Every heard that old saying ‘You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you CAN’T pick your friend’s nose’?
Sometimes we need to be reminded of the first part. You can pick your friends.
A project I’ve been working on, among the many, is a series of books called Snobology – The Art of Standards. One of the topics I’m most excited to write about is Social Snobology – How to Pick Your Friends.
It will be full of great content and funny stuff, as well as some illustrations, but it will all come down to this (spoiler alert):
Surround yourself with people who make you feel good, in all areas of your life.
Do your pals encourage you? Or do they criticize you as soon as you open your mouth/wear something different/make a change in your life?
When you need some constructive criticism, do your friends find a way to share it with you gently, one on one, and to your face? Or do you generally hear about it by them talking smack behind your back? (A good indicator of this one is if they talk smack to you about other friends).
When you’re together, does it feel easy? Or do you feel tense, defensive, on edge or frustrated?
When you haven’t seen them in awhile, do you miss them? Or do you find yourself thinking that you could use a break from them…frequently?
If it’s a working relationship you’re looking at getting into, how does your gut feel? Why are you making the decision to make a commitment to them? Are your interactions based in integrity and trust, or do you feel like you have to watch your back? Does this person operate at a standard that you’re willing to commit your reputation and character to?
Even with family members – although we certainly can’t pick those – we sure can decide who to spend more time with. When you’re finished talking to them on the phone, do you feel good? Or does your chest feel tight, and you want to reach for a stiff drink as soon as you press ‘end’?
The underlying message of my Snobology series is that you deserve great things in your life. That’s what I often find is missing, especially with my students; they haven’t yet realized that they deserve to feel good, look good, smell good and be good. It’s entitlement, without all the attitude and finger waving.
I’m not saying go fire 40% of your friend roster. I’m just saying be aware of who genuinely adds to your life, who you want to be around when you’re like, 80. That’s your ‘A’ list. Your ‘B’ list is those who you like, but don’t quite make the cut. ‘C’ list..well, you get the point. Just think of actresses. Who do you think is an A-lister? Who’s a C-lister? (My A-list is Gwyneth Paltrow and my D-lister is Kristen Stewart).
If you need to have a chat with someone, perhaps you need to express some core needs that aren’t being met, try to remember this: Say it if it’s 1. Kind 2. Necessary and 3. Honest. If you’d like some tips on communicating in tough situations, check out the Non Violent Communication Model. It’s very helpful.
Your time is precious. Your energy, even more so. Make sure you’re spending both with people who make you feel more alive, more virtuous, and more peaceful.
Have a great weekend.