“A good friend is a connection to life —a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”
—Lois Wyse, late advertising executive and author
Image from Unsplash by Felix Roosting
About a month ago, I watched a short video clip in which Arthur Brooks was interviewed. In this conversation with Daniel Pink, Brooks he introduced the concept of real friends versus deal friends.
According to Brooks, deal friends are people who can help you in a transactional way, while real friends are the ones who might call you at inconvenient times in a crisis.
Deal friends are people who are useful to you in some way, however these friendships are often less satisfying and feel incomplete because they don’t involve the whole self.
Who are your real friends?
How have and do they connect you to life?
How often do you acknowledge these special relationships and let them know how meaningful they are to you?
“I do my best because I’m counting on you counting on me.”
—Maya Angelou, late American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist
Image from Unsplash by Matheus Ferrero
Who are the people in your life that you can always count on? Those special folks who are there in both good and bad times with just the right amount of support to aid you in your efforts? What qualities do you look for in them, and how do you stack up, given these criteria?
It is fairly rare to have a large list of such individuals in our lives. One way to attract more of these special people is to be one yourself.
Who are the people in your life that are counting on you to always do your best? What specific actions are required of you today to not let them down?
“The man or woman who treasurers his friends is usually solid gold himself.”
—Marjorie Holmes, 20th Century American columnist & author
Two of our most treasured friends live near Poughkeepsie, New York. Wendy and I first met Emmy and Clark in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Every August since 1984 we’ve joined them for a week at our annual timeshare, Shawnee on the Delaware. Beyond these annual vacations, we have stayed in touch to share many happy times, including birthdays, BBQs and other family celebrations.
Over the years, Emmy has sent us hundreds of handmade, personalized purple cards, to let us know we are in her thoughts. During some of our most challenging times, we would receive these “Pick Me Up” purple messages each week.
Who are the solid gold friends in your life? What purple card-like gesture can you offer these special people to more fully demonstrate how much you treasure them?
“Politeness is an inexpensive way of making friends.”
—William A. Feather, 20th Century American publisher and author
Image from csbcorrespondent.com
How familiar are you with the 10 / 5 Rule?
In the hospitality industry, this rule dictates that when a staff member is ten feet from a guest, they smile and make direct eye contact.
When a staff member is within five feet, they greet the guest with a salutation such as Hello or Good Morning.
My modified version of this rule takes place on my daily morning walks when I wave at the people in cars and say hello to my fellow walkers and their dogs, making sure we are at least six feet apart.
Where and in what ways can and will you apply the polite no-cost gesture of the 10/5 Rule in your world, to make a few more friends?
“Before borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need most.”
-A Farmers Almanac Philosofact
image from The Storage Facilitator
If you are a fan of Shakespeare, consider the advice Polonius provides to his son Laertes in Act I, Scene III of Hamlet:
Neither a borrower nor a lender be, for loan oft loses both itself and friend.
What has been your experience with such matters? Where did things work out just fine, and where did things go wrong?
How do these sayings influence your point of view and perspective on being generous and helping others in need?
Consider responding to this post with your thoughts or perhaps discuss your view on this subject with a friend.
“A friend is a person before whom I may think aloud.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th Century American Essayist
Image from www.lesaviezvous.net
How many true friends do you have?
I recently had a coaching session with a new client. He expressed a sense of emptiness due to a lack of true friends in his life, the surface nature of many of his relationships, and the significant lack of depth in his professional and personal discussions.
He also noted the need for greater courage and vulnerability, should he choose to open himself up and chance the risk of being judged.
Examine your own risk/reward ratio of thinking aloud more often, to develop and expand the friendships that can enhance your life.
“You’ve Got a Friend”
-Carole King, Grammy Award-winning American singer/songwriter
· Fight for you
· Respect you
· Include you
· Encourage you
· Need you
· Deserve you
· Stand by you
Someone once said that friends are the family we choose for ourselves. How large a family do you have based on the criteria above? How well do you demonstrate the same qualities?
In what ways and with whom can you be the kind of friend that people like Carole King writes and sings about? For a bit of extra credit, Google songs about friends to find a lot more to sing about.
“Are you working to connect the dots or merely collecting more dots?”
—Seth Godin, Author
What is your favorite form of social media? If you go in order of popularity, the usage looks something like this:
- Facebook has about 1.23 billion users
- LinkedIn has about 332 million users
- Twitter has about 284 million users
Please don’t respond saying my numbers are wrong, as they aren’t relevant to the point of this post.
Do you know how many friends, connections, or followers you have on each of your social sites?
Without question, the internet and social media have brought about amazing changes, making our world more connected and noisy to the point, for some, of addictive engagement.
Godin’s question asks if we are collecting friends or followers like dots, or are we truly looking to genuinely connect and contribute to other people’s lives.
Examine your skills, abilities, gifts, and talents that contribute to those on the other side of the monitor or mobile device. Consider that if you create something truly remarkable, you will likely have your very best friends and followers connecting the dots with you.