Who’s in Your Posse? How to Bring Positive Friendships into Your Life After 50
Posse: a group of people who have a common characteristic, occupation or purpose.
Post holidays is a good time to reassess who you spend your time with. Think about it as you look back at the past six weeks.
Did you enjoy the people you were around? Did you leave interactions feeling energized and encouraged? Were there some people or events you especially looked forward to? Did your posse, the group of people that you find yourself spending time with, give you energy – or did it drain you?
It is easy to get caught up in ‘shoulds’ and ‘have-tos’ during December – long held traditions, people who want you to do what you have done in the past, hours of preparation and fretting.
If you found yourself dreading some people or situations, it might be a good time to consider your investment in relationships. Life is too short to spend it with people who pull you down.
Here are some thoughts about relationships in our years past age 60.
Minimize Time with People Who Make You Angry, Sad or Negative
Life is too short to spend it with people you don’t enjoy, who sap you of energy and who are toxic – whether intentionally or not.
There are people who are legitimately going through difficult times and need encouragement. Those are not the people you should stay away from.
The people you should avoid are those who are chronically negative, cynical and critical; whom you know you cannot please, no matter what you do.
If you must be around people who mess with your psyche, go to their home and don’t invite them to yours. That way, you can leave when you see that you are feeling the negativity get to you. You can be pleasant and even supportive, but you don’t have to sacrifice your own joy.
Consider Who Adds to Your Life in Positive Ways
It is easy to just get caught up in whatever is expected of us, but the people with whom we spend time influence us. An oft repeated Jim Rohn quote is, “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.”
Be intentional about how you invest your time. If there are certain friends that allow easy conversation and exchange of ideas, make it a point to find a way to spend some time together.
If there are others who stress you out, consider that and begin to invest less time with them. Think about the woman you want to be, and make sure your closest companions are helping you become all of that woman.
A few years ago, I took that thought to heart. I determined that I wanted to be better, to do more. I looked around and realized that most of my close friends were much more inclined to be satisfied with life as it was rather than wanting to keep growing and improving. So, I made new friends.
I looked for women who were succeeding, changing and growing; women who were leaders in various ways. And I pursued a few of them. Several are good friends now. I still keep the other relationships, but I just don’t spend as much, or most of, my time with them.
Try Some New Friends
Even if you aren’t trying to change your personal ‘average’ from the idea above, new relationships open up new opportunities. Look around for someone new, or follow up with someone you met over the holidays that you’d like to get to know better.
It’s not about finding a new best friend. It’s about staying alert and open-minded. Keeping familiar friends is important, but people move away, change jobs, have family issues and/or illnesses.
If you aren’t open to new people, then you might find that you have fewer sources of good energy connections.
If your new acquaintances should not be in your posse, be alert and recognize it early. Don’t continue to invest just because it is new. Follow your gut. Take care of yourself.
Think About Ways You Would Like to Grow
“You will be the same person in five years as you are today, except for the people you meet and the books you read.” Charlie ‘tremendous’ Jones.
I believe this. I’m a reader. I love a good story and have a list of books waiting for me as soon as I finish the one I am reading. I try to choose books that can contribute to me as a person. Knowing more about history, understanding other cultures, vicariously experiencing the adventures of others keeps me sharp.
Books and people are important to me. It takes more effort to meet new people than it does to read a book. But both are crucial if I want to keep growing as a person. It takes some courage, at times, but it is almost always worth it.
If you want to keep growing, the people you spend time with and the books you read will ensure that you keep going forward – if you are intentional about both.
In the midst of New Year thoughts and planning, it is a good time to look at your relationships and see if they are all contributing to your well-being and joy. Take some time and consider the people in your posse, and be sure you are choosing the best for yourself.
Where do you find new friends? How do you minimize the effects of the negative people in your life? How have you been intentional with your relationships? Please share your tips and ideas below.
Debbie Hensleigh is a serial entrepreneur and business coach who is intent on living life on purpose. She is a speaker, writer and leads workshops on intentionally designing your best ThirdThird, from ages 60 to 90. Building on the FirstThird (learning years) and the SecondThird (earning years), the ThirdThird can be the best Third. Please visit Debbie’s website here.