Think about an ATM machine. Did you remember an ATM machine today? Unless you wanted cash, you probably did not think of an ATM machine. That’s not a problem. In fact, it would be scary if you were thinking about an ATM machine when you didn’t NEED cash. This is also fine because you don’t expect the ATM machine to be thinking about you anytime – day or night <smile>
Well, friends are different. They are not like ATM machines who are there to just serve you whenever you NEED them. Unfortunately, in real life, many people think about their friends like ATM machines.
Let’s think about two scenarios – both involving contact from “friends” from whom you have not heard for a long time.
Think about someone from whom you have not heard from for a long time. Out of the blue the person calls you and talks to you as if you are his childhood pal and then somewhere in the middle – he introduces a request. He also behaves as if the “request” was not what triggered the call. You know what is happening there. You help him with his request anyway. What happens next? The person disappears for a long time again. He re-appears once again when he has a new request, of course.
Think about the same scenario but this time with a different person. This person has not called you for a long time but when he called you – he called you with an opportunity that might be interesting for you. Yes, the person was involved in that opportunity but he CHOSE you amongst many of his other friends to present this opportunity. Whether you take up that opportunity or not, the person may disappear again but when he calls again, he has another opportunity to present to you.
Who would you rather be friends with?
If you don’t want to be treated by your friends like an ATM machine, you should not expect your friends to be treated like one too.
In other words, you don’t want to feel “used”. Your friends don’t either.
I am not advocating that you should not ask for help. In fact, You need help and your friends need help. There is no other way but to give and get help. The problem comes when you remember your “friends” only when you “need” them.
Why don’t you take the first step this weekend – remember a few friends with whom you have lost contact for a long period. Pick up the phone and call them or send them an email. Bonus: Think about presenting them with an opportunity during this contact. It can be as simple as sharing with them a great book that you read recently or an idea that might do something good for their business or life or both.
Have a great weekend.
Note: For the other 180 entries in the “Distinguish yourself” series, please visit my Squidoo lens on the same topic
Squidoo Lens: Distinguish yourself