I finally completed the book, How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free and one of the keys to optimizing happiness in retirement is to cultivate quality friendships with a few happy and interesting people. The book points out that quality is more important than quantity and that people who try to have too many friends will hinder their happiness because they will spread themselves too thin among too many individuals.
The author recommends surrounding oneself with people who are warm, kind and have a fresh perspective on life in general. I have to admit that I am very lucky and have a few friends that I have known for over twenty five years. Below are some of the other qualities the author feels are important to have in a friend:
A true friend continues to like you whether or not you end up rich or poor, likes you despite your achievements, will not abuse you in any way, will not take advantage of you in times of weakness, will not desert you when you are down, is someone with whom you can be sincere and vulnerable, is a confidant who won’t tell your most personal secrets to someone else, will defend you in your absence when someone says something nasty about you and will get you to laugh when you become too serious about life.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson used to say “the only way to have a friend is to be one”.