Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces. ~Proverbs 13:20
In part 1, I encouraged you to evaluate the friendships in your life. In Part 2, I shared the qualities of great friends. Today I want to close with a few thoughts on how to start surrounding yourself with great friends. Often times, to surround yourself with great friends requires you to drift away from your current circle of friends. This can be difficult, but if you’ll do it, you will change your life.
Here are my thoughts on the process:
Always Remember that You Are Who Your Friends Are – This goes back to the my post on evaluating your friends. If I never met you, but met your closest friends, I could tell you a lot about you just based on the company you keep. Why? Because you are who your friends are. You’ll often hear parents say, “Oh well, my kid just hangs out with the wrong crowd.” That’s not true. They don’t hang out with the wrong crowd, THEY ARE the wrong crowd. Is the reputation your group of friends have right now the same reputation you want to have? If not, you have to make some decisions.
Realize that You Don’t Have to have the Same Friends Forever – Often, when people realize they don’t want to be associated with a group of friends anymore, they feel guilty. They feel like they have to be friends with their friends forever. You do not. In life, friends will come and go. You just need to decide what kind of friends you want to do life with.
Break-up With Your Current Friends– When you realize that the friends you are doing life with aren’t the best for you, you do not have to sit them down and tell them that they are not in a good place in life, that you don’t like the way they are living their life or that you’re changing now and you’re better than them (you’re not). Just stop hanging out with them. Don’t be afraid to talk to them about it if they ask. Just make sure you don’t attack them in the conversation or make it sound like you’re better. Just tell them you are making life changes and one of them is to stop going to the parties, the bars, etc.
Prepare for Rejection – When you leave a group of friends you were close to, it’s not easy for anyone. Your friends will feel rejected and you will feel guilty and fear being alone. That is natural. Your old friends won’t understand. That’s ok. In just a few months or years, you’ll look back and realize that suffering a short period of rejection was worth it, because your life will be in a totally different place.
Always Love Your Old Friends – This is not a license for you to hate the people who you used to hang out with. The honest truth is you aren’t and will never be better than them. Don’t pretend they do not exist. Just limit the amount of time you give to them. When you do see them or talk to them, love them.
You Won’t Be Lonely – I know what you’re thinking, “If I leave my current friends, I won’t have any friends. I will be so lonely.” That can be a legitimate fear, but I want to free you from that fear. I have found that if you’ll start seeking the right kind of friendships, that God will replace your old friendships with great friendships. How will this happen? By attracting the right kind of friends.
Become Who You Want to Attract – In order for you to attract great friends, you have to become a great friend. Become who you want to hang out with. Make a list of the characteristics you’re looking for in great friends, then ask yourself, “Do I possess these qualities?” If you don’t, start developing them! You will ALWAYS attract who you are, not who you want!
You will Find Great Friends in Great Places – Most likely, you won’t find great friends in not so great places. Where are you meeting your new friends? I can promise you there is a huge difference in meeting friends at a church than meeting friends in a bar.What places could you go to where great people hang out?
You Won’t Go Back – Here is what I know. Once you start surrounding yourself with great friends, you’ll never go back. Why? Because when you surround yourself with great people, great things happen. If you really want to improve your life, the first step is to improve your inner circle.
I hope these posts challenged you to evaluate the people you’re doing life with, to re-think what great friends are, and learned how to surround yourself with great people tactfully. If you have any questions about this subject, ask me! I’d love to discuss this with you!
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