It’s true. You take a gamble when you walk out of the door every day. You take a gamble calling someone your friend, your lover, your coworker, and on and on. You take a gamble that these people are going to benefit you in one way or another, and not cause you some sort of harm. As it goes with gambling, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. And sometimes, you break even.

In my life I have gone through periods of having a bad habit of putting an emphasis or effort towards the wrong people, and not recognizing the ones that really matter. In my experience, some of the things the people who really matter share in common are:

  • They’re honest with me even when I don’t want them to be.
  • They push me to be a better person through their words AND their actions.
  • They remind me of who I am, and why they care about me in a variety of ways.
  • They are there when I need them the most.
  • I never have TOO much trouble getting to them when I need them.
  • Having a connection doesn’t take a bunch of work. We just connect.
  • They love me for me, not my talents, my job, my connections, or anything else. They may be proud of the things I have achieved or that I do, but it could all go away and they would still love me.
  • If and when I let them down, I know if I sincerely apologize they will forgive me.

I am a very social person, so remembering this rule is essential to my success and my sanity. Being around people all the time can be dangerous for me. Whoever is in my immediate vicinity is who I am trying to entertain, please, connect with, or appeal to. The “cut me to the bone” truth is: I care a lot about what you think of me. I don’t talk about it or show it all the time, but it’s always there. In every interaction and conversation.

If we have ever had a conversation, I probably walked away from it replaying some part of the conversation in my head, kicked myself for saying something a certain way, worried about what you thought of me for saying it that way, and so on and so forth. This is a tendency that I am getting better at controlling, or at least tapering down a bit.

However, having that tendency makes me more prone to spread my efforts to connect to people WAY too thin. I have to remember that it’s a gamble every time I want to make a friendship happen or grow. It’s a gamble for me, and it’s a gamble for them. I gotta know you’re betting for me and not against me.

Sadly, there are some people out there who are broken enough to get close to people just so they can bet against them. They relish in the failure of others. It’s like schadenfreude, but on steroids. I feel sorry for people who have been led so far into the dark side of life that they pray on failure and not success. However, I also want nothing to do with them because I would rather succeed.

All of my friends and loved ones can always rest assured that I’m betting for them to win at life. And, I do most anything in my power and capability to help them make that win happen. I feel like I get the same in return from the people who are close to me now.