A few months back, I started thinking and reevaluating all my friendships. I realized that I was spending my invaluable time with people that could not be categorized as true friends. We did not have similar goals and values. The friendships that I had lacked quality; they did not have the breadth and depth that I desired. There were no commonalities and I preferred spending time on other constructive activities and by myself rather than sitting at a bar engaging in meaningless conversations. I oscillated between different groups of people but I was not happy in any of them. Something was missing!
I also started evaluating how social media was defining my friendships. In spite of the validation it provided, I still felt like a distant island. Screen time was escalating and in-person meetings were becoming less. I started experiencing a lot of noise (thanks to technology and the addictive apps) and quality interactions were getting difficult to come by. It was not until I completed a 30-day social media diet as recommended by Cal Newport in his book Deep Work did I realize that all the friendships on these websites and apps were shallow and false. As I unplugged myself from the Matrix, I became aware that I was robbing myself of the two priceless resources that I had, my time and attention, by logging into these websites. It was time for me to make better choices for myself.
Friendship is a two-way street. One person making the effort is not enough; there has to be a mutual connection. And that’s a litmus test to screen out the friendships that we no longer want. Friendship doesn’t have to be about self-interest and taking from the other person, but it should be about giving as well. That’s when trust emerges and a true connection is formed.
Friendships have to be nurturing and uplifting rather than toxic and demeaning. Often times, it becomes so hard for us to build friendships from scratch that we settle as soon as we find a group of people around us. We are mortified to be alone, so we don’t care if people in our social circle align with us or not. We are simply happy to find comfort and certainty as we become a part of the herd.
Even if there are no mutual interests, we are scared of breaking friendships and cutting out people from our lives because we don’t want to feel isolated and lonely.
But we are only fooling ourselves and living an illusion. If our friendships are not serving us and our well being, then we should let them go. A great by-product of committing to a life of minimalism is that I have cut out all the unnecessary friendships from my life that were not serving for my greater good and contributing to the achievement of my goals.
We do need friends and a sense of community, but not at the cost of our well being. Our friends and associations determine our success, and it’s our responsibility to be careful while choosing them.
Instead of developing empty and hollow friendships, I’ve realized that it’s better to press the ‘reset’ button and focus on ourselves and what we truly like. Personal alignment is the best starting point to bring more quality friendships in our lives.
We need to do more things that make us feel good. Only then we can elevate ourselves vibrationally to a happy place. By the Law of Attraction, we will attract more happy and like-minded people to us. The friendships and bonds that we will form will be stronger and long-lasting.
And even if in spite of our best efforts, we are not able to find friendships that are fulfilling and add value to our lives, then that is okay too! It’s better to have no friends rather than having friends that corrupt our thinking and pull us back to mediocrity.
Instead of running away from loneliness, we should surrender and embrace spending time with ourselves. Even if we think we know everything about ourselves, there’s still a lot to learn. It’s not bad to enjoy solitude and being our own best friend. This is the most important friendship that we engage in in our lifetime.
When we reach a place of detachment, only then we’ll able to build healthy and happy friendships with people we really enjoy spending time with.
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