Have you ever had a friend you thought would be for life and now you realize it was just for a little while? One of the keys to owning your opportunities is to recognize when you’ve outgrown a situation. This key also applies in the context of friendship. There are different levels of friendship and times in life where you outgrow people who were once close to you. Having the right people in your corner is crucial for maximizing your life.
When was the last time you conducted a “friendventory,” known as an inventory of your friends? Consider this biblical proverb as a reference: “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 (NIV)
What does it mean to be reliable? Consider these five qualities:
- Someone who shows up. Consider the friends who are consistently present for you—mentally, emotionally and physically. These are the people you can count on to give you moral encouragement when you need it, the ones who celebrate you in your big and small victories, who mourn with you in your times of loss, and who refuse to abandon you when you find yourself struggling in a valley.
- Someone who is honest. Friends are the ones who will tell you the truth in a way that either builds you up or makes you a better human. These are the ones who keep you grounded. CAUTION: This is not the same as people who tell you the truth to shame you or to make it appear that they have “one up” on you—those people belong in the “unreliable friends” bucket!
- Someone who follows through. Who are the people who do what they say they are going to do? Who keeps their word? These friends are like oak trees, full of character and stability.
- Someone who contributes to your wellbeing. Do you ever find yourself doing the majority of the giving in a friendship while the other person does most of the taking? These one-sided friendships are a joke. Hit the delete button and move on. The friends who reciprocate giving in their own way, who sharpen you and extend a helping hand towards your goals, even if it’s just encouragement and accountability, are the keepers.
- Someone who respects or shares your values. Values are like your non-negotiable norms for living. And although this may seem like a no-brainer, every friend may not share, or at least respect, your set of values. With couples for example, if you value abstinence before marriage and he or she doesn’t, then you might have a problem. Any friend that influences you to compromise your values is an unreliable friend.
So, what do you do if you have unreliable friends in your circle?
- Check yourself first to make sure you are being a reliable friend to them.
- Communicate with them and let them know how you feel.
- Change your environment. This one is toxic!
- CUT THEM OFF! Stop being available.
If you have a special friend who sticks closer than a brother, share this post with them and let them know you appreciate them! These kinds of friends are rare! Make 2020 your year of owning your opportunities and encourage your friends to do the same. Leave a comment and let’s start a chat. CLICK HERE to join our #OYO Community and be sure to follow me on social media for daily inspirations.