When we hit midnight on Thursday, December 31, 2020, we transition to Friday, January 1, 2021, and we will say, “Happy New Year,” not, “You Are Happy!!!” People who feel sad around the holidays may still be feeling sad. Traditionally we categorize this as the “Holiday Blues.” It is that 4-month window (November-February) in which so many holiday celebrations take place and so many people take it for granted that everyone is in a celebratory mood. If I attempted to list all the reasons and levels of sadness there is the chance I may overlook yours. So instead, I have decided to use my pen today to ask you to join me in focusing on a mood that may not have you jumping around, popping champagne, and singing Auld Lang Syne, but will have you using a different musical twist.

Please join me in re-framing the message of those BLUES into “Believing you’re Loved, Understood, and Embraced by Someone!” And nourish that belief with FUN, recognizing that “Friends Understand Needs.”

It is critically important to understand yourself so you can identify and attract the right/best friends into your life. Those would be the quality friends, not a quantity of people. You should seek people who do not subtract from or diminish your joy, but who add to your life and multiply the blessings. I know those are Old School math basics (LOL). Hey, Old School still rocks… (I digress)!!!

You are not alone and cannot do it alone. Everyone needs help at some level. Yet there is often a fear of asking for help because it casts a shadow on our past, our faith, or our reputation. Choosing our helpers carefully impacts all three of these ‘blessings’ that we have mislabeled as ‘blocks.’ I believe that God always sends us somewhere with ‘NEW’ tools, which we misinterpret as ‘FEW’ tools. Quality friends are a new tool… though we often enjoy claiming how ‘few’ friends we really have and “… can count on one hand….”

No one is perfect, and your friends will not be. However, based on how well you know yourself, you will align yourself with friends with whom you are perfect for one another. How does that look? Though the cliché is that opposites attract, I believe like attracts like. I do not disqualify the cliché; just remember to place it in the proper perspective, again based on who you are. You may disagree with one another on certain topics, however, wide disbeliefs may not be a gap you want to expose yourself to every day.

Knowing yourself will mean separating your needs from your wants. My mother used to say, “The only thing you need to do is be who you are. Most else comes under the category of a want.” So, let me close out with some wants in connecting to the best friends for me.

FRIENDS (Fun Real Interesting Easy New Decent Safe)

This is not one of my acronyms that redefines the word, but a listing of characteristics that I have and, thus believe I have the right to look for in friendships. True friendship is measured in quality, not quantity. And the qualities we look for, we should have. What good qualities do you have?

· FUN – we have already established that Friends Understand Needs. In doing so, remember to take care of one another.

· Real – You may have to revamp your circles due to your new commitment (perhaps a New Years’ resolution). Some people may mean well, but you must see your new light. Commit to shining!

· Interesting – release stereotypes and learn about individuals who have preferences and choices based on their culture, options, or insight!

· Easy – you are not a square peg in a round hole. You may have outgrown friends and they will (often unintentionally) try to force you to prove you are still ‘one of them’ by challenging your loyalty. Do not do it.

· New – continue to develop relationships: age, gender, ethnicity, and profession. When we learn to communicate with all kinds of people we move to a higher plane. If you can only speak to people ‘at your level’ you will be at a disadvantage during a job interview, asking for a raise or promotion; assisting customers, getting directions when you’re lost, representing a sick or injured loved one, furthering your education, trusting, sharing; caring….

· Decent – decent is defined by who you are. Define – are your friendships meeting the definition of your life?

· Safe – be careful of who you bring into your life because their influence spreads out to touch those you love. SELF (Self-Esteem: Love’s Foundation) – be your friend. You cannot love if you cannot recognize love. You cannot recognize love if you do not love yourself.

And when you love yourself, you will choose messengers more carefully and have more

(FUN) Friends who Understand your Need to Believe you are Loved, Understood, and Embraced by Someone (BLUES)!!! And that ‘Someone’ is easily ‘Sporty


Written by Sporty King for The American Institute of Stress.