What drives you? If it's anxiety then do something that breeds it inside you like promising a big project for someone you care for. If it's fear, and you don't freeze in times of stress, execute your big project on the side of a mountain. But most importantly, do something BIG for someone you care for.
After almost ten years working for nonprofits I can tell you that work, regardless of how many you help, will never be as important as the ones you love. It's also true you should work at your friendships. And no, networking event participation does not count.
Friendship is more than bringing a case of beer to the barbecue or standing as a Godparent and failing miserably to even attempt to fill the role. It's more than buying a gift to the wedding and dancing your face off at the reception. It's being present and contributing to your peoples lives. It's not just making them laugh but also making sure they know you will be there to make them smile when they're too weak to laugh. It's holding their hand through the divorce and helping them get back into the dating pool when they're ready.
If people only wanna hang but completely disappear when sh*t hits the fan and you consider them a friend. You are selling yourself short. Lower the emotional investment you are making into that person and fill that space doing something for a friend that showed up for you.
You can't force a caterpillar to butterfly any more than you can force an associate to become a friend. Life creates these conditions and we have no control over any of it.
Some people are meant to be associates and that's fine too. Invite them to the parties and barbecues and have drinks with them on their birthday and have great evening dinners together. But stop expecting more from people than they are willing to give. It's such a waste of time. And for the people who show up, do something BIG. They have earned it after all.
Since I've been out of the country for the past few years I have plans to execute my own personal friend appreciation week this Summer where I will dedicate myself to my friends for a full week, helping them out, sharing my big projects with them and overall showing that now that i'm back in town physically that I am back all those other ways friends are too. The vulnerability makes me anxious, but, hey, that's what drives me.
mainland [email protected]
Dutchess County, New York