5 tips to find a supportive friend

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supportive friends
Malik Stalbert teaching martial arts

Many years ago when I was a teenager, a friend left me and another friend to fend off a group of guys looking for trouble. She got away and instead of acting on the danger she left us in, she went home and went to bed. When I asked her what she’d planned on doing, she said, “Oh, if I hadn’t of heard from you the next day, I would’ve done something.” Gee, thanks… so much for a supportive friend. Luckily, we got away unharmed.

During my discussion with Malik on his five action points, it didn’t surprise me when he said choose friends who have a sense of fight. Even though he’s a martial arts instructor, he’s not talking about physical fights. This week Malik Stalbert shares his Action 2. (Check out Action 1 at the end of the post).

Malik’s Action 2

You have to be able to show some sense of fight. Not physical fight. If you surround yourself with people who don’t have any fight in them, then you end up fighting and defending them. Don’t use your energy fighting your buddy’s battles.

Just think about a friend who you’ve spent a lot of time with because the person is in a negative situation. You spend half a year or more helping them to navigate through their stressful time. Then you discover that they went back to exactly what they were doing before. You wasted your energy to help them fight a battle that they didn’t follow through on.

You’ve got the right to complain as long as it goes toward understanding the problem and coming up with solutions; as long as you’re trying to fight I’ll be there for you and with you.

Qualities of a fight

  1. Understanding the tension that is involved and not trying to relieve the tension right away. That’s how it starts mentally.
  2. You should be able to fight with a friend verbally and keep your friendship intact. What happens too often, you become friends with people who don’t have that fight in them, so in order to get a response you start to get more aggressive and personal with them.
  3. Sometimes people don’t like verbal fights, and prefer to go back and forth with ideas on a subject – well, that’s still a fight, that’s just the Tai Chi version of a fight.
  4. Regardless of what you do in life, you will run into conflicts, so everyone has to fight at some point, but not everyone has fight. Some choose to run. Try to avoid the people who choose to run away.
  5. Just say you’re being held up and you know you’re out-gunned, and get away. Well, guess what… calling the cops means that you’re still fighting. If you run and hide in the closet and don’t tell anybody then that means you have no fight. The cops come to you and you say, “Oh, no, I don’t want any problems.” Well, that’s a problem.

I know that at some point in my life I will be in a fight, and I want people around me who trying understand how to protect themselves and support me. This helps both parties grow.

We dance around the word fight, but knowing your fight is important because we live in a world with all kinds of people. Seeing mental techniques of a fight is important to understand, especially in the world of business.

Here’s a story that will help you understand this point. I was at the tennis court and a police officer came by and he said, “I could kick you guys off because you’re guests here, but I see you’re not doing anything wrong.” But then he kept saying, you guys need to learn to respect people because you’re just guests here.

My friend is there and he belongs to this tennis club, so I said to my friend “Dude, why don’t you tell him you’re not a guest.” So, I turn to the officer and say “He actually belongs to this club.” So you see what’s happening, I’m fighting with the cop to let the officer know that my friend is a member and has the right to be here with the people who he’s with.

My friend decided not to fight, he decided to sit there and be beat down, and have his friends be called all types of names, and I wouldn’t let that stand. All he had to say was, “I’m a member of this club and these are my friends.” That’s all the fight he needed to clear up any misunderstanding. But, he didn’t.

We all need someone looking out for us. Be a supportive friend and stand up for your friends.

Remember… a great friend starts with you!

Go to Malik’s first Action “How to meet & make successful friends” and another inspiring post, “How do your work friends help you?“ We’d love to hear from you… send us your feedback!

Image courtesy: Image by Malik Stalbert

© Glenda Shaw_Superfriendgroups.com / GshawMedia 2014

Please note: I hide specific and identifiable details in my friend stories as these stories are examples of behavior and not meant to hurt anyone. These stories are based on my opinion and perspective, except when the people written about are in the public domain. Any advice in this blog is from my insights, research and opinion only, and must not be considered as legal or medical advice.

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