1. Do most of your friends share similar qualities, characteristics and core values? OR
2. Do you find your interests and way of life have veered in a different direction? OR
3. Do they, instead, reflect the kind of life and way of being you’d like to be experiencing?
There are many ways we become friends with others and many reasons why. Geographical location is one of the early factors that plays out in who is invited into our inner circle particularly when we are children. Sports, music and other outside activities create additional opportunities and have the added benefit of introducing us to people who share an interest with us. As we enter the professional world, we choose to add certain associates to our list of friends. Some friendships are longer lasting and others go by the wayside.
There are some relationships we hang onto out of habit. And there comes a time when it is worth doing an inventory to become aware of which ones support you and which ones drain you. You may choose to keep a long time friendship even if your core values or lifestyles have shifted and changed over the years. History has value and knowing someone over many years is worth preserving. But if you find someone is eating up a lot of your time, not reciprocating or doesn’t contribute something to your quality of life then perhaps it is time to consider if this is someone you want to continue to engage with.
Your friends can reveal a lot about who you are and what you are up to in your life. If most of them live in alignment with your core values then you have created a great support system for each other and the life you have designed for yourself up until now. There is comfort in being around like-minded people.
If you find yourself surrounded by a group of people who are living beyond your comfort zone in lives like you would prefer to be experiencing, then you’ve consciously or unconsciously set the stage for taking things to the next level. Being around a group that has taken life to the next level is great inspiration for creating shifts and changes necessary for you to step up your game.
There is no right or wrong way to approach friendship, but there is a way to be conscious about what you are choosing. You get a say in what your friendships cost you, if there are costs involved and how they feed you, when you choose cooperative relationships. This is simply one more area worth examining if you truly wish to design a life that supports your vision.
No matter what…celebrate friendship…it is one of the wonderful ways we connect with others and share our lives.