Friendship and being Friendly-don’t be confused

In my last post I discussed the difference between activity and accomplishment and I will certainly come back to that in a future post.  Today’s post will talk about two other sets of circumstances that can commonly be confused and lead to trouble or even worse, anger and frustration.  Getting mixed signals in the workplace and in life can be a real challenge and understanding how to tell the difference between something genuine and something superficial can result in a tremendous saving of time and angst.

When I think of friendship I see the following traits:

  • being there through thick and thin, good and bad
  • standing by my side even when there are problems or challenges
  • telling the truth, no matter how painful
  • listening when I need someone to talk to or talk with

I would characterize these as traits of friendship.  True friendship will come through even in the most dire circumstances and a real friend is someone you can always depend upon.

The world is full of friendly people.  Friendly people will be nice to you or dote over you when they need something or just want someone to talk with.  Friendly people can also smile on command, but behind that smile can be a mind that is thinking of nothing positive.

Friendly people are usually not your friends.  While that at first sounds counterintuitive, it really gets to the heart of the matter.  A real friend will level with you or carry you when things get to their worst.  Friendly people disperse like the fog when the sun rises.  Being surrounded by friendly people can almost be a deterrent to learning who your friends really are.

Think back in your life when you had a great challenge, a great disappointment or a very frustrating or sad moment.  When you think of this moment you then need to list those who were there to help you, talk with you and support you during these trying times.  The names on this list are your friends.

Friendly people are not friends and true friends are not always friendly.

Don’t be confused.

Don’t be friendly to others just because you need something.

Be a friend to someone else because none of us gets through this world on our own.

I am telling you this as a friend.