How choosey are you about friends and groups?
When it comes to associating with fellow humans, are you choosy?
The reason I ask is because some people believe it “just happens.” Do you? I am sure you have heard the cliché, “birds of a feather flock together.” This is often true, and there are other reasons people gather, that lurk in the shadows. Clarity around how you choose relationships and groups set the stage for your future. Don’t underestimate the impact. When I think about my closest friends, the words that come to mind are integrity, intelligent, caring, encouraging, and growth oriented. I don’t have an official check list, but I am aware that these qualities matter a lot to me. These same qualities act as a compass I use to decide how committed I can be to a person or an organization. Obviously, how friendships evolve and the decisions to join groups happens for many different reasons. Some of us have friends that we have known for a long time and there is a shared history that creates a bond. Would we be friends if we met today with out that history? Maybe not. Other motivations for being part of a group may tie into professional interests or personal aspirations. None of these choices are right or wrong. It is only a problem when the shadow side takes over and influences your decisions. As humans we all need social interaction. The challenge happens when you are unaware that the priorities of your associations are not aligned with the qualities that matter most to you. Here is an example of the shadow side in action. Have you ever said “yes” to do something for a friend or as a volunteer, only later to regret it? And then, you do it again. Without clarity around why friendships and associations are important to you, you end up doing things you don’t want to. It might sound dramatic, but this is how people end up in extreme positions. They never intended to do anything that would harm anyone else, but they did. Was it their intention? No. Did they have a choice? I think so. Do you? What qualities are priority to you when it comes to choosing relationships and associations? As the next Macro cycle begins, know that it is all about the power of groups. Our individual choices around friends and organizations now, will have significant impact on the collective moving forward. I’d love to hear what you think!