Lessons in Success: #6 Maintaining and Growing your Friendships
Right now, I’d like you to take a moment to think about your different circles that you move in.
We are all in friendly relationships with people who mirror our own ideals and aspirations, and our circles are great indicators for our own level of self-esteem.
The circles we move in also determine our access to information and resources. As Keith Ferrazzi says in “Never Eat Alone”, “what distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships so that everyone wins.”
I'm sure you have some friendships you are moving away from, or some people that you no longer feel you "resonate" with -- it is fine to continue growing your circle of friendship to include people who mirror your ideals at any given time.
Marquette University psychologist Debra Oswald has studied the nature and complexity of friendships and finds the following four behaviors necessary for maintaining the bond:
Self-disclosure and Supportiveness: sharing your ideas, thoughts, fears, and experiences with your friends and being supportive of your friend’s choices and actions
Communication: listening to our friends, maintaining correspondence, and being in touch
Interaction: Maintaining ongoing interaction with our friends. “The specific activity doesn’t matter,” says Oswald. “The important thing is to interact.”
Being Positive: Keeping the tone of the friendship inside a positive feedback loop: when we enjoy our friendships, we find them more rewarding, and we invest more time and energy in keeping the friendship alive.
Now is a great time to identify ten friendships that you are truly certain you want to keep in your life.
Write out this list of your “Positive Friendship Circle” and keep it handy: these are people that you anticipate being friends with for years and who will be your friends through thick and thin.
Call up one of the people on this list each week and constantly stay in touch.
Organize a quarterly luncheon with a few of them so that you all maintain ties and focus on the friendships.
You will be pleased with the results of tending your Positive Friendship Circle. Here’s to the gift of friendship!