What’s Your Ideal Friendship Ratio?
I recently saw this friendship ratio:
- 33% of your friendships should be with people who call you up to a higher level (mentors or influencers)
- 33% of your friendships should be with people operating at the same frequency (peers)
- 33% of your relationships should be with people you are leading by example to a higher lever (mentee)
My ratio is probably 15%, 70%, 15%. This got me to thinking about friendships and taking an inventory of the people in my life. I was thinking about my current and past roster of friends and examining how they affected my life, if at all. I then started thinking about how we became friends… what drew us together. There was no rhyme or reason to most of my former friends. We connected simply because either we lived in the same neighborhood, were in the same activities, or we dated guys that were friends. (Cue Notorious Big… “tell your friends to get with my friends and we can be friends”) If I am really honest there weren’t many similarities beyond that. I mean we got along fine and trust me I enjoyed every minute of our time together. But I valued their friendship because I could talk to them, have fun with them, and they accepted me just as I was. But if I am brutally honest here, that is also why during that time I didn’t experience much growth in my life. I believe we all settled into a groove of just being good where we were because quite honestly complacency is infectious.
What should be the qualities that we look for in the people we call a friend? Do I really want someone who accepts me just as I am or helps to provoke me to where I need to be? I believe both! Friends should not only make us feel comfortable and at home right where we are but those relationships should also provide fuel for us to get to where we were created to be. I am not saying scrap all of your friends but I am saying that at the age we are in life, it’s important to surround ourselves with synergistic relationships.
1. the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.
We need people in our lives that make us uncomfortable, that challenge us and provoke us to greatness. We need people who oppose our points of view, that see through a different lens, that call us out, that are full of their own ideas, that are actively pursuing their highest purpose, etc. Some of my current friendships are so valuable to me because it is in their synergy that my best ideas are birthed, that I am challenged to move beyond what I feel comfortable or even equipped to do. They stretch me! And I am not talking about the “Girl, you can do it.” encouragement. I mean the real in-your-face “we can’t be friends if you can’t step it up” kind. I know it sounds harsh but I need that in my life. For too long, I’ve meandered in the maze of mediocrity because I didn’t have synergy with women that challenged me to rise up and walk on the level I was created to. Don’t get me wrong, my friends accept my current space in life but they’ve also resigned themselves to the fact that they believe that I was created for greater purpose and impact so they will not allow me to remain here. We are not all called to walk the same road, but instead walk our separate roads… synchronous.
So what’s your friend ratio? If most of yours drain or deplete your emotional fortitude, energy, resources, or serve your purpose no real purpose, it’s time to sever them. The real estate of our lives (time, energy, emotional support, etc) that friendships take is far too valuable to give away for free or at a deficit. It’s time to inventory our friend ratio in light of our purpose and make adjustments as needed. I’ve decided that with some people I will just have to be friendly without being friends. And I am finally okay with this thought.
In His Grace & Goodness,