The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships.
When was the last time you talked to your best friend? How did you feel after that? I always feel inspired and uplifted when I talk to my best friends (I am very lucky to have a few very close friends in my life.)
People around us and especially our friends have a magnificent influence on our lives. They can cheer us up or bring us down, they can help us find our path in life or they can mislead us, they can be happy with us or they can spoil our happiness with jealousy and envy. These people can help us grow in life or they can be a heavy burden constantly pushing us down.
What kinds of people surround you? I know that sometimes it is difficult to answer this question. We all want to believe that our friends and people around us are the best but sometimes it is not so. People change and as you change over the years your friends change too.
If you are following a path of growth then you must be prepared to grow your relationships too. It means being a better friend in some situations, it means letting go off some relationships and it means being open to new relationships and friendships.
My life has changed a lot in the past two years and my relationships have changed a lot too. Getting married, becoming a mom, working from home, pursuing my passion and moving to a different country – all these factors changed my life completely. I know that I am not the same person that I was before and it means that all my relationships have been put to a test. If you start living a life that is completely different from the lives of your friends you will see how your entire world will shift and how desperately you will need to build new types of relationships.
- Be open to meet new people. No matter whether your life has changed or not, always be open to let new people into your life. They are like a fresh breeze on a hot day: they can inspire you, they can give you new ideas, they can become your new best friends, they can show you the world from a completely different angle or they can just fly by unnoticed. Don’t limit yourself to the circle of people you already know because then you will limit your own ways to grow.
- Make sure that you are a friend that you want to have. Are you always there for your friends? Do you help them? Do you actually listen to them? Can you accept and understand the changes that happened or are happening in their lives? Do you enjoy giving as much as receiving? Answer these questions for yourself first and see if maybe you are the one who needs to grow to the level of your friends.
- Explore new ways to make friends. New people won’t just miraculously appear in your life. If you want to meet somebody then you need to start exploring the world. You can make friends online, you can start a new hobby, you can volunteer or you can just start talking to a stranger who seem interesting to you. Be the one who starts the relationship, not the one who is waiting for something to happen.
- Let go of some people. Some people around us do nothing but hold us back. If you have a new idea then they know exactly why it won’t work. If you are happy then they bring you down. If you offer them help then they use you. They are the tag-along luggage that you are trying to take anywhere with you but that does not have anything valuable for your trip. Have enough courage to let go of these people (even if you knew them from kindergarten). It does not mean that you have to stop talking to them completely, just make a gradual change and decrease the amount of time that you spend together.
- Help your friends to grow. When you feel that you are on the right path of growth try to help your friends to find their path. Don’t preach to them and don’t make them follow your steps in life (your path is right only for you) but be there for them if they have questions. Be the best example for them without bragging or making them feel uncomfortable. Help them find their passion; give them support when they are making a risky move, encourage them when they feel down. This is what friends are for.
- Shift your “friendship focus.” You know a lot of people and some of them are your friends while others are just your acquaintances. Well, they can switch places in your life.
After I became a mom I realized that I didn’t have the same interests with one of my close friends (no more partying, no more long shopping trips, less time to spend together) but I have discovered that another friend (rather an acquaintance at that time) was going through the same changes as I did. Naturally she has moved to the top of my friends list because we had a lot in common, we knew each other for a long time and we had similar interests and problems in life (how to make you child sleep through the night, how to stay sane after a week with almost no sleep, how to find time for some adult communication, etc.)
- Look for people who help you focus in life. Focusing is one of the essential attributes of growth. Make friends with people who can help you focus and get closer with the people who help you concentrate in life.
- Look for specific traits in your friends. There is a saying that our friends are just the reflection of our own traits or traits that we want to develop in ourselves. Make a list of growth points for yourself and look for people who represent all those qualities. You will naturally adopt a new behavior simply by being with those people.
- Be genuine. No matter what you do and what friends you make, always be genuine. You can grow but you can’t become a different person overnight. Pretence and superficial behavior will only destroy you as a person. People around you deserve to know who you really are and make their own decision whether they want to be your friends or not. If you are genuine the right people will be naturally drawn to you.
- Keep it simple. Don’t get too serious about the whole friendship thing. Laugh, have fun, and be the fountain of energy and happiness. This is what friendship is all about – having a great time together and helping each other be the best you can be. Isn’t that simple?
Did you have to go through a major friendship change? Do your friends help you grow in life? Are you looking for new friends right now? Let’s connect here and see if we can build relationships that will help us grow.
Keep it balanced!