How do you pick your friends ?
That is how I pick them.
A few days ago I was chatting with two friends. The girl came from my home country and settled in the town I live in for a year. The guy lives here, and we are quite close friends.
The bone of contention in this discussion was the definition of “close” in “close friends”. For the girl, when you are close to someone, you should hang around with the person, meet as much as possible, talk on the phone, plan stuff on the spur of the moment, share secrets, laugh… be friends.
For the guy, being friends means respecting the other one’s space, calling and planning to meet days ahead, chatting when both friends are free or even planning chats for them to be sure they will actually chat, meeting when they have something very clear and specific to do together, calling to say something specific, sharing business tips as much as possible… be friends.
It was very funny to hear them talk. Because I experienced both realities and I so much know how both “close friendships” feel like.
When I was younger, life picked my friends for me. And I have to admit it was very good at it. When I was in high school I always had friends to share stories about my crushes or lyrics of songs I couldn’t stop listening to. When in university, I had friends to share my misery with, a support system made of broke and hungry people dreaming of nothing else than leaving that hell. Meeen it seemed our parents just forgot about us or were getting back at us for every stupid thing we did when living with them!
I can’t thank life enough for the choices it made for me at that time. I needed this people. Every single one of them. They were my… everything. Then came adult life, leaving university and start working. Actually no. Then came 2015 and the big change in my life. I talked about that again and again here on Medium. My dear, if you don’t know about it, then you are new here. So welcome!
When I started taking care of my mental health and my life in general and when I started doing stuff that were meaningful to me like activism, working on Elle Citoyenne’s growth (the baby came to life November 29th, 2015) and getting new skills that had nothing to do with translation, I needed another kind of support. I needed people I could learn from. People that will help me grow as a person. Always.
I still have my ol’ crew. We are still in touch, some more than others. Life happened. Some are married with babies, others are doing their own things just as I am. We catch up from time to time and are there for each other through bad times.
But at that point in my life, I needed something different. I still do. Today I don’t know anything about the private life of the friends I pick. I don’t even know where most of them live. They don’t know where I live either. They don’t know what the C. in my name means, and I don’t know if they have one or two surnames. But I just can’t go on without them.
I select my friends (yes, you read well, I said SELECT) just as I would have selected business partners. We invest in each others life (support, help to grow our businesses, share opportunities, recommend each other for work and stuff) and when the phone rings (though mine is always on silent mode), we KNOW the call is important since we never call, except if it IS important.
We don’t need to keep in touch. We are most of the time too busy to chat, and when we meet it is generally a “meeting”, with an agenda. Fun bores us. What is fun to us is… talking growth, business growth, skills growth, how to be better in what we do.
Some people think we are crazy and we are no fun. But you cannot imagine how fun it is to read a book, learn from it, then call your friend and tell them “you definitely have to read this”. Or listening to a TED Talk and hearing something that could crush the obstacles your friend is facing in his business. You cannot even imagine.
A friend told me recently that life is nothing but marketing. And he is so right. If you apply the strategies you use to grow your business to your own life, you thrive as a person. What do you need to grow a business?
Hard work. Then work hard on yourself.
Time. Take some time for yourself with yourself (I insist on that).
New skills to keep up with the concurrence. Read, because each book you open is a new life you live through each page, and you acquire a lifetime experience.
Change when old practices do not work anymore. Most of the time we change for the better because we decide to do so. Bad habits are the only ones which come unnoticed.
Renewal. Reboot yourself from time to time, it allows you to see your own life in a new perspective.
I can go on and on and on and on and on for days.
We actually do not need to know who cheats on their spouses or who is broke. What we need to do is to help each other grow. That’s all. And if we do it just as we have to, the cheater will stop cheating because they will consider things in a better perspective, and the broke one will start making money through their own busines or a job they love. That’s why we are there. We don’t need to share secrets or hang around 24/7 or do things on the spur of the moment. All we need is to promote growth by any means available.
I love my friends. I don’t tell them. I share my love for people in a strange way. So they don’t know. If they read this, be they from the ol’ crew or the new team, I want them to know I love them.
Hello, my name is Befoune and I love my friends. Clap to this if you enjoyed our story. And clap to this too even if it is not the case. I need you to cheer me. For real.