Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What to Do About "Fair Weather" Friends

Remember all those times growing up when your mother pointed a finger and said "You are the company you keep"? She was right.

Time is precious which makes selecting friends an important, selective process. But how do you know who your real friends are?

One word: listen. If you spend enough time letting people talk, they will always show you who they really are. I'm not a fan of "fair weather" friends, people who are there to do lunch and shopping on a Saturday but have an early morning and are too busy to talk on a Sunday when you're having a serious family issue.

No one said friends have to be therapists. Friends who drain you of life energy with their endlessly dramatic "Woe is me" stories are not friends you need. Neither are the "Yeah, but..." friends. These are the people who bring you their troubles and no matter how many solutions you offer (hell, Oprah could be standing in front of them offering solutions), their response is always the same: "Yeah, but..."

Being a true friend is about being supportive,
not getting used.

In the same vane, eliminate your "fair weather" friends, the people who'll stay on the phone for hours seeking YOUR advice but always have to go after five minutes when you have a problem that needs solving or the friends who love to be friends when there's no significant other in the picture. However, once the next 'flavor of the month' comes along, they drop you like it's hot... or the friends who love to have you as a friend because you are Mrs. or Mr. So & So with Such & Such firm, living in a prestigious neighborhood, driving the fancy car. Once your social status goes, so will they.

So why am I talking about friendship on a site dedicated to building extraordinary success?

Because you are the company you keep. If you're expending your energy worried about other people's problems, annoyed by other people's lack of empathy, embroiled in 'Keeping up with the Jones', where's the energy to pursue your dreams?

The people in your inner circle will either help you or hurt you; there is no neutral. Be sure your friends are built-in sources of inspiration, aspiration and joy.

If they bring more grief than comic relief,
kick them to the curb!

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