A friend shared the article below, and it really resonated with me. I wrote a blog about this very thing a while back, and reading these words conjured up a lot of hurtful feelings from the past and present. Unfortunately, I still experience this today, and as my daughter ages, I see it happening in her "friend" groups, too. Even in the groups where I used to feel safe and welcomed, I am finding that I'm often kept at arms' length, never quite making it into the inner circle, despite what may be professed by these same people. A life coach that I follow recently reminded me to think about my relationships. Are you giving more than you're receiving? Are you always the resource, but never the recipient of a favor or act of kindness? Ouch. That hit home pretty hard when I truly reflected on it.
I swooped into 2022 with many intentions for my personal and professional life, and I chose one word to guide me through it all..."manifest." It's a wonderful word that has served me well, but maybe that was last year's word, and I didn't even realize it. Now that we're a few weeks into the new year, I'm feeling more compelled to shout the word "RELATIONSHIPS" from the rooftops. I'm grateful for the wonderful relationships that have gotten me through so much these past few years. Relationships from my past working life have come to the fore this past week to propel me forward and rekindle my love of certain aspects of marketing. On the other hand, many of my relationships are waning, and some are simply not worth chasing.
One of the best networking tips I learned as a sales professional was to keep your conversation circle open, not closed. Remain in a semicircle, or horseshoe shape, so that anyone can walk up and immediately fill the gap. It's more welcoming and inviting. I can remember being in packed ballrooms, navigating receptions where cocktail tables were at a premium, but we would squish in and make room for those walking by with their hands full and that wayward look. It's just what you do, but not everyone is taught this. If you're in a position of leadership, mentorship, or in any capacity where you have an influence over children, teenagers, or young professionals, please do the world a favor and impart this wisdom to them. Teach them to be welcoming and kind. It only takes one person to change the course of your day. One kind word. One knowing look of solidarity. Be that person. You might find that one day you are truly in need of feeling seen, and until you see others, you may remain invisible to everyone around you. You get what you give. So, give fully and you just might manifest some new friends.
Check out my older blog posts on this topic below.