I’m really good at being selfish. Selfish with my time, energy and definitely with my books.
I suppose due to the universal law of duality, I’m also quite excellent at tossing the selfishness aside and being present for my dearest friends.
Because of that, I have many different types of friends. Some friendships are decades old and a few people have entered my life as clients and become friends—sharing a bond of philosophy, spirituality and a quest for the highest and best.
With most of my friends I can pick up right where we left off without any nuance of awkwardness or abandonment, even if it’s been a long while since we’ve last seen on shared a coffee or glass of wine together.
A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself. -Jim Morrison
I’ve been a mindset and spiritual coach for over ten years and my observation of what elevates a human is usually the same as what lifts up a relationship. Whatever is within us will show up in the relationship.
As motivational speaker, Jim Rohn once said:
We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
I actually see this as we are the average energy, willingness and availability of the five people we are around most. And within that formula is our own responsibility and accountability.
Here’s a list of five fab principles that I’ve found most effective in cultivating true and trustworthy friendships.
These are relevant regardless of how long you’ve known someone or how much time you spend with them.
The Five Fab Friendships Principles:
#1) Avoid expecting a person to be different. If you’ve chosen them to be in your life, the least you can do is accept them. Expectation leads to disappointment and then an element of blame.
Nothing will deplete a bond as quickly as blame. Don’t expect, accept.
#2) Don’t hoard your friend! Ever introduce someone to your best friend and then get jealous when they started building a bond? This is coming from ego and is taking energy from you and your friendships.
Be happy your introduction created a spark and be confident enough to give them space to learn more about each other. This certainty within you is what makes you magnetic and attractive. When you’re confident, your friends will always want to spend time with you, no matter who else is in the picture.
Hint: Just as in a romantic relationship, when you chase someone, they run. 😉
#3) Perform unexpected and surprising acts of kindness. Do what you know will help your friend the most—not necessarily what you want to do. Is it two hours of baby sitting or is it a massage and dinner?
Does your friend need a run or bike ride? Set it up and make it happen.
Have a favorite new book or product? Send it to her/him with a heartfelt note.
Being in the unexpected is you being in service to your friends. Moments like these are forever memories and deepen your bond.
#4) Ask good questions. This method works wonders when your friend is running a story about his/her life over and over. You’ll see it clearly from the outside (just as she can see yours) but it’s HOW you interrupt the story that is significant.
Rather than “telling” your friends they’re creating drama or holding onto a story that isn’t serving them, ask a solid question. It can be simple, it just needs to jar their perspective out of the loop.
A few of my favorites are:
” That’s interesting about ‘Joe’ what do you think is going on in his head?”
“Wow, this situation seems like it’s draining energy from you. Is this what you really want to be focusing on?”
” In three months time, is this what you want to be going through? If not, lets set a plan for you right now.”
#5) Know your friend and be present to their unique talents. Knowing what drives your friends will allow you to speak and act in ways that create a stronger support system for them and thus for you.
If you have a friend who is the quiet intellectually centered type, you know they’ll need more 1:1 time. Coffee shop or low key bar is an ideal meeting place.
On the other hand, if attention, action and movement are what makes them smile—get them on the dance floor or to a party and remind them often how gorgeous they are.
To know and understand another’s deeper layers of motivators, skills and energy centers, means you have a doorway into their heart and a lifelong connection. It also allows you to not take things personally.
I’m a fan of, and use in my coaching business, the Ultimate Life Tool™.
The ULT is a comprehensive assessment for individuals who want to know what gives them zest every day and how to avoid energy drain for their own unique full potential.
Because if you can see and speak to the full potential in your friends, they’ll show up that way for you.
I’ll add in here as well, that if you’re feeling unsure if a current friendship is meeting your needs, it probably isn’t. The quickest fix is to ask if you’ve done any of the above recently for that person in your life.
If not, start with appreciation and drop the expectation. You might be pleasantly surprised as to what comes back around.
Because let’s face it, always and forever, what we give we receive.