How important is it to create and foster deep friendships and relationships with the right people in life?
I’m sure everyone can relate to the fact that as we get older and busier with families and increasingly demanding schedules, it becomes difficult to maintain as many friendships as we once did, and to do so in any meaningful way.
Friendships and relationships take effort, energy, time and emotion to maintain, develop and keep alive. If we don’t actively invest in them, they can often resemble a living organism or a plant.
If we’re not watering it, giving it nutrients and maintaining it, it can fade and falter.
As we grow older, our friendships with people in our lives will change. Some will fall, and we may even consciously make decisions not to spend time with people that aren’t growing in the same direction as we are.
Being around certain people might become negative and even toxic in our lives. In that case, it’s imperative that we realize we can’t change them, but we’ll need to spend far less time around them or even remove them from our lives because of the negative impact it has.
The number of people who you become close friends with will start to shrink and firm up, and the more adversity or things that we go through and experience in our journey, the more clearly we’ll see who our true and genuine friends really are.
This is entirely okay.
We need to remember and accept that it’s not about how many people that we stay in touch with regularly, but it’s rather the quality of these relationships and friendships that we deliberately choose to invest in that really makes a difference.
I’m finding it increasingly difficult to maintain the level of engagement with many of my older friends as I once had simply due to how busy I have become.
However, I have been very up front and honest about this with my friends, and they understand that I am in laser-focused, hyper-growth mode and really trying to build something great here in the world with a huge vision and tenacious commitment.
Life has seasons and sacrifices. The key is balancing everything to meet your priorities and values.
What’s remarkable is that I have many friends that, although we might not see each other or talk on the phone as much as we might like, no matter how much time elapses when we get back together, it’s like we never missed a beat. It’s right back to where we were last time.
The level of rapport, connectedness and just the enjoyment of each other’s company and the fun that we’ve always had is so real and strong that it stands up to the test of time. It doesn’t necessarily fade or lessen with distance and time apart.
Today I want to challenge you to take time to invest in doing a bit of an audit on your friendships and the people you deliberately place and allow into your life.
Remember, we want to always ensure that these people are having a positive effect on our life experience, and that we’re able to contribute and have a positive effect on theirs as well, in a supportive and mutually-beneficial friendship.
If these things aren’t true, it’s important to take swift action and accept that sometimes things change in life. Sometimes things can’t be forced in the name of friendship or because of history that you might have.
It’s okay to do that.
It’s okay to remove yourself and be very focused on the short list of people you are going to invest your time and energy in, the people with whom you are going to maintain a friendship and relationship.
This is important, as friendships and relationships are all about reciprocity and mutual uplift. If that’s not there, and if things have changed or evolved, that’s okay, but we need to recognize it.
“When you choose your friends, don’t be short-changed by choosing personality over character.”
—W. Somerset Maugham
It’s not about how many people that we stay in touch with regularly, but it’s rather the quality of these relationships and friendships that we deliberately choose to invest in that really makes a difference.
Who are your closest friends? Do you lift each other up or tear each other down? Is your relationship built on trust and honesty, or drama and pain? Try making a list of your friends and writing down key words that describe your relationship with each person and see what comes up.
Did you reach out to someone today? How did you build on a healthy friendship today?