This week I wanted to focus on the importance of solid, lasting friendships. They say in time, your friend quantity decreases as the quality increases. I can attest and say that is true in my experience.

Let’s travel back to your first year of high school. I know, I know it’s not the most glamorous era, but it is an essential one. Whether it was 2011 like me, 1992, or 1985, we were all in the same boat once. Nerdy freshman looking up to the seniors thinking, “Man, it will be so long until I am there.” What is the most important thing to a freshman in high school? To be liked and accepted. You may even say popular with all the bells and whistles. However, as you progress through high school and beyond, you come to realize a few things:

  1. You cannot please everyone.
  2.  You will only be liked by some.
  3.  There are some friendships worth fighting for and others not so much.

Ultimately, if you have to change or conceal any part of yourself from a “friend,” they are probably not true friends. What is a true friend? Someone who loves and accepts all that you are. You shouldn’t have to change who you are to please others and “fit in.”

In fact, your friends should be the ones who love you for your goofy quirks. If you ever need to repress yourself, look at your surroundings. Who are you with? Are these the people you really see yourself having lasting friendships with? Probably not. Your true self will eventually shine through, and if those “friends” don’t like it, they were not your real friends in the first place. Status should not come before a friendship; the minute it does, get out of there. You deserve WAY better than that! If you are not friends with someone because you are afraid of how it will make you look, I suggest addressing your values.

Kids are mean, no doubt, but don’t be fooled into believing friend issues end in childhood. They will carry on with you, along with many emotions. It is best to confront these issues head-on instead of letting them slide. Stand up for yourself and what you believe. It’s okay to disagree respectfully. What is not okay is putting down someone else.

Be proud of who you are, and don’t be afraid to let your light shine. Don’t let others, especially “friends,” dim your light. You’re not dimming theirs, so why should you settle for less? You should not. Simple as that.