at the beginning, sometimes for months and months. But the minute – nay, SECOND – you see a warning sign: ask yourself whether this is in character of them?; are they forming a bad habit?; do they have a reputation for doing this? (See above)
Good qualities in people are necessary to forming good bonds. Relationships and friendships have the resplendent ability to make or break you as a person. Either you will resultantly form better habits, be motivated to chase your passions and dreams, learn to take it easy, expand your horizons……… or you’ll be dragged down into the pits of empty mindlessness, or worse. Learn to identify a person’s qualities as early on as possible, because birds of a feather flock together – and you want to be part of the flock that’s flying in the right direction.