It Might Be Time To Conduct a Friendship Inventory

It Might Be Time To Conduct a Friendship Inventory

It just might be time for a Friendship Inventory.

I’ve heard it said that you are most like the 5 people you spend the majority of your time with.  LOOK AROUND.  Are they who you want to emulate?  Do they possess opinions/beliefs that you want to adopt for yourself?  Are they kind?  Are they loyal?  Do they strive to grow, to continue to learn, to stretch themselves, to work towards goals and bettering themselves and their surroundings?  Are they happy?

These are qualities/values that are important to me; things that I am personally working on.

So when I look around at my friends, family, who I’m choosing to spend time with, if I don’t see these same qualities/values in them, I have to stop and ask myself, why am I spending time with them.

Have you ever been in a great mood, then interact with somebody who is a “Debbie Downer” (sorry to the cheerful Debbie’s out there!) and all the sudden you notice your mood dropping.  Maybe irritation starts to swoop in.  You find yourself jumping on the negativity train and talking poorly about somebody or a situation that “Debbie” has an issue with.

WAIT!!  What just happened??

You just picked up Debbie’s negative energy and she sucked you down into her funk.

When I accidentally let this happen, I get so irritated with myself.  This isn’t who I want to be!  This isn’t the mood I want to be in!  This isn’t how I want to present myself to the world.

Then on the flip side, do you have that “Susie Sunshine” friend who makes you happy and puts a smile on your face every time you see her?  She is fun to be around, puts you in a better mood, and makes you feel better about yourself when you are in her presence?

Yes, THAT GIRL!  That is who I want to be.  The person who puts a smile on somebody’s face when they see me.  Again, it’s the same thing happening here.  You pick up Susie’s positive energy and rise up to her level.

People’s vibes are contagious…trust me.  So what do you do?

You choose wisely who you spend your time with!  You seek out friendships with people who inspire you.  You make sure you aren’t the smartest person in the room, because if you are, what do you have to learn?

You limit your time with people who “suck the life” or positive energy from you.  You limit, or eliminate, time spent with people who have no desire to grow, to learn, to improve.  They do not bring out the best in you.  They are not your tribe.

But what if you are related to those people?  Ouch, now this can be tricky.  You probably aren’t going to completely eliminate them from your life.  Although there are people who are so toxic, this might be necessary.  But in most instances, you can simply limit the time spent with them.  You choose when you see them, or interact with them.  You choose how much of your time and energy to give to them.

Then you move on to YOUR TRIBE!  Your peeps.  The people who inspire, uplift and encourage you, those you look up to, learn from.  Seek out as much time as possible with these people.  They will elevate you and help to level up your life.  They will nourish your soul.

So friend, go ahead and take a friendship inventory today.  Choose wisely.  We are talking about your energy, your sanity, your life.  Want to be better?  Hang out with better!

Friendship Garden

Friendship Garden

Friendships are like flowers.  I love flowers.  They bring me joy; they make me happy.  Friends bring me joy and make me happy also.

Some flowers, annuals, only last in our gardens for a season; and some, perennials, have longevity, coming back year after year with repeated beauty.  Some friendships only last for a short time and others last a lifetime.

If you’ve ever had a friendship that has faded over time, you’ve undoubtedly feel some sadness over it.  I know I’ve had a few of these friendships.  Often, they simply faded away since one of us physically moved away from the other.  With both my father and husband serving as career Marines, I have moved frequently my entire life.  Even though these were close friendships at the time, the distance between us eventually won out.

Other friendships ended over a particular circumstance: a difference of opinion, a difference in values, something a little more substantial.  Sometimes these friendships were easily dismissed and other times the termination of the friendship hurt deeply.

The friends that were in my life for a moment remind me of annuals.  They were beautiful and filled in and complimented the garden of my life for a season.

Then, there are those friendships that are so deep, so intertwined, time and distance mean absolutely nothing.  You may see these friends daily, you may go years between seeing them, but when you are together, your friendship and connection never misses a beat.  You would do anything for them, and the feeling is mutual.  They are there to uplift, comfort, support, encourage, and celebrate you.  They are there for you through thick and thin, year after year.

These enduring friendships remind me of perennials.  Their beauty shows up year after year.  They are faithful and always there for you.  Even though they may not be blooming all year long, you know they will be back, ready to show up and delight you.

As I reflect on those “annual friendships,” I’ve decided not to feel bad about them fading away or ending.  Just like annual flowers, who fill in your garden for a season, those friends were there for me when I needed them.  Maybe they were never intended to be long-term friendships.  I am thankful for the gift of them, what they brought to my life and hopefully what I was able to contribute to their lives for the season we had together.

All friendships should be celebrated, no matter how short lived or permanent they are in our lives.  In the same way, every flower is a gift from the earth to beautify our world and fill us with joy.