Crippled CEO Blog #072:
How do we make new friends?
There are a few ways. Someone sits by you in class. Someone sits by you at work. Someone’s sits by you at a concert.
Apparently, we primarily make new friends by people seating themselves in our proximity.
But in all seriousness, it’s random. We encounter a new person out in the world, we speak to them for some reason — often on multiple occasions — we connect over something, and voila! New friend.
The problem with this is the vetting process sucks. Yeah, you’re going to naturally avoid obviously crazy people. But most people aren’t obviously crazy. It isn’t readily apparent when you first meet somebody if they are going to be a drain of your energy, create drama, or even be straight up nefarious. That takes time to figure out. And with time, comes a personal investment that is hard to eschew.
Your friends matter. There is an often repeated wisdom that we are the sum of our five closest friends, and there’s truth to that. Your friends have a massive, incalculable influence on your life. They impact the way you think, the goals you set, the way you spend your time, and your bar for what is acceptable and unacceptable in everything ranging from nutrition to dating to finance.
If our friends are so important, why do we just accept that our friend group is largely accidental — people we have met by chance, invested time in, that we mostly like the majority of, but continue to allow into our lives? I know people who are constantly complaining about their friends. This is insanity to me.
Why do we accept having friends that aren’t only adding to our lives?
And I’ll be real honest, at the risk of sounding like I’m bragging, the reason I feel comfortable writing about this is because I have what I am describing. All my friends are awesome. There is zero drama in my life. It has taken a long time, and a lot of work, but it’s possible.
So, if the process of making friends isn’t changing, and it’s not, how do we do it?
- Sit in cooler places. If you’re sitting in places where awesome people are more likely to be, someone awesome is more likely to sit near you. And, as we know, sitting near someone is like the only way to meet people.
- Be really cool. Be a person worthy of having awesome friends. If you focus on improving you, you will attract a higher caliber of human. If your life sucks and is filled with drama and problems, you’re going to scare away people like me (and you definitely want people like me).
- Cut ruthlessly. I curate my friends. And a big part of the curation process is I get rid of people who are throwing things off. Just like an employee with the wrong attitude can poison the culture of a company, one bad friend can screw everything up. Get rid of people who don’t treat you the way you want to be treated. Get rid of people who drain from your life instead of adding to it. Get rid of people who don’t act in a way that inspires you to do better, who aren’t role models for you to aspire to. There are things about all of my friends that I want to emulate. Being around them helps me be a better person.
That’s really it. That last one is pretty crucial. It’s tough to do, especially if you’ve known someone for a long time. But you’re not doing either of you any favors by hanging in there. Let them go. Make room for somebody you admire and respect.
Besides your family and your spouse, the friends you pick are the biggest impact on your life. Put some intentionality in deciding who you want to give that power. It’s worth it. I’ve had crappy friends. I’ve had awesome friends. I really prefer the latter.
(Did you like that as much as your mom did? Probably not. She loves everything I do. You should be like her and send a text message with the word CRIP to the phone number 484848. I will send you a link each week to the latest blog post. Act now while supplies last.)