Guide to Cultivating Fabulous Friendships
Choose friends wisely. Focus your energy on people who make you feel good.
We all know the saying, “you can’t choose your family”. So, make sure you’re smart and choose friends who are worthy of your valuable time and attention. It sounds harsh, but you cannot keep every friend you have ever made. No one has the time and energy for that. If you don’t consciously choose which relationships to focus on, you’ll spread yourself too thin and you’ll have less to give to those who deserve it most.
Do not be fooled by glamour and street cred. A person’s behavior is much more important than their words or how they represent themselves. Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be. Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you. People who make your day a little sunnier, simply by being in it.
Make time. Prioritize Relationships.
If you have to really think about the last time you were in contact with a friend, then it was too long ago. Life can run at a crazy pace. We may think of people, then something comes up and we never call them. The month ends, another comes along, and again that call is never made. This is how relationships peter out. It starts to feel easier to walk away than struggle back through the neglect.
Don’t fall into the habit of thinking I’ll “try and find the time”. It’s a cop-out. You cannot find time. You make time. Every day you decide where to put your attention, and those activities will in turn create your day, your week and eventually your life. Be mindful of where you focus your time and energy. Does this match your values and how you want your life to be? There’s no use saying “my family and friends are the most important thing” if you work 80 hours a week and never see them. Be conscious of how you spend your time and choose to prioritize the people in your life.
The easiest way to make time for friends is to organize future gatherings while you are all together. Make time for that first meeting, and then work out the timing of the next one. That way you’ll manage to regularly see each other and there is less stress all round. The reality is most of our relationships need work. Make the time to send an email or give a quick phone call to show your friends they matter. Otherwise how will they know?
Treat others how you want to be treated.
This is one of the first lessons my mother taught me, and it is probably the most important. You may have heard of the law of attraction, which states that what we project to the world will be sent right back to us. This means you must decide what qualities are important to you, because you cannot receive what you do not give.
Personally, I don’t think you can go past honesty, loyalty and integrity as a foundation for choosing friends. Be considerate. Don’t make plans you won’t keep. Be a safe haven for your friends, someone they can rely on. What qualities rank highly for you? Do you just want some laughs every now and then, or people who will be there for you when life throws you a curve ball?