Show me.
January 10, 2012, 2:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

“Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” -John Kuebler

That bit of advice is often given to children or young people. I remember my third grade teacher, a scary nun, repeating it. I guess it’s meant to keep kids from hanging out with the bad kids, the ones who are obviously going to end up on drugs and/or in prison.

Worthy advice, worthy goal.

I don’t think that advice matters less in adulthood. Sure we’re “in” our futures. Hopefully we’re not addicted to drugs or in prison. At least not yet. There’s still time!

But it still matters who we hang out with. It matters who we choose to spend our limited time with. It matters who our friends are. We might not be on the playground anymore, and we might not ever become addicted to drugs. But that doesn’t mean that the friends we have don’t influence us.

If you’re trying to save money or spend less, staying with a crowd of people that eats out every night, buys the latest toys, and always has the nicest cars is probably going to make that goal harder.

If you’re trying to quit smoking, having smoker friends is going to make that harder.

If you’re trying to to improve your marriage and your relationship with your husband, talking to friends who cheat on their husbands is going to make that harder.

If you’re trying to lose weight, going out to eat with friends who aren’t dieting is going to make that harder.

If you’re trying to find God, talking to friends who dislike religion is going to make that harder.

If you’re trying to be nicer to yourself and to others, being with people who constantly critique, pick on, and judge other people directly to them is going to make that harder.

If you’re trying to not gossip, associating with gossips is going to make that harder.

———————————————

I find it hard to make friends. I’m shy, I’m anxious about being liked, and awkward.

But I’ve never had a problem with ending a friendship that was bringing me down, or turning me into a person I didn’t like. And that’s not going to change. It hurts when it happens to me, but I have to respect that person’s decision.

I want my friends to love me, to support me, and also to encourage me to be a better person.

As a result, I can look at the friends I’ve made and kept over the years, and I’m grateful for the decisions I’ve made in choosing them, particularly my girl friends. We’ve grown up to be smart, kind, funny, successful, strong women. As an adult, I’ve met more of the same.

And you know what? I am blessed. I don’t have to be friends with everyone. I don’t WANT to be friends with everyone. And if you don’t want to be friends with me, well I guess we can consider that self-selection.

 

How do you feel about your friendships as an adult? Do you have any regrets?

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5 Comments so far
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It is harder to make friends as an adult. Your social circle contracts — close family, co-workers, spouse. That’s one reason I’ve come to love and depend on social media, which let’s face it, can be a minefield. But I’ve found some good people online that I wouldn’t hesitate to help and/or have drinks with!

Comment by redpenmamapgh

Amen! It was also hard that all of my college friends left Pittsburgh. Social media has helped, but you’re right. It’s a minefield.

Comment by potpie

I’ve learned to become much more picky in my friendships, for your reasons listed above. I don’t have the time or energy for those. I have learned that its okay if we only talk or see each other a few times a year, its quality over quantity. I have made 2 great mom-friends that I couldn’t live without, one from social media and the other from volunteering. Foster the friendships that are worthy of you, the others you can let go.

Comment by Twinmamateb

I worry sometimes that ‘giving up’ on a friendship says more about me, that I’m a jerk or not a nice person, that I should give everyone a chance.

But you’re right. I don’t have the time or energy to deal with anyone who doesn’t fit the bill, or to worry about what other people think about me. It’s just not worth it.

Comment by potpie

I find I’m more open to friendships as an adult, but I’m quicker on pulling the trigger on ending them or putting some distance between me and someone. Basically, as an adult, you are free to hang out with whomever you want … unlike school, in which you are surrounded by the same people until you graduate, so you sometimes make friends with people for other reasons other than friendship.

My basic philosophy is this: I give people the rope. If they hang themselves with it, well, that’s on them, not on me.

Comment by SheeptheMoon




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