How many times have you heard the term, “Choose your friends wisely”? Over the course of your lifetime, we’ve all probably heard this a few dozen times, but how many of you have ever stopped and thought about it?
I’ve come to the realization that friends are like stocks — you invest in them, hoping you’ll be happy with the return; you’ll go through ups and downs, but ultimately stick with them; if they no longer become of value to you, you dump it. Cruel? Maybe. But think about it. I don’t know about you, but I view my time as valuable, and I don’t want to sacrifice it for people who give me nothing in return. And just for the record, when I say “give me nothing in return,” I mean things like happiness, consideration and loyalty.
Through walks of life you’ll meet different groups of people. You’ll still have your main crew; maybe you have a group of people you met at work; maybe you have a group of people you met through work; and maybe you have a group of people you met randomly. In any case, friendship is a two-way street. When one side is giving significantly more than the other, it’s never a good thing. If one side is the only one making an effort, is that really even a friendship?
As I get busier with work and life and as I meet new people, I start to have a shorter leash with people. When you’re younger, it’s very hard to just cut someone out of your life; either you’ll see them at school, or when hanging with some other friends, or just in passing in town. When you get older, it becomes surprisingly easier.
I have no time — figuratively or literally — for fair-weather friends. I am a very, very simple guy. The most I ask of my friends is to make an effort, which, for the ones that I hang out with, they do. If we’ve known each other a while and the friendship level isn’t what is was, then just call it what it is. Like I said, people change. Over time I’ve met a variety of people whom I enjoy spending time with, and it’s not easy to spread out time with them. But I try. This is all I ask of them in return. I know I have people in my life who are busy and that sometimes, things happen. But, there’s a limit. Nobody is so busy that they can never hang out with someone. If I know (or at least believe) that you’re making an effort, I’m good. But when I know (or at least believe) that you’re making no effort whatsoever, I’m done.
As I said, I’m a simple guy. I’m patient and I’m understanding, but don’t lie; don’t make excuses and definitely don’t pull the, “We need to hang out more!” line when you really don’t mean it. Don’t be a dog with fleas.