I recently had a conversation with a mentor of mine regarding friendships. I was expressing my concern about the difficulty of meeting new people in this phase of my life (late thirties) who share the same interests and who can inspire my creativity. She gave me some sound advice, and also said something that resonated with me.
“You’re an amalgamation of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Really?? Then I must be a healthy combination of my toddler, teenager, mother, and husband. Which in retrospect, is pretty accurate assessment, even though that’s only four.
However, this did inspire me to start thinking about my circle of friends, and how they impact my life in different ways.
According to the renowned motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, the five people we spend the most time with directly influence our self-perception, confidence, interests, hobbies, decision making and behavior. Your immediate surroundings affect many aspects of your life; therefore, a regular check-in and assessment on your squad is in order.
Many of the friends we decide to keep in our lives for long, or short, periods of time vary on the purpose that they serve for us. In assessing your circle, here are five types of friends that play an essential role:
The Blunt One
Never one to mince words, she always speaks her mind and often says what everyone else is thinking…but wouldn’t dare say. The honesty you receive from this one is authentic, straightforward, and real. This friend typically stays around the longest because the trust runs deep. If you’re the type that can take criticism, then this is the friend you must have in your corner…if your skin is tough enough.
Everyone calls her “mom” and may come off as having a Mother Theresa complex. She wants to serve as everyone’s conscious and maybe a bit of a downer; however, she is often sympathetic and whether you like it or not, the voice of reason.
She is regularly embarking on a new quest, whether it be taking a new class, traveling to some obscure place, or consistently adopting new hobbies. Complacency is not in her vocabulary. Nothing is too challenging; everything is a challenge accepted.
She is the “ray of sunshine” and can find the bright side of things, often to the point of annoyance. Despite, the fact that her infinite capacity for positivity can become downright annoying, you need to have a friend like this. They may be your only insight into what good is left in the world.
The Soul Searcher
When times are at their lowest, she is the one you call when you’re in need of a heart to heart. Life holds a deeper meaning for this friend, and shallowness is not an option. She is the one, who by proxy of her journey, is more than willing to bring you along for the ride.
So, to be more concise:
• The blunt one will never lie to you
• The matriarch will always take care of you
• The go-getter will encourage you to challenge yourself and push your boundaries
• The optimist will enable you to see the good in all
• The soul searcher will help you discover your value
If you’ve already have these five friends (most of us do, without realizing it) keep them close.