Camille Styles

Living Kindly

Are You Choosing the Right Friends?

October 12th, 2016

Last April I started to feel really disconnected from my healthy lifestyle. You know those days (or even weeks) when everything just feels off and you can’t pinpoint why? It was weird. I wasn’t looking forward to my beloved morning workouts — they felt more like a chore than something that would make me feel good. I couldn’t find motivation to cook — grabbing something quick, even if I had to sacrifice nutrition, seemed easier. And I slowly started to break away from my morning routine, which if you know me, you know my morning routine is key to a successful day. Everything was off. While I tried to convince myself I was just tired from a super busy SXSW, which was immediately followed by an epic bike ride on the Oregon Coast, I knew better. I knew it was much deeper than that. And I knew I needed to get to the bottom of it.

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  1. Emma says:

    I feel that in my 30’s I have found my BEST friends. Those especially who are in the same stage of life that I am in. I have nightmares of my 20’s trying to navigate my early 20’s desperately trying to find a place to “fit”. Thanks so much for the lovely words!


  2. I’ve always had a very small group of close friends that I knew I could trust. I was never interested in keeping ties to those that I knew would be fleeting acquaintances and my close friends now are still the same ones I’ve had for over 10 years. Sharing the same values is a must!

    Angela / Blush & Pearls

  3. Julie Lauren says:

    I absolutely love this article. Couldn’t agree more. It’s so important to surround yourself with those who lift you up and bring out the very best in you. Loved reading this. xo Julie

  4. This was such a beautiful and thoughtful read, thank you Kelly!

  5. Kate says:

    Kelly, you make some good points, but I am turned off by the notion of gathering friends who are like me so that I can move closer to my goals. Isn’t it more interesting to make friends with all kinds of people, some of whom are not able to do anything for you except be themselves in all their imperfection? If you limit yourselves to friends who fit the narrow guidelines you propose, you will miss out on some lovely people — some of them might be teens or older people or a neighbor you never noticed.

    • Laura says:

      I think that this brings up a good point. I do think that different people look for different things in their friends. I find meeting different types of people really invigorating, while my husband does not feel that way and is happiest surrounded by people who challenge him, have big goals, and have similar values. I do like that, of course, but I enjoy spending time with people who are different as they, too, make me grow. Ultimately though we are limited by time and we don’t always get to do everything that we want to do and spend time with everyone who we would like to. But I think that you stay in any relationship because you are getting something valuable out of it whether you have common ground and values or not.

      • Kelly Krause says:

        Laura, yes, your last sentence is spot on. We (I specifically) stay in any relationship because you’e getting something valuable out of it. Sometimes it’s super tangible — like advice on buying a home, other times I learn patience from my friends by watching them parent. I purposely choose to surround myself with those who make me better. Thanks for the comment!

    • Kelly Krause says:

      Kate, fair comment for sure. I have a wonderful and diverse group of friends from all ages, locations of the country, world, professions, religions, etc. I learn from all of them — and this is my exact point here. I’m surrounding myself with those who I can learn from and who make me a better person.

  6. Kelly, this was just lovely! I’ve been feeling the same way and I am trying to make it a point to spend time with those that lift + empower. It’s so true that depending on our season of life is the type of friendships we seek.
    Looking forward to more columns like this one.

  7. Yelle says:

    While I have heard that “you are the company you keep” phrase, I have not heard the more concrete phrase “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Now that I think about it, I can definitely see that. At a point in my life, I was gladly spending a lot of time with a boss. But that boss didn’t treat people right sometimes. I slowly developed that attitude, and I tried really hard to get rid of it, but it was hard, because she was the one that I spend most of my days with. Now, I want to be a lot more aware of that. I really appreciated this, thank you!

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