Extra Virgin :: The Best Advice for Friendship
The first time I had a conversation with Logan I remember being struck by how much and how lovingly he spoke about his friends. He mentioned his family, too, in a way that endeared me to him, but I could tell that his friends were equally important to him. As I got to know him better, I discovered that his friend group was something special—loyal, vibrant, like-minded—but also a place where there was almost perpetual discussion, confrontation and challenge. They were always pushing each other, listening to each other, calling each other out—but in a way that ultimately felt very safe and nourishing.
I remember Logan looking at me one time and saying, “Make sure you get friends who are better than you. Never let yourself be the best person in the circle.” Over the years, I’ve realized what good advice this is. It can be very uncomfortable to put yourself in a position where you’re not the smartest/funniest/kindest person in the group, but if you do this, you will become a better person by nature of rubbing shoulders with these better people.
Yesterday, I found this quote in a newsletter from Cup of Jo ::
“You won’t understand what I mean now, but someday you will: the only trick of friendship, I think, is to find people who are better than you are — not smarter, not cooler, but kinder, and more generous, and more forgiving — and then to appreciate them for what they can teach you, and to try to listen to them when they tell you something about yourself, no matter how bad — or good — it might be, and to trust them, which is the hardest thing of all. But the best, as well.” — Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life
This is some of the best life advice I can think of. Get friends who are better than you are and then learn from them.