Making Deliberate Friendship Choices
When Jonathan was heading into High School, as a mom I was concerned about a number of things: How would he adjust? Could he keep up his grades? Would he connect with his teachers?
While each of these concerns is valid and shared by most parents, the concern that was top of mind for me was the friendships he would be making.
I think that we often underestimate the critical, powerful and influential role friendships play in our lives, even as adults. No matter what context, (school, work, in our communities, at church, or when setting new goals), the relationships we forge have the potential to change the trajectory of those things. And that can be very good … or very bad.
Our friendships can change the trajectory of our lives.
I wrote about the importance of friendship last year in the context of reaching my fitness goals. What a difference it made in my life to have the right person beside me to encourage me and offer insight along the way. It changed everything. But had I chosen my fitness buddy poorly, my outcome might have been quite different.
Being deliberate in surrounding yourself with people who bring out the best in you and inspire you to be the best you that you can be is a gift you give yourself! Being that kind of friend to someone else is a gift you give to them. And that is a friendship worth having.
If you're in a relationship with someone who brings you down, you may have to be just as deliberate about your decision to distance yourself. Sometimes that's fairly easy to do, other times it's a painful battle. But because friendships have the power to influence us, it's best not to keep a negative friendship out of a sense of guilt or obligation. You may have to explain that you're not equipped to be the friend they need you to be.
The friendship factor is a big contributor to life's successes. Pick yours wisely!