Do you reflect on the friendships you have in your life and do they make a positive impact? There are friends that you hang out with to waste time out of boredom and it might not be beneficial because you are not moving forward with your life. I believe that success in career and life are impacted to an extent by experiences you share with your friends and their support that they are willing to give. After reflecting on my friendships, here are a few lessons I have learned.
It is Ok to Have a Different Opinions
I have a friend that is opinionated and so am I (I mean I am writing this blog). Sometimes there would be friction between us because our opinions are so different and we would butt heads over certain things. As a result, we drifted apart for a little while. I asked myself “why I am so frustrated when I am around her”? Is it her or is it what she says? With more time apart, I came to realize that there wasn’t a problem between us but that we were just growing into our own selves. That was when I realized that it’s ok to have different opinions and that it's not about proving who is right or wrong. Our opinions are shaped by the environment and the people we are surrounded by. Now we remain the closest of friends and sometimes I find that her opinions make some good points. At the end of the day, as friends, we just want what is best for each other.
It is Ok to Ask for Help.
I used to try to hide my weaknesses and problems and not ask my friends for advice. Now I try to reach out to them for help when problems or challenges come up. The reasons for why I decided to open up was because of the genuine interests they showed and I could tell that they wanted to help. For example, I was working as a temp for a long time, and it was difficult for me to find a full-time job. There were so many things to consider, and I just felt like I didn’t have the answers. I talked to my friends about my concerns and my options and they spent a lot of time with me to work through it. Of course, there are the limitations in what you should ask your friends to help you with. If it’s monetary help for example, there might be some strain on the relationship depending on the closeness of the relationship. At the end of the day, I know my friends are there to support me without judgment and they help me make decisions I might not have made on my own.
Friends Helped Me Become More Confident.
I am an emotional person and I used to take feedback as criticism. Overtime, I find myself feeling upset because I take feedback as a personal attack and these thoughts impacted my level of confidence. When I used to work in management in the fast food industry, I found it very stressful because everything had to be done a certain way, and if things weren’t done that way, you were given a lot of feedback. With the constant feedback, I felt incompetent in what I did; however, I was lucky to have some great leaders (who were also my friends) that gave me encouragement and support to help get through it. Since I am so critical of myself, I find that I make excuses to not pursue my interests or goals. I feel more confident in pursuing my life goals because I know that my friends are there to give me their insight, encouragement, and support to help me feel confident with the choices I make in my life.
My experiences and yours could be very different but it is good to reflect on your friendships. Friends that are there to support you through your ups and downs are keepers because they want to help you be better. How about you? When was it the last time you reflected on your friendships? Do your current friends help impact you in a positive or negative way?
Please share some of your thoughts.
Thank you, World!