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A few months back, I set up a call with an old friend who I hadn’t spoken to in a while. After she asked her three perfunctory questions – health, husband, work, the rest of the conversation was her own stream of consciousness that lasted an hour. Nothing urgent, or out of the ordinary, just family, and stuff. All good and all about her. Is she a self-obsessed friend?
Does she have poor listening skills? Could be. Or, a low emotional IQ – EQ? Possibly.
Reasons for a self-obsessed friend can range from narcissistic tendencies to loneliness. Time to find out
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While having a negative friend may be hard to deal with, science shows that they can’t help it! We’re all hard-wired to react to negative information more strongly than positive information for survival.
Studies show (see Prospect Theory) that people find it more distressing to lose $1,000 than feel elated and rewarded by winning $1,000.
- Here’s an example. Just say you’re a monkey in a forest and have a solid source pantry – a banana tree. One morning your banana tree has been chopped down and all the bananas are gone. Oh no, you’ve lost all your resources and your stress levels skyrocket. You have to scramble to survive and find another tree. Your brain puts you on high alert.
- However, this time your banana tree is a cornucopia so you decide to head further in to the forest. You spot another banana tree and jump up and down with joy. It’s a reward, and our brain loves a reward. But those bananas are a bonus tree and your survival doesn’t depend on them. You won the forest lottery, and enjoy its bounty.
Who do you invite to support your business or career project? Business friends are powerful allies, choose wisely and don’t confuse their value with one size fits all friends. I’ve confused their contribution in my friend network but quickly learned about a business friend who was just that, a solid business friend.
Attracting people who provide you with the power to launch your project, business, internships or mentorship is a great friend endeavor. If you want solid information and no one in your current friend group has that information reach out and create a specialty friend group. I call these folk power players. They may not be in your life for the long haul, but they can sure have a long-term impact.
Years ago, I was wondering why my colleague would only talk business – was he a friend or not? Often
How do you make successful friends? Malik Stalbert is a black belt martial arts professional and trainer as well as an IT executive. Through years of working with his clients on and off the dojo mat, Malik has developed innovative ideas on how to make successful friends. He shares his top 5 Friend Actions with Super Friend Groups.
This week he discusses his first action for successful friends:
Action 1: Clear Purpose & Direction
Look for someone who has a clear purpose and understanding of what they need to do in their own and who have a life plan. You’re talking about inviting them into your life and if they don’t know where they’re going they’ll syphon off your energy.
A friend isn’t around you all the time, so you’ve got to figure out how much energy you want to spend on a friend. Having a direction and plan is one of the first things I look for. A potential friend must be emotionally
So you criticize a friend, big deal, get over it. There was a friend years’ back who was constantly criticized by a dear yet critical friend – “why don’t you drink red wine, it’s better for you,” “can’t believe you still live in Los Angeles, the people are so shallow there.” Hmmm… if this’s friend feedback, pass me the Jack Daniels and ice!
If you continually criticize a friend, ask yourself why? You can change yourself, so find out what’s motivating negative or bossy jabs at your friend! “Can’t believe you still live in Los Angeles (with a fun job and friends, but really…) everyone’s so shallow there.” Are you feeling envy, competitiveness, scared,