In this age of social networking it is possible to have thousands of friends but no real friendships. There are many who will turn up for the midnight party yet how many can we rely on at a time of need? We have many options but who would be our priority? How many people do we know who really raise our energy, our spirits and our self-esteem?
In our ever-increasing social circles, where sadly competition seems to take precedence over companionship, there are some who stand out and shine brighter than others. These are the ones who aim to win hearts rather than points, who listen more than they speak, offer rather than take, and who are willing to ‘walk the extra mile’ for you and with you, for no other reason than that’s ‘who they are’ – somebody special!
We may count ourselves lucky to have such friends in our life, but how many would say the same about us?
In order for me to be a priority in someone else’s life I have to first make my own life a priority by making myself my own best friend; when I recognize my own value then I can value others and in turn they will value me.
To be a good friend means I need to appreciate not denigrate, to be strong not weak, to offer shelter in the storm, to be able to receive graciously but not expect or want. This all takes a good degree of self-respect. And self-respect will automatically draw respect from others.
For this necessary inner work, don’t compare yourself with others; create a league of your own. Focus on the pure intent of your actions. Create high morals, standards, disciplines and good character and you will earn your reputation naturally. There will be no need to advertise. Sincerity and integrity speak for themselves.
Of course I can’t force someone to make me a priority in their life if they don’t want to. Just as a company can’t force customers to buy from them no matter how good a product they may have on offer. But to even know that such a shop exists will come handy one day. So when the need arises, they will know where to come.
We prioritize our tasks daily, and likewise it’s also important to prioritise our relationships. Just as we can’t seem to let go of that favourite dress that we have not worn for 15 years, sometimes we don’t seem to be able to let go of our outmoded relationships. If a relationship has passed its expiry date, then it’s not healthy. Let go of it (with good feelings) and make room for something new to emerge.
Furthermore, if someone is draining your energy, or taking advantage, then it’s just a sign that we haven’t yet developed the skills to manage ourselves and draw our boundaries diligently. In this situation we need to build more self respect, learn to be more loving, and yet at the same time more detached. Sometimes, with our big heart we try to help someone out of the mire of their negativity, but we only succeed in getting stuck in the bog ourselves! We need to increase our value and know our own capacity.
There is a hairline difference between ego and self-esteem. If we are doing things for others just to be accepted or recognized, then it means that we lack value for ourselves, this is inverted ego. The other type of ego to look out for is the one that succumbs to praise, feels they always know best, and says: “Look at me, I’m such a good person!” Ego is not a basis for an honest and respectful relationship.