Friends

Keep Squares Out of Your Circle

You’re responsible for the people you allow to be in your circle.  When you’re constantly frustrated about the people you choose to accept in your circle, then you deserve to be frustrated—you have no one to blame but yourself.  Keep people around you who are going to help you to progress.  Don’t attempt to disassociate with individuals who are going to hold you accountable to high standards and who offer you substantive critiques you need to hear.  Too many people cast away those who they should retain in their circle and discard those they need to keep.

The people you have in your circle are going to play an instrumental role in your success and continued success.  If you’re a truly mature adult, you will deal with those in your circle in a straightforward way.  When you’re a mature adult, you will not communicate with them in third person and send indirect messages to them using various social media platforms.

Although it’s vital to surround yourself with positive people, this does not mean you should have a bunch of head nodding yes men around you.  You shouldn’t want the majority of the people in your circle to sit around in awe of you; you should want people around you who merit awe too.  Many people maintain a circle of friends and associates who aren’t going to threaten their weak self-esteem, but the truth is you need people around you who are candidly willing to tell you that you need to do something to ameliorate your low self-esteem.  While you don’t want someone who is persistently trying to maliciously attack you to stay around you, you should want people in your circle who aren’t afraid to offer you constructive criticism even when you don’t solicit it.

Arguing

Too often people are so concerned about associating with “rubber stamp” people that they don’t give much focus to the tangible signs revealing those individuals aren’t really their supporters.  The reality is when “rubber stamp” people hang around one another, especially all the time, it becomes nothing more than a futile competition between themselves.

While some people like to boast about having an extensive circle of close friends, the truth is you really don’t have but a few true close friends, and when you recognize this, you free yourself from a certain incapacitating ignorance.

Make an honest assessment of the individuals you consider to be in your circle.  If those individuals add no value to your life, then you may want to consider removing them for your circle—just make sure you’re not eliminating someone from you circle who refuses to accept mediocrity from you.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

 

Advertisements

Don’t Be a Leech

You should not always have your hands stuck out begging. At some point, you should have something to offer to someone else. When people give to you, learn how to give back to them. People will start to hate seeing you come around them because they know you will have something that you want them to do for you. Do you have people in your life who only call, email, text, and/or visit you when they want something from you and you never hear from them until they want something? Today, I want to let you know they are leeches. If you continue to feed leeches, they will zap all of the blood out of you. You may not understand what’s going on with how you feel,  why things are not going right in your life, why it seems that you don’t have enough time in the day, and/or why you are not able to meet your daily responsibilities. You need to check for leeches in your life. Leeches could be the very reason you are not progressing, improving, and/or feeling the way that you long to feel.

Don’t be so compassionate that you allow people to crumble your foundation. You have to be wise in your giving. Always examine your giving and make sure that you are giving to the right people and places. You are not the savior of the world, so don’t attempt to help too many people because you will be denying yourself from the great things that you need to enjoy for yourself. Helping too many people on your own is simply not healthy and not wise. You will physically, mentally, and emotionally weigh yourself down with stress when you are trying to help everyone. When you need some help, watch how many of those people who you helped will be there for you.

People will hang around you and contact you just to get benefits from you. Now, this can be expected from the complete strangers you may help or the random people you meet, but it’s those friends and family members you have to be more alert about being leeches. Leeches are not always easy to detect. We allow friends and family members to occupy certain spaces in our life that we don’t allow others to occupy. This is the reason why we have to have on more protective clothing when we are around our friends and family—they could be the greatest leeches we have on us. If you are always thoroughly examining yourself, then you will know if your friends and family members are leeches.

We often make ourselves too vulnerable to people who we believe love us and have our best interest in mind. You need to understand that you need to constantly assess those who you make yourself vulnerable to in some way. It can be the venomous people around you who are killing you and pushing you off of your road to greatness. The people who you love and trust can be the very people who are simply using you for what they can get from you. You cannot sit there and allow folks to suck all of the blood out of you and not have enough left for yourself.

I know that it might be difficult to think about your loved ones being leeches, but you have to be willing to examine them as potential leeches. Guard yourself in wise ways. Build necessary walls with certain people in your life. We hear a significant amount of discourse about tearing down walls, but there needs to be more discussion about building necessary walls. Walls exist for a purpose: to make sure that not just anyone can enter.

Beware of the leeches out there—they might be some people you least expect! If you are consciously a leech, stop being one today!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Hold Your Family and Friends Accountable

We have a responsibility to love and support our family and friends, but this does not mean that we should not hold them accountable for the things that they do and say. When your family members and friends tell you that they are going to do something for you, then you must hold them accountable to do whatever it is that they said they were going to do. If they do not do what they said that they were going to do, then it is okay for you to discontinue doing further things for them. You should not feel bad about not doing something for your family members and friends when they consistently and persistently don’t come through for you. When you make the decision to no longer help them until they help you, this does not prevent you from still loving and supporting them; in fact, you can love them even more.

Although I will not take much time to discuss it here, I encourage you to read about Abraham in the bible, a man who had to leave his family to do the will of God. It is my position that you have to stop being so giving to your family and friends when you never receive anything in return from them. Do you ever have family members and friends who only or mostly call you when they want something? Do you ever have family members and friends who want you to go out of the way for them, but never come through when you ask them for something? It’s time to stop doing stuff for them when this happens. You have to love yourself enough to start distancing yourself away from them—this will help them to understand how selfish they are being. While some people will not agree that this is a proper way of handling family and friends, I will just say that family and friends can be some of the greatest deadbeats sometimes.

Start showing your appreciation for your family members and friends who do things for you. When people devote their time, money, and/or assistance to you, you should let them know how you feel about them, you should do something special for them, and you should do something that they want you to do for them sometimes. When these people stop doing things for you, it’s going to make a significant difference in your lives. If my readers need the courage or some support in their efforts to hold their friends and family members accountable, just contact me and I will help you by giving you advice and support. I made a sincere commitment on yesterday to hold my friends and family members accountable, and I encourage you to do the same. I stand with you!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison