Friends to Keep, Friends to Avoid

Be conscious of who draws you and who not.
–Rumi

Find out what a great Buddhist teacher and master has to say about the kinds of friends to cultivate, and the ones to avoid. What kind of friend are you? What kinds of friends do you have?

Good friends can help us discover our capacity for connection. Get some wise guidance about the true nature of healthy friendship here–and then pass it along to your friends.

Kinds of Friends to Cultivate

1. Friends that help us tell right from wrong. They let us know when our conduct is admirable and are not afraid to tell us when we behave poorly. Such friends help us to stay on the right path.

2. Friends that are compassionate and caring. They give us moral support during our trying times. They are also happy for us when we are doing well.

3. Friends that are always ready to extend a helping hand. They are pillars of strength. They help us stay focused and come to our aid when we are lost.

4. Friends that share our aspirations. Such friends provide us with encouragement and are not hesitant to share their time and resources.

Kinds of Friends to Avoid

1. Friends that never show their true intentions. These people are not trustworthy or sincere and take advantage of others with no remorse.

2. Friends that are envious of others’ good fortune and success. They constantly wallow in bitterness and resentment.

3. Friends that have hearts of stone. They only think about themselves and fail to see or care about others’ predicaments.

4. Friends that do not acknowledge their own mistakes. They are quick to place blame on others, instead of being willing to learn and grow from their own foolish conduct.

5. Friends that refuse to accept advice from others. Their minds are closed and their character is arrogant.

Although we should still show kindness and compassion to all of these people, it is not wise to keep their company. Friendships should be based on mutual affinity, not one-sided effort. Real friendships are an actual and resounding expression of true joy.

Adapted from Living Affinity, by Hsing Yun (Lantern Books, 2004). Copyright (c) 2004 by Hsing Yun. Reprinted by permission of Lantern Books.
Adapted from Living Affinity, by Hsing Yun (Lantern Books, 2004).

49 comments

Marianne Good
Past Member 3 years ago

Thanks for sharing

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

K W.
K W.3 years ago

Good advice.

Sandi C.
Sandi C.3 years ago

a true friend stands by you and listens.

Edvanir L.
Edvanir L.3 years ago

Theresa is right. Not all advice is worthy to follow. We have to be careful here.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.3 years ago

Hmmm... Friends that don't accept advice from others. I don't accept advice when I feel that following such advice would make me unhappy. Am I selfish and a person to avoid?

Elisabeth T.
Elisabeth T.3 years ago

Good info, thank you

Fi T.
Fi T.3 years ago

That's for colouring our life

Elisa Faulkner- Uriarte
Elisa F.3 years ago

Good stuff. Thanks :)