Today is International Friendship Day, and it got me thinking….
Our relationships have had a huge impact on behaviours, emotions, and overall health, and who we choose to spend our time with is vitally important when it comes to our well-being and in turn our business success.
When I was younger I worried so much what people thought of me, I wanted to be liked and craved that attention. I’m not an attention seeker I just wanted to be liked and feel needed. It’s caused me, over the years to be hurt.
Our friendships are among the most dynamic and shape-shifting relationships in our lives. I learned (the hard way) that sometimes we can outgrow certain friends and grow into others. Sometimes we can find our way back to our oldest friends, and sometimes we then find that the landscape is just different / the balance and roles different and it can unbalance us.
I always kept work and home friendships fairly separate, it worked for me as I never wanted to blur the lines and I was also aware that we make workplace friendships, friendships based on our life stage and even friendships that we have to let go for our own mental health and business wealth.
Business friendships come with a health warning the road is bumpy and can be treacherous, be careful and mindful who you trust with your mindset, your confidence and your vision. Sometimes your best interest isn’t theirs! There can be a lot of air kissing and endless unfruitful “coffees” – so clear on your values and what you choose to share.
I was always a girls girlfriend, I didn’t have male friends – I had male work colleagues. That line was blurred a little too often.
I had and have a very small group of girlfriends – they know who they are and I would literally drop everything for them if they needed me.
Over the years my “circle” has dwindled at first my “gentle soul” was maybe a little hurt, but I learned that sometimes friends are around until you maybe don’t need them anymore. You and they grow up, grow over, move on and you move and gravitate to those who you are better suited to or who you just need at that stage in your life.
My close circle has dwindled to less than 5 and they say we are the average of the 5 people we spend most time with, so we need to choose wisely and carefully and treat those friendships with the love and respect that they deserve.
Some friendships have had the biggest impact on our health, life career and business and over the years it may shift our efforts and priorities to ensure that the people around us are still positively fuelling our needs. As a business coach I spend a lot of time learning all about my clients, their lives both business and personal. Some clients do become friends and I feel grateful every time.
If you take a long hard look at your friendships here are some things to consider:
What qualities do you look for in friends?
What positive qualities do your best friends bring out in YOU?
A relationship and a friendship is an investment – how do you invest in your friendships?
In a connected world how do you leverage social media to maintain contact with the friends you love?
Think about a friend you don’t see anymore, what would you say to them now? Did you leave the door open or was it shut firmly behind you?
This afternoon I called the 3 women I call my closest friends: Fran, Teresa and Jules. I also called the two men I call my friend – Nigel & Scott. I am a better person because of these amazing friends and I feel blessed to have them in my life.
Nigel is my wonderful husband and Scott is married to Jules and like my brother from another mother!
Fran and I will be celebrating 30 years of friendship next year. Jules and I shared a flat about 28 years ago. Both of them were there when my daughters were born and we must have kept BT in profit over the years. Teresa and I have been great friends for 8 years and I am privileged to be godmother to her daughter Molly.
I am sure there will be other friends – but these are MY people.
Happy International Friendship Day.