I want to talk to you about how to make friends who support what you are doing in life. When you are trying to take your growth to the next level, it is important to know how to refine your friend group. You want to have friends that are positive, aligned with your lifestyle, and who you can offer value to (and vice versa).
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PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT IS A DRASTIC TRANSITION
There is an important thing to consider about getting into personal development. Learning how to take on a growth mindset so that you can harness your success in life is a drastic transition. Someone can talk to you 3 months down the road (after you have read Tony Robbins books, watched inspirational videos, maybe attended a live event, and made some changes in your life) and they will see that you are very different. As a result of how much your mindset has changed, you can be seen as a completely different person.
As for my situation, I’ve explained my journey to many friends and different groups of people. It is a HUGE part of my life now, so it is pretty hard to hide in any decent conversation. It has been challenging to tell them about all my goals, and about my online business. Most people chuckle because it seems kind of funny to write down a bunch of goals, yell positive affirmations to myself, and drink wheatgrass. Not everyone understands, and most people do not live the same lifestyle.
For example, at my fraternity, health is not a high priority. I have made some large changes to my health, so there is an element of peer pressure when I am around the guys. Then there are my parents. They know about a lot of my goals but don’t understand why I tackle some of them. It has been a work in progress to understand each other’s perspectives.
DEALING WITH NEGATIVITY
There are also friends who you have hung out with in the past, but you start to realize are actually very negative. You can see how they are acting through a personal development lens now. Thus, you can pick up on negativity a lot more easily. You see that the way they are acting may not have a positive influence on how you feel. Of course, there are also people who spend more time talking about other people than talking about ideas and growth.
At the end of the day, there are different styles of thinking and different perspectives. It is important to know how to make friends who suit the way you think and the way that you choose to live your life. A key part of your social life is being around people that complement you and have similar interests. You will get along a lot better as a result. Some people have more of a fixed “enjoy life now” mindset. Others have more of a growth “work hard now” mindset. So there is a conflict of interest there.
REFINING YOUR FRIEND CIRCLE BUT STAYING LOYAL
One of the main questions I have struggled to answer (and I imagine a lot of you have as well) when it comes to learning how to make friends that match your interests is this:
“What do you do with your old friends?”
You may have some really good friends in your old friend circle. However, maybe their lifestyle has become a lot different from yours. Maybe you have drifted away from the way they are, and now you guys are different in your lifestyle and the way you think. BUT, you still respect them as a person, and you still enjoy their company here and there.
I want to share with you how to make friends that you can achieve your goals with, but also be able to hang on to old friends that you still want to remain close to. There is a practical compromise between the two sides.
SEEK OUT NEW FRIENDS THAT SUPPORT YOUR GOALS
One thing I want to emphasize is that a lot of people SETTLE when it comes to their friend group. They are not able to succeed with their goals and progress with their personal development because they are not surrounding themselves with the right people. So how do you learn how to make friends that support your goals? To find places where these friends could be located, you can try the following locations (which depend on what your goals are):
- Public speaking classes
- Meditation or yoga classes
- Self-improvement groups on Meetup.com
- Forums (ex. business, dating, etc.)
I will also add that if you have common (not personal growth related) hobbies like art, acting, or sports, that is totally okay. You can still see how to make friends in these places. Keep in mind that these activities are still focused on GROWTH, and becoming better at your craft. This makes them places where you can meet goal-oriented people. This is in contrast to people who spend a lot of time on Netflix or play a lot of video games. These things are okay in moderation. However, if they are doing this consistently, then that is really what their life becomes.
With these new friends who share your goals and mindset, you want to make sure that you hang out with them as much as possible. You want to allocate as much of your social life to these new friends as possible. This is the best way to ensure that you are consistently growing as a person.
WHAT ABOUT MY OLD FRIENDS?
So what do you do if your old friends don’t fit the mold?
I will start by saying that if you aren’t particularly close to an old friend, you can safely distance yourself from them. There’s no real loss to you, or to them since they probably didn’t feel close to you either.
What if they are a really great friend?
The key is to see them regularly, but not so much that it interferes with your ability to tackle your goals. Maybe you usually head over to your friend’s house every evening and end up playing video games the whole time, because that’s what they enjoy. Because you are doing this, you notice that you are compromising your own goals. You are taking away time from your journey of achievement in life, and that is where it becomes an issue.
So when you see your friend, you can go out to a bar, a movie, etc., but you aren’t doing that EVERY single day. You still have time to make progress on your goals.
If you notice that your friend has become a lot more negative and draining, and gossiping a lot about others, you want to be assertive. Sit down and talk to them. Let them know in a strong way that you aren’t okay with the way they are talking. Of course, you are giving your time to them. You expect that there will be an aspect of mutual respect in the conversation. You expect that you will talk about mutually interesting topics. If they are a good friend, they will listen to your opinion (assuming you are reasonable about it and not demanding) and make an effort to change their behavior.
DON’T PREACH YOUR VIEWS
You also want to make sure that you don’t preach your new views onto your old friends. You don’t want to give off an impression that you are elitist because you are living a life of growth and holding yourself to higher standards in life. This is something that even I have been guilty of. I had one person tell me that I made them feel as if their life was less superior. The fact of the matter is that their life is NOT less superior than yours. They are just living with a different perspective which is their choice, and that is totally okay.
You can also make an effort to learn more about them. Ask about what they are doing to grow THEMSELVES. They might be into some aspect of personal development after all. Maybe they are taking a Mixed Martial Arts class or maybe they work on their body regularly at the gym. So talk about it, because that is where your views align. They will be passionate talking about it and the conversation will be enjoyable for both parties.
BE AROUND THOSE WITH MORE RESULTS THAN YOU
Learn how to make friends with people who have more results than you. It’s important that when you start your personal development journey, you recognize that you are just beginning. Know that when you are around people that are much better than you at something, you should grow much faster and achieve higher results. Understand that these people were in your position at one point too. There is no need to feel inferior about where you are in that area of life.
Also, remember not to come into the friendship in a TAKING mindset. Instead, you can offer them whatever value you can offer them. Maybe they are proficient in one area of life but not so good in the other. AND, maybe YOU are good at the area of life that they AREN’T good at, and you can offer them advice and add value to them. Meanwhile, they can offer you value back in the area of life that you aren’t good at. In the end, it becomes a value exchange, and that is how friendship works.
LEARN HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS ACCORDING TO HOW YOU LIVE
I hope this article was useful and you learned how to make friends according to how you are living your life. If you have a growth mindset like myself, I believe that these tips can help you a lot.
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