Are you competitive?
Do you love a good challenge? Do you find yourself competing with your friends?
Competition is a healthy exercise to engage in, when your intentions are good.
I recently met up with some friends for a weekend of fun, fishing, and bbq.
On my drive home I reflected on my personal interactions with my friends and evaluated how I grew from the weekend.
I identified a few interesting tidbits that I wanted to share.
Use your friends as a barometer
We all feel insecure at times.
If you struggle with managing money, ask a friend how they manage theirs.
If you are stuck in a rut, ask your friends how they get out of a rut.
If you need relationship advice ask them.
I find it funny when people are uncomfortable talking about finances with friends. We all deal with the same issues. It’s refreshing, engaging, and interesting to see how your friends are able to save, or what their biggest hurdles are to saving money.
Use your friends to see where you can improve and return the favor by educating them on something that you do well which gives you financial piece of mind.
The same goes for relationship advice and anything else you are comfortable talking about.
Use your time with friends wisely and be a sail
If you get to see your friends often, you are lucky.
Geography can make meeting up with close friends difficult at times.
If you are like me and only get to see friends a handful of times a year, be conscientious about that time and use it to encourage and build confidence.
It’s easy to meet up and because you are comfortable with them, engage in playful banter that isn’t always positive.
Everyone encounters people who blow wind in our sails and help us set the course. We also meet anchors, or people who drag us down with their problems, their negative attitudes, and their unwillingness to change.
Be a sail, not an anchor.
Ask your friend what they are struggling with, find ways to help, hold them accountable, lend them an ear. Use your in person time to help them, not hinder them.
Overpay for memories
If you see your friends every week, this advice will not apply to you.
However, if you only get to see your friends a couple times a year, focus on the memories, not the dinner bill.
I highly doubt anyone reading this has an infinite amount of money, we all have a budget.
But, if you can afford to grab a dinner tab, or buy a round of drinks, or any other nice gesture while your friends are in town, DO IT.
Not because you want to show them how rich you are.
Not because you feel like you owe it to them.
But because it shows you care and you appreciate their company.
Sometimes it can be weird to say out loud, “hey man, I really enjoy your company, thanks for sharing a meal with me.”
But that’s what you truly feel.
Let picking up the tab say that instead.
If a friend is struggling financially, this small gesture will go a long way and make them appreciate your friendship even more.
Be a plan maker, not a plan breaker
The last thought I had was about planning get together with friends.
It’s easy to get excited while you are face to face and plan your next opportunity to see each other.
But be cautious.
If you blindly commit to another trip without knowing for sure you can make it, you can set yourself up for some problems later.
We all get busy.
The more you are able to follow through on plans, or encourage others to join you on exciting adventures, the longer you will keep friends around.
Don’t be that guy, or girl, that blindly commits to a fun weekend beer tasting, only to back out last minute.
You will find yourself getting invited to far less events if you aren’t dependable.
So when you are face to face, and the topic of “let’s do this again soon” is brought up, be smart.
Tell them “yes”, let’s get something on the calendar as soon as we can.
Then tell them, I will start doing research on where we can go.
Friends love having someone plan an exciting trip for them. Don’t leach off another friend’s wanderlust.
Hopefully some of these thoughts and tips help you become a better friend and teaches you how to use them to see personal growth in your life.
If you like this, let me know with a comment below.