In 4th grade, I came home and told my mom about how one of my ‘best friends’ started hanging out with a group of girls that were notoriously MEAN. This friend became mean too. Calling me a jerk (um, rude) and telling me that my lips were too big (um, okay).
That’s when my mom looked me in the eye and said,
“Choose your friends. Don’t let them choose you.”
I remember thinking that it seemed a little bossy. Like I was supposed to be a leader. But now that I look back on it, I’m pretty cool with that. I’ve always had really amazing friends. I look around my life now as an adult and am constantly amazed at the quality of people in my life. I like to think that it’s not by accident.
I always hear quotes like: Surround yourself with people who will lift you higher. Surround yourself with people who make you a better person. Surround yourself with people who build you up.
Those statements aren’t necessarily false but I’ve made it a point to surround myself with people who are happy and content with themselves first. Whether it’s a friendship, in my own marriage or with those I choose to go into business with – their energy is naturally contagious and encouragement is never scarce in a relationship like that. I don’t depend on Adam to lift me higher. I believe the things that I believe because I made that choice. I am strong.
And so are you. Go out and make a new friend today.
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I loved this!! I’ll be the new girl in town soon and I have been freaking out over making new friends. And I love your mom’s advice to choose your own friends.
Combine that with the fact that so many of young gals are told that they need to be “pursued” or “chased” and you get a generation of girls who just let life happen to them, rather than pursuing friendships with intention and purpose.
Glad you wrote this. It’s an important reminder.
Makes me think of this quote:
“Ponder for a long time whether you shall admit a given person to your friendship; but when you have decided to admit him, welcome him with all your heart and soul. Speak as boldly to him as with yourself.” ~ Seneca ~
In a world of Friends, Followers, and Subscribers it’s easy to forget that Friendship is an intimate experience that can’t possibly be shared with all those folks. It is healthy to have boundaries and healthy still to throw off those boundaries for select, trusted people. A person who can do neither is in trouble.
I completely agree with this and Adam’s comment above. What a great little post with such a big meaning.
Sunday night John and I were having tacos at Yabo’s (because, yum) and I realized that I laughed more and smiled bigger that weekend than I had in months. It wasn’t because I was out partying or because I did everything I wanted to do the whole weekend. It was because at some point between walking through the farmers’ market and eating an ice cream cone, I realized that I am completely happy with me. Right now. As is. The small things seemed big. The moments felt more than real. I was living in the present. I was genuinely content.
There’s something really special about friendships and relationships when you can be completely yourself and that is just enough.
This is such a powerful article. Using this philosophy, it allows you to make smarter decisions about your interpersonal relationships and allowing much more time to enjoy your friendships.
Early on in my college experience, one of the special speakers (Brenden Manning?) at a chapel service said to “Radically eliminate negative people from your life”. It’s always stuck with me because relationships either build you up or tear you down and it’s your choice which type you will allow. Thanks for the post :)
New reader here, hi, hello!
Anywho, I find this highly inspiration and meaningful. As a person who’s had friends who suddenly turned their back on me or just ended up being not who they made themselves out to be in the beginning, my grandmother always told me that maybe they weren’t happy with themselves and it wasn’t something I had done to make them turn on me or be so mean to me (because I do believe we, as people, like to blame ourselves when things go wrong with our friends or family). So, I think it’s great to know that I’m not alone in this kind of thinking.
Lovely blog, design and content wise. (:
I love this! I was bullied in 4th grade also (SO strange how it sticks with you) and my mom gave me similar advice. I think people who are happy, will be the ones to life you up. love this post!