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Friendship, relationship advice: 6 types of people to keep close – USA TODAY


How many messages, DMs, voicemails, comments, emails or invitations do you ignore or decline daily? Most of us can agree that there aren’t enough hours in a day to be available for everyone! This means we must prioritize our activities and, most importantly, whom we spend our time with.
If you’re not sure which relationships to prioritize, here are six types of people to keep close:
People who tell us the truth. It’s essential that we can trust the people around us. Honesty is not just about someone refraining from lying or coming forward when they screw up; it’s also about finding a way to tell us truths that we don’t want to hear (but need to). It’s important to be around people who will call us out when we are wrong or heading down a path that they know is not leading to a destination we want. 
People who encourage and support you. Choose to be around those who will not feel threatened by your happiness or success. Find people who are as happy about your wins as they would be about their own. Surround yourself with those who believe in your skills, potential and vision as much as you do, and want to help you be the best version of yourself.  
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People who make space for your emotions. Many people are good at having stimulating conversations but lack the emotional availability needed to make space for how we feel. We all need people who respect our feelings understand that sometimes all we need is to be heard (not fixed). They will sit with us through the hard or painful moments. Such people serve as a source of support and can help us grow in our emotional maturity. 
People who model qualities you admire. If people we spend time with help shape who we become, we must make sure it’s people we want to be like. It’s great to have friends, mentors, colleagues and family members who have qualities we respect and want to develop. We can learn a lot by watching other people’s behaviors. 
People who understand and accept you. We can have many friends and social interactions without feeling like the people around us truly understand what it’s like to be us or accept who we are (in totality). We may hide certain parts of ourselves to maintain the image we think others will accept more readily, which can end up being isolating and exhausting. You deserve to be with people who see you and love you for who you are. Choose people who will not just let you be yourself but encourage it!
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People who show up authentically. Keep people around you who show up authentically. They will not only make space and encourage you to do the same, but they will be a safe space for you. The connection you build will them will feel more genuine, deep and meaningful. Having a community where everyone tries to practice authenticity is a community that will promote growth, vulnerability and transparency. 
We talk about having high (but realistic) dating standards; let’s remember to apply these criteria to every type of relationship in our life. Our time is valuable, so spend it on people who are worth it. 
Take a moment and think about the five people who take up most of your time. Now, think about the top 10 people you like spending time with. What qualities do they possess that you like or dislike? Are there people in your life that shouldn’t be there? Gather those answers and don’t be afraid to make some tough choices to change your life for the better. 
Sara Kuburic is a therapist who specializes in identity, relationships and moral trauma. Every week she shares her advice with our readers. Find her on Instagram @millennial.therapist. She can be reached at [email protected]
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