“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.”
Positive Friendships are Essential
Are you lifted up, or brought down by your relationships with your friends? The way you treat others, and the way you perceive how others treat you, has a huge effect on every aspect of your life. Scientists have long studied the influence of social relationships on our physical and mental health(1). Positive friendships with others can improve our health and help us live longer, happier lives.
Benjamin Disraeli’s commentary on friendship spoke volumes to me this week. The outpouring of love and good wishes for my birthday last week lifted my spirit and my heart. Combine that with traveling to a reunion where I reconnected with many friends I had not seen in 35 years, and I feel blessed and empowered.
As Disraeli stated, “The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” Practice encouragement, enthusiasm and gratitude for others. Build them up, for when they discover their own strengths, a ripple effect spreads strength of purpose throughout the community.
The term “Balcony People” has been used by Bruce Larson and Keith Miller in their book The Passionate People. Balcony People are the encouragers, the cheerleaders, who affirm and support us. They lift us up when we fail, remind us of our purpose, help us to see our own strengths, even when we cannot see them for ourselves.
Balcony People counteract the negative influences in our lives, the “Basement People”. “Basement people” are the discouragers in our lives. They may be people from our past, or present, but their words go with us everywhere we go. They divert us from our hopes and dreams by strengthening our limited beliefs through their negativity, saying statements like: “You can’t do that”, “You aren’t smart enough”, “You aren’t good enough”. Eventually we believe them, letting the negativity control our lives.
Think about the relationships you have with friends, family and business partners in your life. Are you a balcony person, or a basement person? This weekend, one of my dearest friends reminded me that people don’t remember so much what you do, but they do remember how you make them feel. Are you empowering your friends with feelings of acceptance, encouragement, and love?
Reference:S.Stansfeld and Y. Khatib, Social Support and Social Networks, Encyclopedia of Environmental Health,Pages 119-123, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK