The 6 Principles of Effective Friendship and Company.
1. The Company You Keep Says A Lot About You
The old saying “You are the company you keep” has a lot of truth to it. Who we associate with says a lot about the values we hold as individuals. We by nature tend to associate with others that are like themselves. People who like sports hang around other individuals who like sports. People who do like video games tend to associate with others who like video games. Individuals who like to booze it up and party tend to find fellowship in others like that. This is human nature and it’s not a bad thing. We want to be around people more like ourselves because we find it more comfortable and often more entertaining. Being around others who like the things we like means that we can spend our time doing things we like more.
This isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. However it can lead to problems when the people we associate with have a detrimental effect on our lives. If you find yourself at the point where you are taking one step forward and multiple steps backwards it may be time to reevaluate the people who surround yourself with in your life. If you don’t do this regularly you will find others to be weights that hold you back when you’re trying to soar ahead. There is nothing worse than dead weight. I like useful weights like dumbbells but not worthless weight from bad influence.
2. Nothing Stays The Same Forever
One of the biggest things people have to grasp in life (and often fear) is the fact that things change in life. Accepting those changes is a part of growing up. The people we knew when we were kids or the people we knew in high school won’t always be around. We want things to be like that forever when we partied, looked our best, went on a lot of dates, and things like that. People don’t want to be reminded of themselves aging, blowing past their glory days, or losing their friends. That’s why many people see the people closest to them changing as a major threat. They want to hold onto things the way they are which is why they often kill you with kindness. It’s sad to say but people want those around them to stay on their “level” as much as possible.
A common example of this is when you’re trying to get into better shape or exercise and the people closest to you are overweight and don’t take care of themselves. This often makes them feel bad because you’re doing something about your situation so they often try to find ways to sabotage your success. They’ll do things like offer you food that they know you can’t eat, or they try to get you to try out that nice slice of cheesecake. These are often insidious ways to get you back into your comfort zone and back where they want you, on the couch with them.
This can often show up in much more damaging ways. A person could be trying to get their life back on track after a history of crime or drug use and people will often try to drag them back into that as well.
3. Aim High With Your Friends
What you want to do is aim for people who are past you or where you want to be. Alternatively you can aim for those who have a similar mindset to what you want. For example, you don’t only have to hang around millionaires. You might have someone younger than you are who is ambitious and is trying to put their own lives on the path of success. People like these are great to keep around and network with not only for future opportunities but to pass on knowledge and information. Iron sharpens iron as they say. Your goal is to embrace change, not only in life and habits, but in people. You have to replace the people you associate with as you grow.
Yes I know it sounds harsh but it needs to be done. Unless every friend and family member you have is just as highly motivated, ambitious, and intelligent as you (which is unlikely). As you grow you will want to meet up, network, and constantly bring new people and relationships in your life that push you to your maximum potential. A stellar book I always recommend is How To Win Friends and Influence People from Dale Carnegie.
4. Dispose of Toxic Friends
Dispose of toxic friends and family like you dispose of toxic garbage. It sounds cruel but there are two options.
You or them.
I choose me every time. Sorry, but that’s the way life works. I need to look out for number one and if the people I’m with are poisoning me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually it’s time for me to move on.
There’s nothing wrong with people having different values than you do. Not everybody plans on becoming rich, and some want to get married and have children while others don’t. This is perfectly fine, but if you have friends or family who:
- Ridicule you.
- Ignore your goals and dreams or treat them as if they are irrelevant.
- Constantly try to get you to change paths when what you’re doing isn’t harmful.
- Gossip about you behind your back.
- Get jealous with you and petty.
- Constantly mooch from you but don’t give back
- Especially if they threaten you or harm you in any way emotionally of physically.
- Start constant arguments
Then it’s time to move on. It can be more difficult when you’re younger and living at home, but this should be your motivation to succeed even more so you can put the negative energy behind you. Life is too short to be burdened with toxic people. Is it worth being miserable your entire life just to keep others around you out of a sense of obligation?
I only want to be around people I enjoy, not people I feel forced to be around. If anybody doesn’t want to associate with me because I don’t want to give them a free handout or put up with their nonsense, that’s their cue to leave. I have many family members with this exact attitude which is why I separate myself from them. If you have children, teach them how to make friends at a young age.
5. Watch Where You Get Your Advice
Another thing you want to keep in mind is where you’re getting your advice. Due to the Dunning Kruger effect, the most incompetent people often think they know the most and will waste no time filling your head with mental diarrhea.
- The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which low-ability individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability as much higher than it really is. Dunning and Kruger attributed this bias to ametacognitive incapacity, on the part of those with low ability, to recognize their ineptitude and evaluate their competence accurately. Their research also suggests corollaries: high-ability individuals may underestimate their relative competence and may erroneously assume that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others.
If there’s one thing I hate in life is people who don’t know what they’re talking about, pretending to know what they’re talking about. In the age of Google it makes no sense to be this stupid. How hard is it to simply look something up and confirm it? Honestly. There are three words you can use that actually make you smarter.
“I don’t know.”
There’s nothing wrong with admitting you don’t know something. Yet everyday you see the worst trying to give advice to everyone else. I’ve had fat family members try to give me exercise advice, and I’ve had bankrupt people try to give me financial/business advice. I’ve had people who don’t know how to fix something tell me how to fix it, and I’ve had people who can’t spell something tell me that the spelling I gave them was wrong. I have one question to these people:
If you know so much, then why aren’t you doing it?
The answer is you don’t. So stop pretending. When you see yourselves around these types simply leave the conversation or if you want to be blunt question their knowledge about said topic. Then you can state that you’d rather talk to an expert if you want advice.
The cruel reality is that if you listen to these people you will end up like them. So if you take advice from someone make sure you don’t want to be like those people. The people who do well in life generally keep their advice quiet because of all of the noise coming from others and they’re tired of being told they’re wrong from people who don’t know what they’re talking about.
Do this whenever someone tries to tell you what your life needs to be whether it’s relationship wise, spiritually, physically or anywhere else. If you need to avoid these people completely, so be it.
6. Relating With Others
Another large reason you want to watch the company you keep is because it is often hard to relate to others with a different mindset. A poverty mindset is difficult to explain things to if you have a wealth mindset. People who have an employee mindset or hate their jobs will have a hard time understanding why you work so much or how you can enjoy working. People who eat like pigs don’t get how you can restrain yourself so much.
This is another hurdle that can affect who you when it comes to relationships. As your priorities change in life, you will often find it difficult to relate to those who still have the same values. When your friends just want to go out and get wasted, or sit at home playing video games all day while you’re working on your second business you’ll find that being around them isn’t as much fun. You’ll find your conversations less entertaining and you’ll often find yourself drifting.
I’ve talked to people like that many times. Most people have a few things they talk about: work/school, their hobby, or a relationship they have. If their hobby is just video games or something that I don’t do much of or don’t care about, talking to them becomes much less fulfilling. Eventually you’ll find your mindset differs so much that it just isn’t fun. I have a lot of things I enjoy so I tend to form my conversations based on what the others like so there is some common ground. Eventually it just becomes too repetitive.
This is why you need to keep networking with people who have your similar goals. The world can be a very large place when it comes to opportunity. However it can be small when it comes to finding the right people if you look in the right places. Get out there and start looking. Don’t accept that you need to deal with the same people forever. Go out and make new friends. Once you learn how to talk to people properly, you will go far.
Keep The Right Company
As stated before, life is short and you only live once. No reason to waste your life away on bad company. Spend your time every chance you get around people that will force you to push your game up. That way you’ll be the very best person you can be and enjoy your life while you’re doing it.
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