Friendships: Are They “Real Gold” or “Fool’s Gold?”
There are several historical artifacts that have been collected throughout the centuries since the beginning of time. Today we hear folklore stories about adventurous scavenger hunts to find exquisite treasures. Do you remember learning about the Gold Rush of 1848 in California? During this time, settlers from across the nation came in a quest for gold finds. However, the rush attracted so many people that the environment started to deteriorate. Some of the severity included the Native American population dying from starvation and disease. Rivers became clogged with sediment from digging in the soil.
As you read this article you might be asking yourself, “What does this have to do with collection and accumulation?” I love introducing unique analogies that I create in my head. There are many things that we become collectors of such as cars, coins, stocks and bonds, and dolls that increase in value. However, have you ever considered friendships in that group of examples? Are your friendships accumulated over time like gold was during the Gold Rush? During that era, it was discovered that not all of the gold was real. It was referred to as “fool’s gold.” So just as we accumulate friendships, understand that not all of them need to be part of our treasured collections. This is not to say that as acquaintances, we should not value the relationship and treat each other with respect.
The following are signs to watch out for if you believe you might be in a “fool’s gold” type of friendship:
- Waves of conflict. Friendships should be healthy. However, there are times when conflicts arise. But true friends forgive one another after a disagreement and helps to bring them closer.
- Lying for sympathy. Beware of friends who fabricate stories just so you’ll feel sorry for them. No one should have to walk on eggshells because they suspect that you’re not telling the truth.
- Overly competitive. There is so much room for everyone’s share. There’s no need to “one up” the other. True friends are genuinely happy for the other.
- Can’t keep friends. Be watchful of those who have a new group of friends yearly. However, some of the old faces disappear who were once in the spotlight.
Remember to ask yourself the question, “Do I have a treasured collection or merely an accumulation of friendships? Are they “real gold” or “fool’s gold?” If it is “fool’s gold” you many need to redefine the relationship and your part in it.