“Avoid false friendship at all costs.”
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
Stop and think about that for a few moments.
The people we surround ourselves with help us sort right from wrong, ethical from unethical, and desirable from undesirable.
So, surrounding ourselves with people who don’t like us (but pretend to) is also exposing ourselves to people who are duplicitous as a matter of course.
We are also exposing ourselves to a normal that may include other thought patterns beyond base deception.
So, yeah, avoid false friends.
But let’s take it a step beyond.
In addition to avoiding false friends, let’s root out the kernels of false friendship in ourselves.
How often do we ask about the times we have been false friends?
And what does being a false friend mean to you?
For me, there are a lot of little things I DON’T do to my friends:
- fib (lying, but white-ish)
- allow hypocrisy (if something they do does not seem to match their stated ideals, I say something)
- prevaricate (like fibbing, but in response to a direct question)
- leave them in ignorance (if they say something truly hurtful to me or to others, I’ll say something)
And so on.
Have I done these things?
Sometimes, it’s a knee-jerk reaction.
But that’s being a crappy friend, to me. It means I’m running our relationship on auto-pilot on a rail built of crappy habits and a distinct lack of think.
I’m human. Just like everyone else in many ways. Very NOT like everyone else in others. I have to put a lot of thought into my friendships to maintain them, because that sort of connection does not come naturally to me.
And by doing so, I see where others for whom it is natural miss out on the intentional bits sometimes that could really make their lives and connections amazing.
I am not a false friend, most of the time. Even to people I know don’t really like me. Because their ethics do not determine mine.
But sometimes, well… it happens. So I examine and correct, when I can.
So, today, I say: How have you been a false friend?
- Do you keep false friends around?
- If yes, what benefit do you receive? Is it worth it?
- Have you been a false friend?
- What do you do, if anything, to avoid being false to others?
- What other thoughts/ideas/inspirations might you have about this?
Feel free to write in the comments or in your own journal and link here (so others can read it), or just think on it or write on it and keep it to yourself, if you prefer.
Write a sentence. Or a paragraph. Or an essay. Or whatever this is to you. Talk it out. Make it yours.
I look forward to reading.