If They Gossip About Others, They'll Gossip About You Too
Generally, I love people. I love the uniqueness of what each individual can bring to the table, whether they teach you something, give you companionship, share a cup of coffee with you or just say nothing at all while you vent. Some friends can be great sounding boards. But it should be even more than that---a bond, a 'knowing' that, "Hey, I got your back--" and a trusting of some kind. For me that's important. That's what I look for in a friend. Humor is a plus. But sometimes, humor isn't needed 24/7. Too much humor can belittle someone else's feelings sometimes...depends on what it is of course.
Through experience, I've learned a few things. This may sound blunt, but this is how I think and sometimes, I'm wrong. As a Christian, I don't bring up God to my friends or try to get them to hop on the bandwagon to get baptized and start dancing in some born again church somewhere. If they ask me about my relationship with God, I am more than happy to answer. I'm not ashamed of God---as you can see from my blog. Most of my close friends and family know about my blog, so they have all the info they need if they want to know where I stand. Religion and politics should kinda be on the back burner. If you want someone to know about your God or spiritual practices, then just be a good example of it.
Sexual (Unnecessary) Stories
Anything of a sexual nature makes me uncomfortable. For instance, detailed events of what you did last night is none of my business. In light 'general speaking of'---that's fine. But detailed smut---please no. I don't want to visualize my friends in any sexual extravaganza, or if they were hanging off the chandeliers in leather suits. Save it, with all due respect.
The Childless Giving Parental Advice
There's also an unspoken rule about people giving advice about parenting. If you don't have kids, your advice should be taken with a grain of salt. Sorry, but that's the way it works. I could never tell some mother or father how to raise their child. Never. I can listen, have a compassionate ear, maybe tell my thoughts if asked, but I am not the person to rely on for parental advice. People who jump at the chance to tell you how to parent, when they have no children are not the right ones to talk to.
If They Gossip About Others, They'll Gossip About You
The 'Entertaining' Pathological Liars
In the bigger scheme of things, it's always great to be welcoming. I always say, give everyone the benefit of the doubt until they show you otherwise. But if they've already shown you their true colors more than once, don't try to paint another picture of them. You can either just accept them (with the knowledge of never divulging personal info) and keep it kind of surfaced, or you can simply get the hell outta Dodge!