My 5 Secret Rules to Instantly Make OR Break Friendships

28 November, 2012

5. Help others. Even before they help you.

Lots of people tell me that I am too nice and that I help others too much. They tell me, “you’re wasting your time, and you’re being taken advantage of”.

Sometimes, I too tell myself that I have to stop doing favours for people because I am getting nothing in return. I may get a nice, fuzzy feeling and a ‘thank you’, but the fuzziness and thanks can’t provide me with money to buy food/clothes/perfume/taking taxi.

However, I still stick to giving before receiving (selectively, of course) and this has served me well in my life so far. Sometimes, offering your help (with no agenda) can go a long way. There was a 40-something year old man who used to do plenty of business trips to Singapore, and I noticed he was usually alone. I struck up a few conversations and as a courteous gesture, frequently invited him out to join in my outings and meet my other friends. I also brought him to my favourite clubs around the country. He was fairly grateful, and ended up moving to Singapore to start a company.

A year later (now), his company is worth S$300+ million and he is looking to invest in my new business venture.

Conclusion: Sometimes, it pays to be helpful. But most times, it’s a waste of time. (But you should still be helpful.)

4. Feel dead, look alive.

Even when I am feeling like shit, I always try to make an effort to not look like it. Even if you had a bad day at work, there is no need to take it out on everyone else around you. Chances are, they could have had a bad day too.

No one likes to hang around someone who is moody, depressing, complains, or is like a rain cloud on a summer beach day… So don’t be that person/rain cloud.

Also, smile – when you look better, you actually feel better!

3. No space or time in my life for drama queens.

The most interesting piece of advice I got from a very popular girl in Singapore before was, “you should change some of your friends”. This was coming from someone that I really respected and admired, but still, I found this rather insulting. I even went into a bitter mood and defense mode for a few days. I have so many friends, but I couldn’t bear the thought of losing even one. “Is this lady trying to be funny? Is she telling me that all my friends are lousy?”

However, thinking back on it, cutting out certain people that were poisonous to my life and dreams, was actually one of the best things I have ever done for myself.

Let me get something clear – there is nothing wrong with having a dramatic moment yourself or helping a friend through a difficult patch. But if you see a certain pattern – such as a friend who tends to cause trouble or complains about mutual friends every single time you see her – then it might be time to tell her “see you later”.

2. Don’t burn bridges – just get over them!

If I had a dollar for every person that offended me, I would have… maybe $32 dollars.

OK – so I’m not that easily offended, but I have crossed paths with some pretty nasty people and been treated like trash more than just few times. As much as I have cried my eyes out, imagined scenarios of them dying in a freak accident, or wanted to write an angry status about them on my Twitter account, I don’t.

Writing bad things about bad people, actually makes YOU look bad. So do yourself a favour. When a situation or person upsets me, I wish them the best and walk away. There are many more important things in life you could be spending your time on…

Build a bridge. Get over it.

1. Face value VS Facebook

If Facebook were real life: Like
Comic credit: Here

Facebook is great for talking to 100 people at once and it is easy to reach your friends, family, ex-schoolmates, colleagues etc with just one status update.

Everyone needs a bit of attention sometimes, and I like to interact with lots of people on my Facebook page to show them that I have not forgotten them. (Hopefully they haven’t forgotten about me too!)

However, online interactions are an addition to – NOT a replacement for – real life situations. Pick up the phone once in a while and call someone for a coffee or chat. It’s not the same as Facebook…

…BUT! Whether you see me on Facebook or face to face, let me know if you liked my blog/post. 🙂