Keep it small.
Because as you get older the value of those who remain within that circle will only increase.
This is a lesson that I am living – not a lesson that I am telling.
It wasn’t easy getting to this stage, and to be fair although it was a physical change in the first instance, it then required a huge amount of mental processing to catch up to what my body was already telling me.
‘You can’t be a friend to everyone, not everyone deserves your friendship’.
This is why I am continually evaluating my circle because I know from experiences some relationships can turn out to be quite harmful. And to be quite frank I don’t have the headspace to deal with that anymore.
I just want to enjoy my time with the people who consider me a friend as equally as I do for them.
Because one thing I have found is that the more changes I have made in my life, be it a change in career, or a change in relationship status, those in my inner circle have stood the test of time.
They have cheered for me from the very beginning, celebrating my achievements with joy. They were even happier than I was in those moments! And I know that this is certainly an exception.
All of us want our friends to be happy, but very few of us want them to be happier than us.
It is far too tempting for most of us to live from a place of jealousy, envy or competition.
When we are discontent with our own lives, it is far easier to devalue others or begrudge them their joy, than to take responsibility in finding our own contentment.
Therefore, all too often the voice of fear we listen to says: If I’m overweight, I don’t want you to become thin. If I’m single, I will feel worse if you find the love of your life. If I hate my job, it becomes more difficult to cheer for you when you start your dream company.
I genuinely believe that the reason my friends are my friends is because they absolutely acknowledge that there is enough goodness in this world for all of us.
If one of us is happy, we all revel in the happiness.
I legitimately get a sudden burst of energy when something good has happened to my friend. Monday was a true testament to this!
But it is hard to find such people.
So when you do find them, cherish them, tell them how much they mean to you.
Affirming your circle for their contributions, influence, and inspiration in your life will bond you even more.
Which reminds me of the other night when I called my friend I hadn’t called in a while.
We both seemingly have this constant awareness of time in the back of our minds that we have accepted blindly that there are quicker ways to communicate such as texting/Facebook.
Anyhow, it just so happened that my other good friend was there with her too, so she put me on loud speaker.
We gisted, we laughed and they listened.
As I hung up an hour later, I wondered why I let so much time go by, since I’d last given her a call.
We used to speak on the phone all the time!
We would share so many stories – there wasn’t a day that went by I wouldn’t speak to my friends.
But now, with so many of us working from home, devoting our attention to our boring careers and our spouses or children, we have to be diligent to carve out the time to put in the hours for that friendship to develop.
Only familiarity breeds friendship.
I imagine you would agree with me when I say, ‘Your inner circle should bring you up, never down’.
Whether you realise it or not, your friends have shaped who you are today.
You are even the product of the friends who are no longer your friends (scary right ?)
So choose those who you allow to enter your inner circle wisely.
Do not ever make the mistake of believing that your willpower is enough to overcome whatever influences your friends or acquaintances may have on you because you are only opening the door to difficult mental and emotional situations.
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. If it’s for a reason, there is a lesson you are meant to learn from this person. If it’s for a season, it will be for a period of time in your life and that time will eventually expire. And if it’s for a lifetime — well, those friends are keepers!
So I urge you to examine your friends/friendships. If they’re not in line with who you want to be, then something needs to change.
Ask them what they’d like to change about the relationship. Ask them how you can add more value.
Listen attentively, act accordingly.
If you’re unable to change the relationship, end it.
For those of you who don’t want to end it, then I politely suggest that these people be pushed to an ‘outer circle’. If they are not helping you reach your dreams, or at least encouraging you, then they have no business in your everyday life.
Start phasing them out from best friend to acquaintance status.
Along the way, people will just drop off as they no longer feel that we want them around and we will also begin to drop off the radar of those who we feel this way towards.
Don’t feel any guilt about this. The key is to not overthink anything and pay the utmost respect to your feelings and other people’s feelings if you happen to be on the receiving end 🙂
May this post inspire you to foster the friendships that matter along the way and weed out the ones that don’t matter. Would love to hear your experiences of any good/bad friendships. x
Don’t forget to subscribe to Asklychee via email
*Inspired by my inner circle, you know who you are!