There’s an old saying “tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell who you are”.
Lots of motivational speakers like to drop that line and make people feel like the power to push your life in the direction that you choose is up to the circle that you curate. While there are elements of truth in the transference of energy and the ability of friends to both open and close doors to an extent. The uncomfortable truth is. You are who you REALLY you are.
Let’s examine some things.
What do you value?
I have friends that I can call anytime, and I also have friends that have to call me… Among all of them the common threads are loyalty, kindness and solidarity. In all cases the diversity of my friend base has helped me learn to survive/thrive in many situations, from knowing what to do while staring down the barrel of an AK-47 (I’ll tell that story one day) to how to make a great impression at a country club fundraiser. If you surround yourself with people that care about you and want to see you live and succeed, then it doesn’t really matter how many connections they have that you can use. They love you and they do things for you because they feel like it.
I had a professor tell me that she curates her networking list to only people that she believes would do a favor for her. While I’m sure that she thinks that this is a very business savvy idea, she’s one of the most friendless people I’ve ever met. Out of respect for her I refrained from commenting but I wanted to tell her. “Don’t you know people don’t like you for real?” Her whole life as she’s described it is a series of transactions. She counts every thank you she receives and notes every let down. She values favor trades and not the genuine connection. Real friends couldn’t tell you if you’re even or not. In this case her friends may be seeking a genuine connection, but she’s undeniably a user.
Where are you going?
Life is a journey with highs and lows. If the only time that you show love is when you’re in the high points, you’ll find that time will take you and those that you’ve connected with to your own versions of low points. Just because a person is not doing what you are doing, doesn’t mean that they are not a positive piece in your life puzzle. What does any of their life decision have to do with your standing on your own principles and decision making skills? If you do things because other people do things then that just makes you a follower.
How do you see yourself?
There’s always someone better, and there’s always someone worse. If you have a hard time accepting this fact then this piece very well may define you. Being the person that lives on one end of the spectrum or the other is going to prove to be hard to find people that want to be around you. In those cases, real friends are the least of your worries, and probably few and far in-between.
If you only find your self worth in what others say about you, where you get invited or how many times you get picked over someone else, it’s really easy to help you figure out who you really are underneath everything shiny… a nobody or even worse, a slave to the favor of others. That means that nothing that you do is juts for you. Your inner art has been squelched by your need to be liked.
What’s the point?
It’s not that your friends define you, it’s that who you are determines who will be in your presence. So don’t even waste your time trying to solve your problems of how people see you with getting certain people out of your life. Concentrate on the one thing in this world that you have control of, who you really are. In owning up to how much of this equation belongs to you, you’ll find that you attract other responsible, accountable, and honest people while people that don’t mesh well with that energy will fade to black on their own.
… but that’s just how I feel about it. Tell me what you think in the comment section. I look forward to the conversation.