Monday, September 16, 2013

A Better Class of Friends (Part 2)

Yesterday, I talked about how the better class of friends acts.  If you didn't read it, click on the link and check it out. 

Today, I want to talk about the kinds of friendships we need to rethink. 

Real friendships with quality people take time but shallow friendships with lower quality people seem to be instant.  Real friends have differences and hurdles and friends work through these much like they would in a romantic relationship.  A quality person will not always demand to have their way, is great at overlooking offenses and they won't have a problem saying they are sorry. 

It's not the fucking up that gets you - everyone fucks up. The thing that will separate the men from the boys (or the higher quality friends from the lower) is whether we recognize that we did fuck up, apologize for it and, if necessary, make restitution.  

The better class of friends will be the ones that easily extend grace and, as my friend Kimber likes to say, "give people room to be human."

I'd like to paint a picture of what a less-than-stellar friend looks like:
  • They are usually seeking for you to do something for them or to listen to their problems. This isn't in proportion with the amount of time they seek to listen to yours or helping you accomplish a task.
  • They do not apologize when they are wrong and act as though they do not care if you are their friend or not. These friends are flippant about keeping or losing a friendship with you and others. 
  • If they damage, destroy or in some way cost you, they don't try to repair, replace or make restitution for your loss. 
  • They speak to you in a less than respectful way.
  • There always seems to be drama between them and others.
  • There always seems to be conflict between them and others.
  • They have substance abuse problems.
  • They self-sabotage their own happiness and act like there are forces beyond their control keeping them from the thing that they want. They just want your sympathy and attention.
  • They think that "everyone" is crazy or stupid.  How can everyone be?  When everyone else is the negative and you are the only positive, you are probably the negative.
  • They speak negatively.
  • They do not have goals.
  • They are not interested in growing, learning or changing.
  • They are not interested in your growth, your education and your self-improvement or what their role in that might be.
  • They don't offer to lift you up in any way. 
  • When you do need help, they offer words (which cost them nothing) but not actions (which take time, energy and resources).
Anton Chekhov wrote a series of letters to his brother, Nikolai.  In one of them, he addressed this issue when he wrote of 8 qualities of "cultured people" so that his brother could start developing these qualities and surrounding himself with the same type of company.  He knew what all successful people know - that you become like the people you surround yourself with.  

Chekhov wanted his brother to know that what he was lacking was the ability to distance himself from people who did not have his best interest at heart or who were simply ignorant fools who don't care to be better. 
"He who walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm."- Prov. 13:20
You see, it doesn't really matter where you start, because you can always be better if you want to.  But some people are scared to step up and move into a different realm.  They lack the confidence to make changes because they fear that they might leave their old friends behind.  And it's so damn easy to just stay comfortable with the people you know that you are better than.  You will always be a big fish in a small pond when you only keep the company of people who don't challenge you.  

Jim Rohn once said "You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”.  Do you think those 5 people are the best people you can be around?  Or are they the 5 people that require the least amount of effort to be around?  

Take some time to start cultivating a better class of friends.  If you don't have any, start by becoming one to your friends.  You become better and then, you will have no problems attracting better people in your life.

1 comment:

Ande said...

Sad to say, this was me for years. Even romantically speaking being with losers was easy. Luckily, my better friends never gave up on me and now if you added five of them together and i compared i would be one happy girl. Its good to be around people who help you, motivate you and challenge you to be the best you that you can be. Keep rockin the blog.