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The 5 Types of Friends You Will Have in Your Lifetime

The 5 Types of Friends You Will Have in Your Lifetime

Before I start, we need to untangle the definition of what a friend is. Many people consider acquaintances, colleagues, neighbors or associates as friends, but a friend is something greater than just a chit chat buddy.

A friend is a person who can understand the “skeletons in the closet.” They are those with whom we can share that which we might not even be able to share with our parents.

These are the five types of friends we encounter through our life experience. It is not easy to find the authentic ones, so we often experience a few that fall into each category. In each of the types below, you may recognize people you have experienced friendships with in the past, and may friend currently.

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Here are the five types of friends you will encounter in your lifetime.

1. The Mistakes

The mistakes are friends who we thought they were friends, but they weren’t even close. When it comes to friends, we always have to sense them from the gut. Mistakes are the ones who disguise, the ones who have the power to reconsider our gut. If we weren’t lucky enough to meet our real friends during childhood, we will have a hard time with these so-called “Halloween friends.”

Always listen to your gut and you will never befriend someone by mistake.

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2. The Pessimists

These friends are a bit hard to handle. I had a few friends and, as a motivator, I couldn’t get them to find a job, work on their dream, work on their success and lurk out of the comfort zone. I did reconsider them for a few months, but as I started working on my own achievements, they all returned to the comfy and safe territory. I was just spending time with people who don’t really want to be more than average.

These are also people who are hard to communicate with. You always feel tension around them and can’t be yourself. If by any chance you have these people in your life, try to help them for a while. If they still continue the non-action process, remove that toxicity from your life. Our brains are more than 80% formed by the people we are around. Make sure to find your bright niche.

3. The Scars

Have you ever had a friend you enjoyed spending time with, but your crossroads never seemed to meet? I have a few that I have to say I enjoy every second of our friendship, but I always get to see them by accident. I am always busy when they aren’t, and vice versa.

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With these people we can have the best memories, but never get to share our skeletons. It becomes more like a flat connection, just happiness and joy.

4. The Optimists

These are rare people that you want to surround yourself with. The optimists always seem to look on the bright side, like the Monty Python song. They always give great ideas; they are always cheerful and never have judgments for the people that look strange to society.

These friends are warm and will always keep up a good mood around the entourage they are surrounded with.

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5. The Soul Mates

Going from from the worst to the best friends we will meet or have met, we have the soul mates. These authentic friends are the ones we should never let go of. These are the people who know our body language.

Soul mates are limited edition. We cannot have more than a couple friends who know our deepest skeletons and yet share a perfect energetic bond. Soul mates are like magnetism, a force that can attract two souls that have magnetic energies.

Listen to your gut. You don’t need any more mistakes or pessimists in your life. The connections to the scars, the optimists, and–of course–the soul mates are the ones that will enrich your life.

Featured photo credit: Friends/Gerry Balding via flickr.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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