Thursday, January 13, 2011

How to Keep and Utilize Your Friends!

We all have friends that we love and live life with and we also all have those relationships that are well, more like acquaintances than actual friendships. Some friends are there everyday, some friends don't seem to do much of anything. But in this life we need as many friends as we can get and maintain so here's my little manual to keeping your friends and making the best out of your relationship.

1) You Can't Keep Everyone...
I'm sorry. I wish you could. But the general rule of thumb here is you have to lend yourself to a circle of people traveling in the direction you are traveling. Now does this mean, I'm an engineer, they have to be engineers? No. Its more of a framework of goals and lifestyle choices. Do you both believe in progressive moment? To what lengths are you willing to reach their goals? Do you live a low key or more upbeat lifestyle? Are you drama free? Etc. Contrary to popular beliefs, single and married people, different incomes, different religions, opposite sexes, and different occupations can be lifelong friends if these views are similar.
If you are trying to be the best you can be, someone who is not is a hindrance. It doesn't make you a bad person or a failure to let some relationships go. I know it feels that way but you only have one life to live and you don't need to live it with weights around your ankles. Yeah they were your friend back since the 5th grade but if they've started nothing but havoc and drama since the playgrounds, it may be time to let them go. So how do you know if you are going in the same direction? Simple. You already know. My readers are smart :). If you think about it for a while, you will know if you and your friends are on the same page.
2) Eliminate Drama...
Please people. If someone is about drama in their lives or causes drama in yours, you need to sit down and figure out what the problem is. If there is no resolution to the negativity, it may be time to let them go. How do you know someone is about the drama? Almost eeeverytime you talk to them, its about some crap. There are no "Hey how are you, Lets get lunch" conversations. Now there is a difference between a Mess Drowner and a Mess Starter however. Mess drowners use drama as an addiction. They never start it but always seem to be in it. This usually comes from lack of self esteem and bad choices. These things can be rectified with time and alot of patience but the Mess Starter is almost impossible to change. The Mess Starter enjoys meddling and provoking. They always seem to have a match near the building when it explodes. Sadly, most of the time, they just have to be removed. Not only for you but for the rest of your circle. If there is one problem, it is best to remove that person before you lost all your relationships.
3) Let The Pettiness and Jealousy Go
Men are going to be like...Ohh this one is for the ladies. No its for you too. People are naturally comparison driven and if you are around someone that may have an aspect of life they are doing well in, you may feel those pangs of jealously creep in. Just remember that this is your friend and not your enemy. The more
your friends succeed, the better you look. So rejoice in their success. You'd want them to do that for you. Avoid pettiness as well amongst your friends. Remember to look at the other all picture...your friendship. Keep that strong. So many people have huge blowout with their friends and weeks later can't even remember what the fight was about, but the damage is done. Rise above the he said/she said and your differences. So what she bought the same purse you have. So what he invited you last to a party at his house (I'm not making this up). At the end of the day, if you have a friend you can depend on, count yourself lucky and bite your tongue sometimes.
4) Know That You Have a Good Thing
As I just stated, you have a good thing! Once you've found that strong inner circle of a few people you can count on, make sure you let them know it. reciprocate friendship and be thankful for it. Friends are not there to be used and thrown away, its a delicate relationship that may be even more complicated than romantic relationships. Go out on a guys night or a girls retreat and crack some jokes. It will make your bond stronger.

Now that you have your friends solid, here are ways you and them can use your friendship to the utmost of its capabilities. Friends provide an excellent setting for networking and feedback. Here are three ways to utilize friendly ties:

1) Start Joint Ventures
You spend a lot of time together. You have similar interests. Find some outlet where you guys can bond over what you love and make some bank. Now granted there is a delicate balance between work and friendship (another blog :)) but it can be done and those partnerships are priceless in the business world. If you and your buddy both like sports, open up a sports bar together. Put one person in charge of the actual bar and one person in charge of outside needs like advertising and sales. If you both love charity, start a non profit together. Use each of your strengths to grow the business into something you both can be proud of.
2) Network
Your friends know people you don't know. Good friends have hooked thousands of people up with jobs, friends, even relationships. If they have you as a friend chances are their other friends are similar too. This is especially crucial in a new city atmosphere. One friend can parlay you into an entire network. Have a party at your house and tell your friends to invite their friends...then yall can be friends! (LOL)
3) Celebrate With Them
Lastly enjoy your friends. That is what they are there for! You didn't put them in your life to argue with them and leave them. You chose them to travel with you through life. Toast to those hard times you overcame together!

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”-Anonymous

Hope This Helps,

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The OTHER people in your relationship. Part IV: The Status Quo

You are influenced and so am I. So much of who we are is the culture around us. Many aspects of beauty, truth, manners, mindset, and behaviors are learned through your environment, so it is a fair assumption to tell you that the status quo may play a major role in your relationship.

1) There Is No Such Thing As Perfect: Today more than ever status quo focuses on the creation of perfection. Alot of this comes from the half truths we see on tv and walking around. I mean come on a Bridalplasty show to create the perfect bride?? Every show the people have money and plastic surgery and "perfect lives." The handsome guy in the business suit that plays on tv. The girl with hair down to here that works at your job and gets all the attention. You don't see his obsession with cheating or her never calling those men back. I hear alot of "I just want this....and that..and that...and that" from both sexes. I am a champion of firm standards but you have to understand that your need to look for fit instead of perfection. You are not perfect and neither is your partner. The key to keeping this from being a problem is twofold:
A) Always remember the great aspects of your mate. When he snores, think of how he always listens to your problems. When she's complaining about her day, remember those back rubs and dinners you get. This way you aren't punishing your partner for mediocre flaws in their personality. Believe me you will want that same kindness when you are in your moods.
B) Remember that perfection does not exist no matter how hard people around you try to portray it. The video vixen, that football player, that girl or guy on Facebook is no closer to 100% than the love of your life. Don't get tricked into believing trumped up claims of superiority. I've seen alot of people give up someone good based on the idea that someone "better" will come along. But having a good man/woman IS as good as it gets. And ten years from now that will trump the glamorous facade so many people portray.

2) You're Never Going To Go Blind Deaf and Dumb: I hear this one alot from men. "Oh when the right one comes, I'll know because I won't see anyone but her!" Wrong. Those other women will still be beautiful, tantalizing, and free for the taking. That won't change. The key is being mentally mature and getting a person of substance. Be mature enough to say "Yes she is attractive but what I have matches me well and I Don't want to give that up." If you can't say that than either they're not the one for you or you're not ready for a relationship. Either way, they need to know. The best way to deal with this is to face the status quo head on. Acknowledge how it affects you...

3) Know the Limits of Your Own Self Esteem: This one folks in crucial. I know it sounds weird but I've found that most people either overestimate or underestimate their egos. Some people have the urge to be societally acceptable and that is perfectly fine. That's a choice. So if you know that you lean towards needing society's approval, don't date someone that won't get you that! Its not fair to the person you are with. If you want a mate that your friends ooh and ahh over, that rivals a movie star's looks and a model's fashion, get that. You will never be satisfied with the girl next door. We'd all much rather you be shallow than a heart beaker :). On the other hand if you are dating someone just for their looks, money, status, etc. but you find yourself secretly glancing at a more down to Earth person, this is also unfair. Don't society trick you into thinking glamour is the same as love. How much patting on the back you need from society, as much as its unpopular to mention, DOES influence your decision. You just have to know how.

4) Stay Away From Statistics and Labels: Theres nothing society likes more than putting things in a box. Women have turned into this. Today's man is that. And of course there is usually some truth to claims but statistics don't have to mean YOU. Sometimes we're so busy falling into or trying to climb out of statistics, we don't see the reality of our lives. There are plenty of successful relationships. Don't damn yours before it starts based on how many Hollywood couples are cheating on each other. Don't cheat on your girl because everyone else is doing it. Don't bash your man because statistics say he may be cheating on you. People naturally fall into what they believe is the medium. If you believe everyone cheats, you may cheat a little. If you think every woman is out to get your man, which is ridiculous, you may become the crazy girlfriend. Don't be lazy and live only to the standard set for your relationship, set your own rules. Don't flirt with other people because its not acceptable in YOUR relationship. Talk to each every night because its something you like to do in YOUR relationship. Lastly,keep optimistic. Trust your own instincts and allow yourself to be happy without fear of the news.

At the end of the day, the status quo is always trying to keep up with the Jones's but let's be real, you don't know who the Jones's are. So live the life best suited for you and be with the partner best suited for you. When the Status Quo comes against you and yours, don't be afraid to create your own name and blaze your own trail.

Hope This Helps,