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Be Careful with Whom you Make your Alliances

Wise Words from an Previous Mentor

By Susan Eileen Published 5 months ago 3 min read
Be Careful with Whom you Make your Alliances
Photo by SOULSANA on Unsplash

Years ago when I was starting my education career at the local career center, my boss gave me very sage advice that I did not heed. The advice was, be careful with whom you make your alliances. Unfortunately, I dismissed this advice and decided to stick with friends from high school, who - and it took me far too long to realize this - I had truly had nothing in common with. If you associate out with addicts, you will eventually become an addict, if you associate with people who don't know how to manage their money, eventually you won't be able to either, and if you associate with people are deeply committed to staying stuck in a rut, you'll get stuck in their rut too. Negativity and hopelessness is just as contagious as positivity and optimism; pick your partners and friends wisely.

There are three types of friends in this life: friends of utility, friends of pleasure, and friends who inspire. Friends of utility may be a friend you chose to work out with at your local gym. The only aspect of your life that you have in common is that you both have a fitness goal. Friends of pleasure are friends that are there for you only in good times - fair weather friends. This might be a co-worker who asks you out for drinks on payday. They aren't interested in forming a long-lasting bond for many reasons. They might have too many family obligations to give your friendship too much time. Then there are friends that inspire you. They compliment you on your successes, encourage you to pursue career and education goals, or invite you to join a book club or other social event does not revolve around destructive addictive habits like alcohol or shopping. Focus on the friends of inspiration.

The pandemic and current economy has certainly made it more difficult to make friends and date, but technology, if used correctly can help mitigate that issue. The MeetUp App is an app designed to help you find social events in your area that are either tailored to your specific interests, or events that will help you expand your horizons. I've recently met women my age at the local Panera for a scrabble night. I also attended a murder mystery play at a local watering hole. Variety is the spice of life.

Eleanor Roosevelt is quoted as saying, "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people." Certainly, all of these conversations have a place in your life, but be mindful of where you place your focus. Who hasn't wanted to vent about their partner, children, or best friend? But don't spend too much time on venting, because at the end of the day, the only person you can change is yourself. All you can truly be is a good role model to the people in your life. If they don't want to change, evolve, grow, or are stuck in their ways, that is their journey not yours.

By the time you are 52 like myself, you'll realize that everybody will be in very different places in their life. Some will have grandchildren, some will be divorced, some will be in recovery, some will be committed to change, and some will be committed to staying stuck. If you're very observant, you'll notice, that if you met some of these people today, and not two, five, or ten years ago, you would pass them by in the bar, or at work, and you would've never started a friendship with them in the first place. Birds of a feather flock together. If you make friends with transactional, superficial people, you, too, will become transactional and superficial. If you make friends with a motivational speaker, for instance, you will become motivated to get your life in order. The only real losers in life are those people who don't even try or have very shallow values. If your values are shallow, your victories will have no meaning. If your values are deeply rooted, you will have many people rooting for you. Make friends with people you want to be like, not people you used to be like. This will ensure slow and steady progress in life. Your friends of pleasure will be nowhere to be found when the bills are due on payday. I know this much is true.


About the Creator

Susan Eileen

I am an aspiring writer currently writing a book on the Sober Revolution we are in the midst of, a book about essays that will change the way you think, and a novel about a serial killer. I am also working on a book of poetry.

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