The type of job I do, my curiosity about people and my activity on social media all contributed to the blurry image of the status of my friendships. Even my colleagues teasingly called me the “poster boy” of my company and my neighbors joked that I am the mayor of our block. However, since September I had a major change and with it came a flash of the obvious. I actually did not have many friends – nor did I need many!
I realize that life drowns people into the deep waters of their own priorities. I also understand that acquaintances, colleagues and social media contacts are not necessarily friends. At the same time, I accept that many enduring friendships persist despite the infrequent touch points because of the accumulated trust, empathy and respect. What I do not appreciate are all those “friends” who insisted that we should meet before I leave and then turned out to be too busy to spare a minute to call or check on me.
Here are some of the phrases I heard from such people: “Let’s grab coffee sometime”, “let’s meet for a drink to chat”, and “we need to catch up”. Starting this week, I developed a suitable comeback to any similar statements. Whenever someone says it, I smile and silently reply F*** You!
On the hand, my main area of focus and growth for the upcoming year will be my relationships. I commit to invest in my account of goodwill with the few who matter. I will intentionally nurture the friendships that count and thoughtfully cultivate the authentic bonds that I value. I will spend quality time with those who are genuinely interested in me. I will think of them more often. I will be involved in their lives and I will involve them in mine a little more. To honor my commitment and succeed in my pursuit, I have to be very selective about who makes the cut. My guiding principle in 2017 will be: Less Is More.