friends with skateboards

4 reasons to rethink the friendships in your life

How to overcome changes in the seasons of people and your relationships with them.

We’ve all had people come in and out of our lives ever since the day we were born. Some for a brief 30 second exchange, others still with us to this very day. The people we have crossed paths with have had, whether we realize it or not, a lasting impact on our lives.. From our parents, to our friends over the years, and even to the kid who helped you get back up when you fell down; each and every one of these individuals has played a role in shaping our lives.

Stop for a minute and think back over the years; how many people have you crossed paths with? I bet none of you can answer that, and I certainly can’t either. Regardless of how many people you have been in contact with, the important thing to understand is that this number does not matter. What does matter, though, is the quality of those interactions, and the content that was received and created from them.

The longer these relationships, the more difficult it is to get through changes in seasons of people in your life. Think about how our friendships and evolve over time – changes in seasons.

– You get connected with a cool new friend, are really happy and end up getting a place together. Then, six months down the road you end up not very good friends anymore and have to move out.

– You share a wonderful relationship with a significant other who seems like “the one” only for the two of you to part ways a year later.

– Maybe a business connection is built up to be something off the charts and only a month later seems to fly out the window.

Whether you see it as a destined “meant to be” thing or merely a coincidental turn of events, the people that come into our lives are there to serve a purpose. They are there to do something for you just as you serve the same purpose for them.

twopairsofshoesRecently, I made the decision to cut myself off from one of my best friends. We go back almost 8 years and were two of the best buds for the longest time. We did a lot together, we shared a lot of experiences, and both been through some shit. This was during my teens and early twenties so in my mind at the time, if we made it through that, then we were going to be friends forever. However, life tends to throw curve balls your way. Within the past year I began to transform at an accelerated rate . Things that used to interest me no longer did, my goals and priorities changed, and my perspective on life evolved rapidly.

All this change was so incredible to me, it was like I was sleepwalking in life until that point. All I wanted to do was share what I had learned with my best friend, but he just simply had no interest and he expressed no desire to explore anything I was communicating. While I continued to attempt to make a breakthrough with him, my efforts were futile. I just kept moving forward while he stayed in the same place.

It took me a while to come to terms with this. In the midst of that let me tell you it caused me some turmoil, but once I realized that there was no use, I decided to just move on. It was tough to do so because he just didn’t understand. He couldn’t see what I was seeing.

Needless to say, it was a rough transition. I didn’t know what to think of it all. Here I just parted ways with a person who I was very close with for a long time. Yet, at the end of it, I felt much better and had truly found myself. I felt that I had detached myself from something that was weighing me down. I felt that I had gained a strength I hadn’t known  before and again, my vision pointed forward.

This whole experience taught me a number of things about friendships (or lack thereof).

tossingbeertofriend1.  It doesn’t matter how long you have been connected with someone… it’s not the duration of the connection, but the content within.

Imagine the doctor who helped your mother give birth to you. How important was that doctor’s role in your life? Pretty darn important if you ask me, and he / she was likely only in your life for one day. This is just one example of how a person can serve their purpose in your life if only in a short amount of time.

Don’t feel that just because you have waited in line for 30 minutes that you have to wait another 30 minutes. Imagine what you could do with those other 30 minutes if you accept and move on. You are not a failure in life if you decide to make a move for the better. (Maybe wait in a better line!?)

2. Don’t be one of those people who picks bad love over no love.

It took me a while to grasp this concept, but man was I glad I caught onto it. I came to the conclusion that I dropped something holding me down so that my hands could be free to hold something else. Suli Breaks said in his Friends: Rise Above video: “If they don’t add to your life then they subtract from it, and if they do nothing at all; that’s just as bad because, breaking even isn’t an exact profit.

Know your worth and know that you deserve better. It takes courage to stand alone, and it can be scary, but once you find the strength to walk away from something negative, you will realize the importance of only surrounding yourself with good people, good vibes, and good love. That is how you create personal growth in your life.

3. Ascertain any and everything you possibly can from a bad situation, and do your best to identify the positives.

It’s difficult to see the silver lining in a situation like this, but at the same time it’s not going to do you any good to dwell on it. I realized that this situation was necessary to my development, and I’m glad it happened now and peacefully instead of later and hostilely. In life we face many trials and tribulations, but the harder the standing, the greater the outcome.

It’s like going to the gym. You can only build so much with one weight range … the heavier the weight, the greater the gains. You have to stay challenged or else you will stay un-changed. Use this to your advantage and learn to do this with every situation in life. It may not be the most exciting situation, but ask yourself; what can I possibly learn from this situation?

4. Realize that making a decision to end a relationship is selfish, but don’t feel bad about it.

This is the only time that I would ever promote selfishness, but when it comes to your development, you can’t be concerned with how it is going to effect others.

There’s a quote that goes “You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with.”  If that’s the case, then get rid of the people that bring you down and replace them with ones that bring you up. One good friend will do you better than 10 bad friends, and even one bad friend is going to hurt your average. Plus, living to please people is only going to prove to make you miserable. You should want to help people, don’t get me wrong, but if they don’t want help, don’t feel bad about it and don’t waste your time. You can only help others if you have helped yourself first.

I hope some of these principles will help you overcome the cycles of people in your lives.  Everything has it’s seasons and each and everyone of them needs to be prepared for differently. And remember, everything can be a learning experience if looked at in the right light.