The older I get, the more nit-picky I get when it comes to spending time with people. Remember the time when we used to hang out with everybody and anybody and we just *enjoyed* ourselves and the overall meeting of different people?
Yeah I can't really remember that time either.
If you're like me, and you need lots of resting / alone time, and borderlining grandma vibes already (I define "grandma" as being in bed by 9pm) you will not have that much free time to simply see ALL your people.
Perhaps you make a point to see your friends once a week, or maybe once a month...or maybe you are the type that needs to see your friends every day - wherever you place yourself on this spectrum, i'm on the side of the spectrum that is flagged "introvert". Which basically means, hanging out with people drains my energy. I am generally very outgoing and friendly, so I don't seem like the typical stereotypical introvert, but alas, I am.
Because of this, I have become very selective with my time.
There is a saying that goes "We are the 5 people we are most closest to"
And to me, that saying says a lot about who you are more than anything else.
Sometimes, in order to move forward in life, those 5 people might have to be upgraded at certain points of your life in order for #growth to happen.
I'm not really the type that makes an audit of the people I spend time with. If they're fun to hang out with, i'll hang out with them. If we vibe, we vibe. Pretty straightforward. I don't really analyze carefully what they say, how they behave, and how they affect me.
However, when I take a step back to reflect and look at the state of my life (in this case, my social life) i've identified the people that inspire me, and the ones I feel "pull me back".
I now gravitate towards people with "Positive Attitude towards Life with a Strong Desire to Improve Themselves" sprinkled with people who are "inspiring, knowledgable and fun".
Whilst growing up - my teenage years to my young adult life, I had all sorts of friends, from all backgrounds, all walks of life, with a variety of lifestyles and ideologies. During this stage of my life, which I call the "people exploration phase" I got to know very interesting and sometimes, terrible characters.
Now that I entering the Grandma phase, it's unlikely that i'm able to practice this sort of "open call friendships".
Whether we like it or not, some people aren't a good influence on you - some friends aren't good for you. I've learned this the hard way when I took a closer look at myself and my life, and identified what I wanted in life.
Of course, the TOXIC, mean, bitchy sort of people are definitely the people to stay away from no matter what - but in this case i'm talking about those in the grey zone. The one's who you love and care about but as you grow older you see patterns in their behaviour towards life, towards themselves and towards the people around them that aren't super great. This is not an easy subject to discuss. We choose the people we want to hang out with, we choose the people we spend our precious time with. Who we choose to spend time with reflects on who we are as people.
Essentially, it all depends on what you want in your life.
In these few years of reaching my 30's, i've set goals and objectives of what i'd like to achieve and set strategies in place to get there. There are not THAT BIG of goals, just the everyday needs and wants of most millennial women I know - i've set a few areas of focus that I want to address. Sadly, there are certain people in my life who mock me or put me down when I talk about "goals" as a subject - safe to say i stay away from these sort of people. When this happened to me, I felt disheartened by the reaction and started to feel embarrassed to have thought that someone like me should even have "goals". I couldn't fathom why my own friends would be so disapproving or negative about what I wanted to achieve.
I understand now that their reaction says a lot more about them than it does about me. Some people are insecure themselves with what they want for their life, and they feel bad when you bring it up for yourself, thus they react in a way that puts you down. I've learned to limit my time with these sort of people and learn to forgive them. They have their own issues. Everyone is on their own journey anyway. But it's important that you at least IDENTIFY these people in your life, and remember to detach yourself from their comments.
In other words, don't let them stop you from doing what you want to do. The good friends are the ones who are excited for you, and want the best for you - so recognize your friends who do this, and the ones that don't.
One of the main objectives i've set myself upon is surrounding myself with people with GREAT attitude. People with great attitude to life are generally good for your soul and your life. Their charisma, habits and ethics will brush up against you, and you find yourself inspired to be better, to work harder, and to improve yourself and your life. It becomes natural to you, because you are in a friendship environment that propels you to grow that way.
Now i'm not saying you should go ahead and dump all negative friends (they're probably going through stuff in life so let them be) I am saying, placing healthy boundaries with these type of friends is the way to go. Help them when you can, but understand that you cannot help people who don't want to help themselves.
Its your job to see which friends that pull you up, or pull you down. There are all sorts of friends out there : the drama-magnets, the shitsters, the abusers, the attitude problemers, the self destructers, the negative nancies, the never learn their lessoners, the flakers...list goes on.
A few questions to help you identify your circle : What do you gain / learn from your friends? Does it make you a better person? Do they influence you in a positive manner? Do you feel inspired to be better after hanging out with them, or do you get lazier?
How do they live their life? Is that the way you'd like to live your life? Are your friends the type of people you want to be in life? Are these the type of people you'd want your children / future children to hang out with?
Now these are really difficult questions to answer. Especially if you are the avoidance/non-confrontational type to yourself. We are all biased as we love all our friends, flaws and all. But this article is talking about friendships that inspire growth, and in order to get there, one must confront the truth. The truth about you, the truth about the people around you.
The truth is not always super sweet. Sometimes it tastes like crap.
Nobody is perfect, we all go through dark times however "positive" or "charismatic" you are, but for me, Ive discovered the trick here is to be around people who generally have a positive outlook to life. I am always inspired by these people, I learn so much from them! I realize that I strive to be better around them, I strive to deal with life with strength, perseverance and love.
These are the people who innately desire t0 be better all the time. When handling a crisis, they set out to address their issues in a healthy manner. They admit to their mistakes, and they try harder to improve or fix whatever it is that is wrong. They don't give up, they dont give in, and even if they do, they take a break and work on it again the next day.
These type of people and these type of friendships aren't that easy to come by. But I do believe, what you put out to the world, you get back.
If you yourself are on the path of bettering yourself, you will attract those who want to do the same.
By the end of the day, it all depends on what you want for your life, who you want to be, and what you value in life. Once you've identified this, the friendships that will help you get there, and the friendships you should invest less in, will be clearer to you.
Toxic friends should the first ones out.
Then consider your activity friends, your work friends, your fun/party friends, your gym friends, your hobby friends, your travel friends, and lastly your ultimate friends.
Recognize the great ones from your circle. Be mindful of your own actions and thoughts while hanging out with them. See which ones that are worth investing in. See which ones that push you to be better, make you happy.
Sometimes, the greatest friendships are already the ones who are in your circle - you just haven't developed it to deeper level yet!
Love thyself! Surround yourself with great people!
My hope for whoevers reading is to find great friendships in life - I do believe friendships are what makes your life GREAT.
Till next time internet peeps,
Lots of love,