With every new phase in life, I find it so interesting that friendships can dramatically shift. I’ve finally learned not to mourn these shifts, and to just roll with it. I have met so many fascinating people so far in my life, and I know this is only the beginning. Why be sad when you realize that someone you thought was a good friend is no longer when there are so many incredible people on this planet?
There are different levels of friendships. Embracing them for what they are, and letting go when it is time is what helps during these transitions. Today I wanted to share three types of friendships that I’ve come across as well as the mistakes I’ve made. Distinguishing who people are in our lives has made this process so much easier for me.
Seasonal friends are the ones that you make because you are both doing the same thing in the same arena. These friends you make at school, at work, or in organizations that you are passionate about. Often when you leave these environments your friendships will naturally shift. It is usually what you had in common at the time that was a big part of the connection. It doesn’t make what was there no longer valid or special, it is just how life is. Some of these friends may linger past the transitions, but most will not.
Associates are people who make your day more pleasant with laughter and silliness. They may also be around to uplift you when you are going through something, but that isn’t their main role, and it most likely won’t be a normal occurrence. These are not the people to share very personal information with, and I found it better to keep things light in general. We are all here to help uplift each other, yet associates are not close enough to always be trusted with very personal information. Just keep it light and enjoy the company.
My mother always told me that I would be able to count my real friends on one hand. What I didn’t understand was that they wouldn’t necessarily all be in the same place at the same time. The idea of having a tribe made me believe that I would have a circle of soul friendships that would all hang out together on a deep loving level. Your tribe isn’t always in the same location or during the same continuous time of your life. Also these soul connections may not be the friends you hang out with as often as you’d like, but the time together will always be treasured. The connection is much deeper, and no matter how much time passes inbetween visits, it will feel like no time has passed at all.
Finding Your Tribe
My huge mistakes in the past has always been thinking everyone was a soul friendship. I trusted associates and seasonal friendships with personal information they were not capable of handling with care. I had my feelings hurt. Or I would be a soul friend to everyone else and have my kindness taken advantage of.
Once I learned to distinguish the different types of friendships, I realized that most of the people I met in life may not ever become part of my tribe, but that didn’t mean I could not learn from them or enjoy their company.
I’ve also learned to trust myself more and more by listening to my intuition. People often tell you exactly who they are in the very beginning if you pay attention. Anyone who speaks poorly of others, gossips, or is constantly complaining isn’t one who will become a soul friend no matter how much you may admire something about them.
If you are the one who often does those things, see what about your life is frustrating you so much that you can’t be happy. We are all so much more powerful than we think. We don’t have to give our personal power away to anyone or anything. Cultivating self worth allows us to be happier in life, find true friendships, and be better friends to others.
If you can only count your soul friendship on three fingers, you are still extremely blessed. After spending years in the performance industry around famous prestigious people, I have witnessed smoke and mirrors like most may never see. We may admire or even envy their money and fame, but it isn’t what most people think it is so there is no reason to do either. There is a solid reason they call it “smoke and mirrors” in the first place. What you think you see really isn’t there at all!
Finding your tribe usually begins with self love first, then understanding that every relationship in our life is not meant to be a soul friendship. Distinguishing the difference allows us to find our tribe much more easily.
(Image by Dawn Michelle)