Yes, I was a wild one in my ill-spent youth. With my blue mohawk and nose rings, my Bourke Accounting co-workers and employers would not have recognized me. And I had a lot of friends. I had pals to go drinking with, I had buddies to go to punk rock shows with, I even had a few friends who were ready to go to brunch on a Sunday morning.
Sure, I had a lot of friends to go do fun things with. However, after a death in the family, I realized that I didn’t have many friends who were willing to do the not so fun things with me. I looked around and realized that most of my pals could be equated to “Party People in a Can” – if the music was blaring and the drinks were flowing, all was well. If I needed help moving, however, my pals were mysteriously MIA.
When we’re young, a lot of us put quantity over quality when considering friendship. Basically, as long as there’s 40 people at our birthday party, it doesn’t matter that we don’t know the last names of more than half of the participants. As we get older, however, that quality concept becomes a lot more important.
When thinking of friendship, obviously the most important question is one of comfort. Can you be yourself around your friend or are you always self-censoring? Perhaps this is not surprising, but I like a dirty joke or two; one of my friends orders strictly off the Jeff Foxworthy menu of humor and I do find myself avoiding certain jokes for fear of causing offense. In addition, when this particular pal gives a symposium on the virtues of three different kinds of mops, I find my mind wandering. Is she a good person? For sure! Do I feel very comfortable around her? Yeah, not so much.
Another thing to contemplate is if a specific friend is good for you. For example, there was a 2007 study that showed “an increase of nearly 60 percent in the risk for obesity among people whose friends gained weight” (NYTimes.com). We’re all warned about peer pressure when we’re kids, but the subject doesn’t come up often as we mature. If your friend is forcing you to hike on a beautiful Saturday morning, that’s generally a good thing. However, if your friend is begging you to blow off a job interview so you can get drunk at 11 AM, you might want to think about your friend’s priorities, for her and for yourself.
Which brings us to the question of your friend’s intentions. I once had a friend who tried to convince me that drawing cat whiskers on my face with a Sharpie before a formal dance was a good idea. I said, “You first.” Neither of us sported whiskers that night. Sometimes, as much as a friend might love us, our success might be an underlying thorn in their side. This is dark, but make sure the advice a friend gives you is from a place of love and respect, not some hinterland of passive aggression.
Friends are important; Harvard researchers even reported that “strong social ties could promote brain health” (NYTimes.com). Friends are great at centering us, they’re good at keeping the cold darkness of loneliness away and, sometimes, they’ll even help us move. I don’t have a lot of friends these days, but the ones I do have are worth having.
You needn’t worry about your Bourke Accounting bookkeeper or tax preparer’s intentions. A Bourke Accounting pro’s first goal is to provide you with the most efficient and accurate service possible. Bourke Accounting experts are well known for loyalty and standing strong by the little guy in the face of anything that can be thrown at them. Hey, Bourke Accounting reps love a challenge, so whatcha you got?
Written by Sue H.