The holidays are always a great time to spend with family and friends. We are now a few weeks into the New Year and as we look forward to a fresh, New Year, it’s a perfect time to reflect on your vision for the future and what you expect or anticipate for the upcoming year. It’s also a great time to re-evaluate your current friendships or networks.
Building a strong support system for your professional, personal, social or spiritual life provides an outlet to nurture your interests, gather and exchange information as well as share valuable resources.
I’m a strong advocate for building community in whatever capacity you desire. Creating a circle of dependable and reliable associates is the best place to learn from others, develop your strengths, work on your weaknesses and hone new skills.
It takes time to nurture a friendship, partnership or network but it’s well worth the investment. When you have people that you can trust and confide in, it makes life just a little bit sweeter.
Sometimes, it’s challenging to find the right people that align with your purpose, values, goals, interest or mission. It can feel lonely when people do not support or understand your vision. It takes a healthy, balanced relationship with an equal exchange of commitment.
Here are four important measuring rules to gauge a friendship:
- They will not compete with you because they are secure within their own character.
- They will not talk or gossip behind your back.
- They will not try to control or manipulate you.
- They will not put you down or make you feel worthless.
You should always test the waters before engaging in a potential friendship or relationship. Everyone does not deserve your trust, time or energy. Know your worth and value.
If they are constantly trying to change you, it may be time to walk away from a friendship or relationship. You can also decide to keep someone at a distance.
As you clean out the clutter and organize your priorities in the New Year, be sure to eliminate the drama in your life, You can decide whether a stale friendship is worth forgiving or completely forgetting.
Do not get confused with constructive criticism which is helpful to your development and growth. Not everyone will see things your way but you should be able to engage in a healthy conversation without feeling attacked or disrespected by your opinions, ideas or thoughts. A rich, impactful dialogue will provide you with opportunities to expand your knowledge or experience from another’s viewpoint or perspective. You should remain open and flexible to other’s opinions even if you don’t agree.
In the end, a person will either add or subtract from you. So do the math in all areas where relationships are developed. Common courtesy is the remaining balance to any healthy friendship, relationship or partnership.