If we’re all honest with ourselves we need human interaction. Even the anti-social among us (I claim that status occasionally) need what society brings to us to not just survive but thrive.
Being in a symbiotic relationship (shout out to my buddy Josh for that term) with all those around you can be one of the best things in the world. When you’re surrounded by friends you get to learn from them, commiserate with them and share in all of life’s ups and downs. When you walk away from time with one of those people you feel happy you spent time with them, even if the subject matter you were discussing was less than happy.
But that symbiotic relationship can have a bad side, as well. There can be people we surrounded ourselves with who’s interactions don’t bring happiness to our lives. They’re the emotional vampires (someone important coined that term, not me) and they suck the energy right out of you when you deal with them. You may have the same kind of interactions with them as you do with the folks above but the outcome is much different – even if the subject matter is exactly the same. Instead of walking away from one of those interactions feeling like the time spent was beneficial you walk away drained. Not good.
I know I have the best friends any one person could hope for – whether they’re the ones who I can grab lunch with, go drink with, watch sports with or play games with (or all the rest) there is no doubt I have the best friends around. My friends are diverse, entertaining and just flat out awesome.
I have a friend who runs his own highly successful business which inspires me to continue to work towards that (even if it’s just a successful side business while I dominate the corporate world). I have a friend who’s one of the smartest people you’ll meet and is great at blending psychology with economics – he inspires me to get better at meshing different things together to see the world from a different perspective (and he’s a good beer-picking resource to boot). I have a friend who sets her mind to something and does it which inspires me to keep improving on my self-discipline.
I have friends who run sub-6 minute miles (me one day), friends who are perpetual optimists (I shoot for that), friends who are beach volleyball masters (getting there).
I have social friends, anti-social friends and selectively-social friends.
I have friends who would bail me out of jail, friends who would be right with in jail and friends who would help me hide the bodies so I don’t go to jail.
But the one thing they all share is that they all inspire me in one way or another…whether they recognize it or not.
I’ve surrounded myself with inspiring, awesome people – what about you?by