We've done several articles on the rules we should all live by as men, but today may be the most important. As guys, we all have heard about the "Guy Code," but that typically only involves rules that are trying to keep men out of trouble with women. We wanted to look at the Male Friendship Code today even though we couldn't think of a better name than that. The MFC is a guide to how men should interact in their friendships with other guys. Follow these rules, and you'll strengthen friendships and probably be the coolest guy you know.
All you have to do is follow these 5 simple rules to every male friendship:
1. Never talk down or insult your friends to a woman. Never say anything negative about one of your friends to a woman. And by women we mean all women including, but not limited to, the following:
- Your girlfriend
- Their girlfriend
- Their ex-girlfriend(s)
- Your mother
- Some lady you work with
- Any woman
If you want to be a good friend, you should always have your buddy's back. Rumors and negative talk will always happen, but you don't need to contribute to the gossip. To be clear, it's totally acceptable to insult each other since that's how guys show that they like each other. Not every guy is like this, but in general, if you joke around with another guy then you like them.
Unless you're a bully; then you should just stop and go seek counseling. Jerk.
2. Always make time for your friends, even when you're in a relationship. One of the cardinal rules that a lot of men break is the availability rule. Yes, you aren't going to have as much time for your guy friends when you have a girlfriend and (eventually) a wife, but that doesn't mean you should have no time at all for them.
This is usually a source of contention in your male-female dating relationships, so a good rule of thumb is to not give in to the euphoria of a new relationship. Guys are all too often seduced by the thrill and excitement of a new relationship and forget that they need to pace themselves in any new dating adventures. If you spend six days a week with someone the first month you know them, a move to a more normal dating schedule becomes more difficult after that honeymoon stage is inevitably over. Don't consider a normal 1-2 times a week dating schedule to be a disappointment, think of it as a chance to get to know your new significant other while still maintaining the rest of your social life.
If you can keep this up, you and your girlfriend/eventual wife will be accustomed to cherishing the time you get to spend with each other and you'll still have those moments that you can only have with the guys (and her with the girls). Wins all around!
3. Encourage your friend's dreams at all times, even if they're stupid. Yes, your best friend's new business idea for a grilled cheese sandwich shop or a rubber band shaped like the logo for the Denver Broncos may sound really stupid, but you should always support your friends. When someone decides to take a leap of faith and start a business or cross a solo-sailing trip around the world off their bucket list, they're all but guaranteed to hear criticisms from people all around them. As a friend, you should be a person they can bounce ideas off of, talk through their plans with, and help keep them excited about their dreams.
Now, to be clear, the "stupid dreams" you should support don't include them wanting to be the next Heisenberg or cheating on their spouse. Those are truly ridiculous things that should be discouraged, and if they keep pursuing them you have the right to punch them in the face.
Not all dreams come to fruition, but sometimes just talking through their goals is all they need to be happy as they keep their hopes alive. And hey, sometimes a grilled cheese shop and a rubber band company actually work out, so you'll look like a great friend and might land a cushy CFO position since you were the only one encouraging them in the first place.
4. ABW - Always Be (a) Wingman. Like Goose and Maverick in Top Gun, you should always have each other's backs. Well, I guess we should say like Goose and Maverick until Maverick decided to be an idiot and got Goose killed. Don't kill your wingman.
With that being said, this rule doesn't mean you should always try to hook up your friend with every girl you meet. It is really an explanation of how your overall relationship should look with your friends. We already know that you shouldn't say negative things about your friends to girls, but it's OK to make fun of your friends one-on-one (see: Rule #1). This rule just clarifies that if there are women around that either one of you may be interested in, you should be doing your part to make your friend look good, and he should be doing the same for you. Whether or not you end up dating any of the girls that you're being encouraging too, you'll still look infinitely better in their eyes since you won't come across as frat-boy idiots who are only concerned with making themselves look good enough to not be repulsive to women at the expense of their friends.
Don't be repulsive guys, ABW.
5. The Led Zeppelin Rule. You need to be a friend in Good Times, Bad Times (get it?). All puns aside, this is the most important rule. We all have good periods in our lives, and periods where we are nearly insufferable to be around. When your friends are at their lowest, you should be at your best. It's as simple as that. You may not realize it, but you and your friends have formed a bond that can help get each other through any situation as long as you all put forth your best effort when they need it most. It's a gift, use it.
Bonus: Greet your friend's new girlfriend with something really uplifting. Anytime you meet your friend's new girlfriend, treat her right and make your buddy look good in the process. If you say something like “so this must be the the girl you’re always bragging about” it will go a long way in your friendship with the new girl. And remember, that new girl may eventually become the new wife and if she likes you, you'll have a better chance of your friend not breaking the availability rule (see: Rule #2).
Keep these rules sacred guys, and we'll all be more fun to be around.