5 Little-Known Signs Someone Is Worth Your Time and Energy
Life’s too short to spend it with the wrong people.
Connecting with others can be a huge source of joy, but also means investing time and energy — and as any good investor, you want to get the most bang for your buck.
New friendships are like wine. No matter how fancy the bottle, if there was contamination in the beginning, it will turn into sour vinegar. You don’t want to pour blood, sweat, and tears into something only to flush it down the drain.
But if you screen people right, you can forge a strong connection that lasts a lifetime — here are five signs someone’s worth bonding with.
They Share This Characteristic with Dogs
Have you ever noticed how a dog gets excited if you act like something awesome happened, even though they have no clue what’s going on? They’re happy because you’re happy — which is one of the most accurate indicators of a true friend.
When I got into writing and coaching, most people were supportive. They encouraged me, wanted to know more, or even offered to reach out to someone who had taken the same path so I could ask a few questions. However, there was one guy who didn’t share the euphoria.
When I told him, he said the idea was doomed from the beginning and I’d never make money from it. Being skeptical is fine and I don’t want my friends to kiss my ass, but that was a red flag. Despite my excitement, he was dismissive — he wouldn’t let me be happy because he wasn’t either.
If someone doesn’t get excited when things go well for you, chances are they secretly want to see you fail.
It’s a cliché, but life’s too short to deal with haters. Surround yourself with people who root for you. You can’t always succeed, but at least people will have your back instead of stabbing it.
“A friend is someone who makes it easy to believe in yourself.”
— Heidi Wills
They Focus on Giving Instead of Getting
This isn’t about having the best birthday gifts, but a better attitude.
People who constantly worry about getting their fair share operate from a scarcity mindset. To them, there aren’t enough resources — which means one has to lose for another to win.
Not only do people with a scarcity mindset have lower intelligence, limited problem-solving abilities, and a harder time controlling their impulses, but they also focus on what they lack.
An abundance mindset is the complete opposite. These people aren’t just more fun to share pizza with, but also celebrate your success, look for solutions instead of problems, and focus on appreciating what they have. It’s a much more positive view of the world.
In the past, I focused on what I could get out of a relationship instead of giving, which led me to people who operated from the same place of scarcity as me. But when I started my Instagram account six months ago, I focused on providing value to others. This led to awesome connections that skyrocketed my growth and business.
The next time you meet someone, pay close attention to their behavior.
- Do they give without expecting anything in return?
- Do they compare themselves to others or are they happy being themselves?
- Are they grateful for what they have or do they complain about everything they don’t?
Life is full of goodness, so connect with people who see it that way.
They Deal with Problems and Drama the Right Way
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
— Mike Tyson
Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Shit happens, but how people deal with it tells you a lot about them.
I’ve lived on three continents and met thousands of people. I’ve bawled my eyes out when I hit rock-bottom and watched others do the same. I’ve faced tons of problems and challenges, whether in my own life or with the people I coach. Here’s what I’ve learned:
The only way to deal with problems is to look for solutions. The only way to deal with drama is to avoid it like a vegan a butcher shop.
After I broke up with my ex, a personified drama queen, I introduced a strict zero-drama policy. If I meet someone who likes to complain, I turn around like Bonnie Tyler and run like Usain Bolt. My life has been better ever since.
You’ll never run out of problems, but you can choose if you sulk in the negativity or look at the bright side. Drama doesn’t improve the situation, but amplifies the negative aspects. Stay clear of it.
When you meet someone, pay attention to their attitude — do they want to solve their problems, or do they enjoy the mud bath?
They Stand by Their Word like a Redwood Tree
Trust is the most important ingredient in any human relationship.
What good is it if Leonardo DiCaprio wants to be your friend, but doesn’t show up or tells your deepest secrets to Robert De Niro? The rule is simple: If you can’t rely on someone, don’t hang with them.
Unfortunately, you often don’t know this until shit hits the fan and you need to call them at 3 am to help you hide a body.
However, there are a few clues to look for.
- Do they show up on time?
- Do they follow up with what you agreed on or do you need to remind them?
- Are they there for you when you need them or does their goldfish need intensive medical care all of a sudden?
I’ve had a few serious talks with my friends about integrity before — because if you can’t rely on someone’s word, what’s the point in the friendship?
Surround yourself with people you can trust.
They Treat Service Staff Well (Because That’s How They Will Eventually Treat You)
This one can tell you a lot about a person in three seconds flat.
I’ve worked in cafes and bars for years, serving anyone from crying 4-year-olds over raging alcoholics to lovely grandmas with yappy dogs. Regardless of who you are, nothing screams “I’m an asshole with self-esteem issues” more than being condescending to service staff. Yet, most people are completely oblivious to it.
“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
— J.K. Rowling
Service staff gets paid to make the customer feel good, so they have a disadvantage in the game. The customer has more power, which contrary to popular belief doesn’t corrupt, but merely shows someone’s true face.
In any relationship, there will come a time when the other holds more power — whether it be because you need something or owe them a favor. If you want to know how they’ll treat you, look at how they treat the ones carrying the trays.
Please and thank you aren’t just basic courtesy but should also be a requirement to enter your circle of friends.
Bonus: Your Interactions Give You That Certain Feeling
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell a person’s true character by just watching them.
Some people are great con artists. They’ve played the social game for long enough to know what they have to say and do to come across as sympathetic. But there’s a clue that’s hard to fake.
Pay close attention to how you feel after the interaction.
Do you feel energized, happy, and better than before? Or do you feel drained, down, and worse off?
There are two reasons why you should pay close attention to this.
First, there’s a hearty amount of neuroscience explaining how and why your gut feeling can be a great indicator of what’s good for you. Not every piece of information reaches you on a conscious level — some exists only in the subconscious, but that doesn’t make it any less important. You often pick up on seemingly insignificant cues and your gut feeling brings them to your attention.
Second, life’s too short to spend it with people who don’t make you feel good. Even if someone is great on paper — what’s it worth if you aren’t a good fit and you feel drained every time you talk? The people you hang out with should enrich your life, not take away from it.
Human relationships aren’t always rational — sometimes, you have to go with what feels right.
Summary to Help You Find the Right Tribe
It’s hard to tell in the beginning if someone is worth connecting — but there are a few signs that will make the decision easier.
- They get excited when you’re happy
- They focus on giving instead of receiving
- They solve problems and avoid drama
- They have integrity and you can trust their word
- They treat service staff well
- You feel better after you spent time with them
The people you choose can make or break you, so choose wisely.
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