Have you ever noticed how often we ask the question... Who is a friend to me? We catch ourselves thinking more about how we should be treated, rather than how we treat others; Getting caught up in our image and what people think of us rather than building solid relationships.
It is funny how I am finding lately, the older I get the less significant this stuff becomes. I am loosing interest in looking absolutely perfect all the time, and have stopped caring so much about what others think. You may also find that when you get past say the mid-twenties, you find yourself looking back and wondering why you put yourself through so much pressure to perform.
It's not worth it. What really counts at the end of it all, is your character. Have you stopped to consider how you might treat others? Are you a friend to someone, a good friend at that? Because when all is said and done, what do your choices say about you?
You don't have to spread yourself thin. You don't have to please everyone either. That is a really draining and impossible task. It is better to give more of yourself to less people, than spits and spurts to many. You can be a good friend to one or two people, invest into their life and genuinely love them, without feeling void for your effort.
Having said that, you can still enjoy socialising within large circles of friends, as long as you have solid boundaries.
Here are some great tools to keep under your belt when it comes to building social skills, and reliable friendships:
- Be available, but with a limit. Know your boundaries.
- If you are meeting with someone who has the potential to drain your energy, make sure you have plans an hour or so afterwards. This way you can keep a limit on how much of your time they take up.
- Don't look for validation in your friends. Know who you are as a whole individual, don't base your identity on other people (even your close friends).
- Don't 'need' people. Love them and let them go. Be freely giving of your time (within your limits) and don't expect anything back in return.
- When it comes to your close friends, don't expect them to perform for you or meet certain needs, unless you have both clearly communicated each other's expectations and come to an agreement (be careful not to treat these agreements as law – a friendship should be freeing, not bounding). Don't place pressure on yourself or others to be a certain way for a friendship to work.
- Be accepting, look past people's flaws (as you would like others to look past yours) and think the best of people. If someone offends you, let it go. If it continues to happen, communicate your concerns, but don't put pressure on them to change their opinions or views.
- If you find that a friendship is causing you constant angst, it is ok to remove yourself from that relationship. Just do it in a gentle manner.
- Give people room to make mistakes. Nobody gets it right all the time.
- Don't be manipulative. Learn how to be at peace with yourself and others, so you can enjoy relationships without feeling the need to control the situation.
Be inspired today, or better yet, be the inspiration!
Love Heids Xx