Really, you want EVERYONE to be your friend? Can you really be friends with everyone? I mean, is it even possible? Your next “dinner with friends” might turn into a Madison Square Garden event.
I used to think I could be friends with everyone. I kept numbers/emails from intriguing people I’d meet on my travels. How many did I actually contact? And how many of those that I actually contacted actually kept up with me? I found that I was creating more work by trying to maintain all those connections. Every time I met someone new, I had more to do! Let me tell you something about trying to be friends with everyone. It’s exhausting. I don’t recommend it. (Of course, this may be different with building a professional network – I just had the two confused.)
According to me, and I’m the one living my life so I get to decide, right? … real friendship is loyal, giving, precious, deep, and it takes mutual effort. I’m not talking Facebook friendship here, either. That’s different. I’m talking the kind of friendship where your whole heart cares for this other person, you pray for them (or whatever is sincere for you), you feel their pain, you celebrate their wins, and you let them figure out their own stuff when they need to. You honor them, help them see in them what they don’t see, and you call them on their you know what (when they can take it).
For all those people-pleasers out there–ask yourself, “What is the nature of this so-called friendship? Am I giving all the time and not getting anything back?” I am not saying to be mean to people. Duh. But that extra, “oh, let’s get together” when you know you don’t want to, or “I’ll call you tomorrow” just because it is the “right” thing to do or say… I advocate for less words. Mean what you say. Do what you say.
This is what I aspire to do. At the end of the day, I know my relationships are authentic, heart warming and fresh. Love is given out of love, not obligation. There are plenty of obligatory things in life… why make friendships one of those things?
So back to the title–“How to be friends with everyone.” I don’t think I can, based on my definition. Will I still be kind, mature, and uplifting in my interactions with others? I will do my best.
Make it real: How do you define friendship? Take a mental or written inventory of your friendships – are they up to par with your definition of friendship?