Category Archives: relationship wealth

Can We Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell?

24World-Renowned Speakers Come Together for the 7 Graces Telesummit

In February 2008, at the start of the global economic recession, Lynn Serafinn’s television blew up. Six months after she made the decision not to replace it, as she watched everyone around her become more and more stressed about their finances, she suddenly realised she shared none of their anxieties. In fact, she realised her spending had gone down, and that her financial situation had actually improved. She began to wonder if there was a connection between this and the fact that she was no longer consuming a daily dose of the nightly news and television advertising.

It was then that Lynn started asking the question, “Is marketing making us ILL?” And by marketing, she included anything that was in the business of “selling ideas,” including politics and the nightly news.

This began a two-year journey for Lynn, as she researched and wrote her new book, The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell. She wanted to discover the unspoken marketing mechanisms that were making our society, our economy and our environment ill. But most of all, she wanted to discover how we human beings could create a new paradigm for marketing, business and living that could heal both humanity and the planet.

And now, Lynn’s ground-breaking book The 7 Graces of Marketing is finally coming to Amazon and all major retailers on December 13th, 2011.

To celebrate the launch of The 7 Graces of Marketing, an illustrious panel of 24 of the world’s leading minds are coming together to discuss how we can bring back ethics and values into business and marketing, so we can start the change the world together at:

The 7 Graces of Marketing Telesummit

A FREE 7-Part Online Happening!

December 6th-9th, 2011

Register FR*EE at http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/free-telesummit

Over the course of four days, you will hear seven dynamic 90-minute discussions on the “7 Deadly Sins” of marketing and their corresponding “7 Graces” from Lynn’s book:

  • Part 1: Disconnection vs. Connection
  • Part 2: Persuasion vs. Inspiration
  • Part 3: Invasion vs. Invitation
  • Part 4: Distraction vs. Directness
  • Part 5: Deception vs. Transparency
  • Part 6: Deception vs. Transparency
  • Part 7: Competition vs. Collaboration

And take a look at this fabulous panel of guest speakers:

1. Joe Vitale – world-renowned media guest; appeared in the film The Secret; bestselling author of The Attractor Factor and dozens more

2. Greg S. Reid – Film maker, speaker, bestselling author of Think and Grow Rich: Three Feet from Gold and many others

3. Eric Pearl – World renowned energy healer, Founder of The Reconnection; author of  The Reconnection: Heal Others, Heal Yourself

4. Dan Hollings – mobile marketing expert; the brains behind the marketing campaign for the film The Secret

5. Pamela Slim – Award-winning author of Escape From Cubicle Nation; speaker; media expert

6. Liz Goodgold – Branding expert, author of Red Fire Branding and DUH! Marketing

7. Allison Maslan – Life and Business Mentor; founder of 9 successful businesses; bestselling author of Blast Off!

8. Suzanne Falter-Barnes – Business and Marketing coach; Co-founder of The Spiritual Marketing Quest

9. Tad Hargrave – Founder of Marketing for Hippies

10. Richard S. Gallagher – Communications skills expert; bestselling author of What to Say to a Porcupine and How to Tell Anyone Anything

11. Ward Vandorpe – International marketer; Founder of Expert Marketeer

12. Misa Hopkins – Consultant, author of The Root of All Healing; Spiritual Director of the New Dream Foundation

13. Barbara Altemus – Producer of The Calling; author of The Gift of Pain

14. Andrea Conway – Attraction Marketing Coach, marketing executive

15. Renee Baribeau – “The Practical Shaman;” Director of Desert Holistic Network

16. Renee Duran – Graphic designer; web developer; former advertising art/creative director; designed the book cover of The 7 Graces of Marketing

17. Michael Drew – Book marketer; speaker; Founder of Promote a Book

18. Jeffrey Van Dyk – Business and Marketing Coach; Co-founder of The Spiritual Marketing Quest 1

19. Chris Arnold – Award-winning creative innovator; expert in ethical marketing; author of Ethical Marketing and the New Consumer

20. Kate Osborne – PR at Solarus Foundation; resident author for More To Life Magazine; former editor of Kindred Spirit Magazine

21. Tanya Paluso – Empowerment mentor; community leader; Leader of Tribal Truths

22. Shelagh Jones – marketer and Founder of Spiritus Spiritual Marketing Directory

23. Paula Tarrant – Transformation and Transition Coach; Founder of Inspired Women Work

24. And, of course, Lynn Serafinn, author of The 7 Graces of Marketing

This special 7-part telesummit is Lynn’s FREE gift to you, to celebrate the launch of her book, which is coming Tuesday December 13th, 2011.

Register at http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/free-telesummit

During the broadcast, Lynn be telling you how you can receive a complete library of beautiful free gifts, kindly offered by dozens of her friends and colleagues, when you buy The 7 Graces of Marketing in paperback or Kindle from Amazon on December 13th. AND when you buy the book on the day of the launch, Lynn will also give you the complete set of MP3 downloads—that’s 10 hours of content-rich audio from 24 international thought leaders—absolutely free. And as a special gift, Lynn is also offering a full 1-year membership to her new 7 Graces Global Community starting in 2012, where you will be invited to hear exclusive interviews with thought leaders throughout the year, so we can all work together to shift the paradigm of business and marketing. If you can’t make the live event, do register anyway, because Lynn will send you the links to listen to the audio playback. This is a topic that is so needed in this transitional point in our history, this event promises to be THE online event of 2011. I hope you will join us online on December 6th-9th.

Again, the link to register free is http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/free-telesummit

Why We Don’t Have a Global Market

MarketAll this talk about global markets and how it’s good for capitalism is double-speak. A global market requires freedom on both sides of the supply and demand chain, but that certainly isn’t the case. Take for instance, employment. A global market, according to people who say we are now competing in a “global marketplace” is a complete fallacy. It would be true if a native of another country could simply walk across a border and tender their resume for any open job, without a visa, or without additional employment costs for obtaining that new job. Otherwise, what you have is a lopsided global market. One where the employer or demand side makes all the rules and can play the supply side off each other since they don’t get the same privileges. It’s only a global market for the elite politicians, not for the common every day person. For the average person, this “global market” is a governmental monopoly, similar in many respects to a dictatorship.

Google

Has anyone noticed how Google is trying to “corner the global market” using multiple strategies aimed at convincing people that doing business with them will be more profitable than doing business with someone else? That’s the core principle of capitalism: self-interest. However, more and more people are awakening to the fact that healthy self-interest has nothing to do with the monetary systems. True profit comes when engaging a business model increases sustainability of a community and the freedom to engage a wider community without penalty. It really is anti-monopoly, whether that monopoly is a business, a search engine, or a political government. Any business strategy that seeks to corner the market on anything in “the pubic interest” is actually an enemy of true capitalistic values as our founding fathers understood it. The establishment of any monopoly is just a hair away from converting to a dictatorship. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be the United States, we’d be the Federal Government of America; Free commerce across state lines is essential, but each state has the right to set up their own rules voted into effect BY THE PEOPLE, not via Federal mandate.

What We Can Do

Take the profit motive out of it. Yes, it’s a radical idea for a capitalist, but it is important if we want to maintain our freedoms. Granted we all need to work within the system, but there is a portion of our time or income that can be tithed into putting forward the foundation of a different system. Capitalism strictly run on the profit motive is not a balanced way of life. It leads to greed, bullying, and ultimately spits out control freaks at the top of the system who aren’t willing to give a penny without two or three back. However, you can use the idea of the parallel systems architecture to remove the old and establish the new with very little conflict or warfare. It means more work on our side, as we have to engage two systems at once, but it can also mean a peaceful way to overthrow a monopoly from the ground up by taking daily actions that encourage new systems to grow that are cooperative, not competitive, and that remove borders to actual free market dynamics.

Here are a few ideas on how to engage simple actions to overthrow “monopolies” in your life:

  • Engage more than one social network, don’t let a single one monopolize your time or attention.
  • Include a few American made products in your shopping cart, so they can compete with those made in China.
  • Reduce your debt as much as possible, so it won’t matter what the money lords decide to do or not do.
  • Engage peer-to-peer lending to circumvent bank monopolies on lending.
  • Be your own global soloproneur and use PayPal to take transactions from overseas.

What actions can you take to have a true global market and not just one that enriches the 1 percent?

It’s All About Jobs – Part III

Thank a farm worker!In part I, I’ve addressed how to figure out your life intent so that the next job you bid on is in alignment with your Higher Self goals (step 1). In part II, I’ve discussed how outer influences of your geographic location influences your ability to create. Once you understand how you create a job or the lack of a job, you will have an intellectual understanding of some very basic reality creation techniques. Now, what I am teaching you here is not something that you even have to be taught – everyone does this day in and day out. Subconsciously, everyone creates their own reality and is a master of reality creation. You have to be to even engage physical reality. No, I am not teaching you anything you don’t already know – it’s just that prior to now you may not have heard these techniques expressed in literary style for your brain to chew on. Believe me when I tell you that it might help, and it could also worsen things. The best approach for me, at least, has been to not think about it too hard. Don’t over-analyze. It’s like when you are riding a bike and doing wheelies and then someone comes around to explain to you the various techniques you engage to do the wheelie. All of a sudden, when you try to do a wheelie, you fall off your bike! Why? It’s because you are for the first time consciously aware of every step you’ve taken to engage this feat and instead of just doing it, you analyze it to death and your mind won’t step out of the way to let you achieve what prior to now was a very natural movement. So, this part is now about understanding the beliefs we have about jobs so we can start to engage new aspects of the same belief systems to create a different reality.

What is a job?

Simple question, right? In fact, we have numerous beliefs about what a job is such that we even create graduated income structures based on what we think are “more valuable jobs” than other jobs. A pizza delivery guy does not make the same income as a database programmer. That is one influence of what we believe a job to be. At the very basic level, a job is a transaction between an employer and an employee whereby the employee trades their time and skill for money.  That’s why people who work for themselves are called “self-employed” and are not considered to hold jobs. There must be an element of transaction between employer and employee and it must involve a trade of skill for money and it falls under the relationship belief systems. If your skills are difficult to obtain, then an employer might compensate you more. If you have no training you are considered to have “few skills.” One of the oddest influences of this belief system of commerce is that people are born needing tons and tons of schooling and training just so they can be “skilled employees.” This, I believe, is the basic belief system we are addressing in a new economy. We are challenging the idea that we are born as “blank slates” that are only valuable as human beings based on whether we can learn some skill an employer finds valuable. So, the belief system of employment actually has various influences from personal value, self-fulfillment, achievement, education, money, and social organization structures, but usually in relation to some other person or entity. It is a relationship belief system.

The Alternate Reality

In order to create a different reality, one takes a belief system, like employment, and uses different aspects of it to “reconfigure” energy to create a new reality. It is done on a individual basis and the more people adopt different aspects of the same belief system, the more chance it has to end up being a mass movement. Consider for a moment that instead of going to school to learn the skills for a job, that you realize that you came into this incarnation with a specific set of skills you are already expert in – your job is actually to discover your talents not be trained to fill someone else’s job description. That reconfigures numerous aspects of the job scenario and intrinsically how you also relate to what you perceive as “other.” This is why learning your life intent is so important. It is you recognizing that you really did come in knowing all you needed to know to engage life. It does not mean you won’t want to engage conventional learning, if later you want to create a different reality that engages those beliefs. Next, and this is the toughie, you have to understand your choices in value judgment; your preferences that have limited your choices up to now. Every aspect of a belief system has a gradient of value from “evil to good” and depending on who we are, there are things we are willing to do and other things we refuse to even consider. The more we understand why we make certain choices, the more we widen our reality to include other choices.

A Case Study

For instance, I am an essence that has defined my life intention as “making the hidden visible.” Life intentions are generally wide and open-ended and not specific, however utterly simple. Practically every action I engage has this theme behind it. I engage actions that make and clarify hidden concepts, structures, beliefs, whatever, and make it visible so that others can gain insight. That theme is throughout not only all of my experiences, but encoded in my choice of body also. My DNA has numerous recessive genes that I bought to the forefront to make visible in my physical manifestation. I do not actually look like my family heritage, and yet it is part of that heritage, just hidden. I can engage that life intention in numerous professions, and I have. When I worked as an engineer, my work consisted of analyzing networks to reveal problems with their delivery system. When I worked as a computer programmer, I used hidden computer languages and converted these into new software applications that allowed others to decode the framework for their proper use. As a freelance writer, I have engaged that intention to educate and enlighten readers. As a teacher, I have used that intention to provide insight to struggling students. The intent is always the same, regardless of the title I hold. I don’t even think I could get a job that did not have something to do with my intent. However, none of those jobs would have been possible if I were not near where that job was available, whether that was physically or in virtual space. The most recent jobs were also not in my immediate reality prior until now due to my value system that I had to work 40 hours a week and make a certain wage to make “enough money.” After I addressed those beliefs, I engaged a different reality. I now actually work fewer hours, but I engage far more of my intent in very creative ways. I have a sense of self-fulfillment that is far more than when I worked in technical areas. I also make a similar wage on an hourly basis, although the hours are fewer. In fact, when I first started writing, I did not believe I could make a good amount of money, but later as I addressed to that value system, my income increased. I’ve also engaged new influences of old belief systems that have widened my opportunities. Have I destroyed any of my beliefs about employment or earnings? No. All I did was notice them and then shifted them into areas that were more productive for the area I lived in, which currently has a high unemployment rate and negative hiring environment.

Who Is Your Family?

IMG_5893.JPGNow that Christmas is over, I can finally say it:”I hate Christmas.” I know many people that feel the same way, and it has nothing to do with it being a Christian holiday. Instead, it’s about the idea that “family” should get together once or twice a year to binge on food and “be there” for their family even if throughout the year they couldn’t be bothered. I can’t speak for everybody’s family, and I’m sure I’m exaggerating with my own family, but it’s just that being of the same blood doesn’t mean all that much to me when I don’t even see these people most of the year. That may be the modern lifestyle, but that just means to me that we have to redefine the meaning of family and, with that, the meaning of Christmas. Family, to me, are the people that were here for me during the tough times, on a day-to-day basis. Christmas can be any day of the year you choose to give of yourself to others.

Raise Your Hand If You’re A Single Mother

Being a single mother, as it is with many single mothers, Christmas and Thanksgiving were not times of joy for me in the past. They were times of extreme hardship. If it wasn’t the lack of money, it was the fact that many times my daughter was spending time with her father during the holidays, even when it was my turn. Others have their families all together, and they think that this is the atmosphere I want to be in when Christmas time rolls around? This is not my idea of a good time, and I doubt anyone would think it is if they were in my shoes, but people rarely put themselves in your shoes.  Instead, because Christmas is a time to make merry, they insist that you participate too, whether you like it or not.  They don’t realize that letting me out of their festivities would be the kindest thing they could do for me. I even tried to get out of Christmas one year by telling my family that I was not available because I was taking a trip. They just showed up earlier. They just don’t get it. I don’t want to be around them during the holidays. It’s not personal, it’s just not pleasant for me. Now, I’ve finally said it: I’m not showing up for Christmas, no matter what the reason. If they wish to show up during the rest of the year to be there on a day-to-day basis for tears as well as laughter, they are more than welcome. Otherwise, Christmas is not the time I want to get together with people who don’t share my life in this manner, whether they are blood-related or not. I’d rather spend it with the others who showed up when times were tough.

Are People Getting Why Christmas Is A Farce?

During the recession, I’m sure many other people got a hint of how tough it is to celebrate a season when you just don’t have the funds, when people expect you to put on a show, when the gas or electricity is being shut off and no one is noticing. Even so, those that still have their spouses and kids are blessed, as I am, to have that connection around, and I also have connections in the neighborhood with other people who aren’t even close relatives that I consider my true family. Why? It’s because even though I don’t mention it, I notice the small things they do to support me and my daughter in every day actions. Sometimes it shows up in a filled up tank of gas, a dinner invitation, or even free clothes. It’s really not about the material benefits of having other people care throughout the year, it’s knowing that someone actually does care and that they are willing to sacrifice some of their own time and effort to make sure my daughter and I are well taken care of. It’s a feeling of having an extended network of people within the city, my community, that is caring and sharing their resources, and not just showing them off. It’s the phone call I get to talk about what they can help me with (even if I don’t accept), not about their new job, baby, or whatever. The phone call is appreciated when there is obvious caring behind it. It’s also about the follow up where they show up at my door and get rid of hornets in my yard, or replace a worn carpet, not because they need the work and want payment, but because they saw a need and they wanted to help. Those are the people I feel connected to, and those are the people I call family.

I Love My Adopted Families

To be honest, in almost the past 30 years, the only time I’ve seen my actual blood relatives has been when they were celebrating something. I have to shell out money to show up, and you know, most of the time I’m not in the mood to celebrate. It’s a major effort for me to show up, it can cost me work time which I need to keep solvent, travel costs, and money in gas, lodging, and food. I am generally completely obligated to show up, even if I just don’t want to, even if I had the money.  I have to sit and listen to people who I have little in common with. It’s not that I dislike my family at all, it’s just that there is not the same connection I have with others who were more caring during the year and available within the same city on a day to day basis. Why would I suddenly feel the urge to be with somebody who I haven’t seen in person during the entire year, and who was very busy with their own life? A year is a long time to be left alone. If I left my cat alone for a year, I don’t think it would ever forgive me, yet people do this to other people all the time because it’s a modern way of life that values this sense of disconnection and distance. We really don’t want to hear about the tough times, we just want to talk about the fun things. We have no idea how to create community, even when these are people within our own blood relatives.

This year I decided I would no longer show up to family functions. My kid is grown up, and I don’t feel obligated to show up to visit with people whose connection resides in blood, instead of actual support and sharing. It’s not that I have something against my relatives, it’s that I value the community of people that were present with me all year long more. It’s the presence I value, not the blood. It reminds me to be present too. It creates an environment that can sustain me and my daughter, and others likewise, whether we celebrate Christmas or not.  I’m also thinking I am going to nurture and grow my adopted families more, even though the relationship is already mutually beneficial. I just think I understand now how to help others a little more, and it has nothing to do with a dollar bill or bloodlines, celebrations, or Christmas. Sometimes, all we need is for someone else to be willing to be present with us during the tough times, not just the good ones, and that creates a bond of community stronger than blood.

What Your Gut Instincts Can Tell You In Business

Dec07 200People will tell you that your emotions will kill you in business, and a good deal is done with a poker face and the drive of a hired assassin. However, what if your business is about freelance writing, or about something where you’re passionate about what you do? That’s when your emotions are there for a reason, but they can still lead to being used by others who try to take advantage of that emotional charge.  The key to understanding how your emotions can help, instead of hurt you, in business is to learn how to use your business judgment, along with your emotional instincts, to cue you into bad customers before you get into relationships with them.

Every Business Relationship Is Like Dating

We can laugh or cringe at the dating horror stories of the woman who always ends up with the batterer, the drunk, or the just plain weirdo. Yet, sometimes our businesses attract the same types of deadbeats and we just drum it up to a bad economy, when it might be the way we’re doing business that is generating these bad business relationships. Just like a woman who does too much upfront in a relationship, a business owner who provides too many products or services before figuring out what the other party is going to provide back is in for the same sort of co-dependent, miserable, times as a single on the dating scene.  How do most people avoid these soap operas in their lives? They tend to rely on their “gut instincts” and emotions to let them know when they should pass on a relationship that’s going to be a downer, no matter what. When faced with a one-liner from a potential deadbeat customer (whether romantic or business), your gut instincts will tell you something is really wrong, and you can choose to acknowledge this or face the consequences later.

So Many Frogs, Few Princes

There was a question posted on Facebook recently: “Do I prefer the customer who offers a high price and fails to pay on time or the one that offers a low price and pays immediately?” What’s missing from this question is the value of the work. What sort of value do you place on your work? Is the customer willing to recognize the actual, intrinsic, value of the work or are they looking at the dollar bills? If you are working with a low-paying customer, be assured they’ll never be satisfied with the value of the work. They’ve already said as much by refusing to pay what it’s worth. More than likely they will try to chintz you even more in future projects. The same is true for the one that offers a high price and refuses to pay, as if your work is free or you are not a top priority when it comes to paying their bills. Sometimes, you get a high paying customer that is so demanding that you spend so much time with them, that if you added up the hours, you’d make less than the low-paying clients. Unfortunately, the additional criticisms and demands spell out exactly the same thing:” They don’t value your work.” Which begs the question:

Why don’t they go elsewhere then?

How You Create Your Own Customers

The reason, as hard as it may be to believe, is that you allow them to stay there repeatedly disrespecting the value of your work because you don’t believe it’s worth much either. The irony of the whole situation is that just like an abusive partner picks someone who they admire to belittle,  these customers actually like your work or they wouldn’t be there. It gives them great joy to find someone who wants to be involved with them because they don’t think much of themselves either. As the relationship continues, of course, the emotions become louder. Something is wrong, but the familiarity of it may lead to ignoring the fact that the pay is getting less and the demands are getting more. It may be hard to cut these people out of your life, but ultimately, it may be what your business requires to survive.  Ignore your gut instincts at your own peril at this point.

Learning To Trust Yourself In Business

Once you learn to disentangle yourself from these types of customers, the newer ones that are worth your time will appear. At the point you start to trust in your own innate worth, the deadbeats and abusers will begin to scatter because you either 1) Refuse to engage these customers, or 2) State the value of your work upfront and expect and get fair recompense for your work or they walk away. You learn to negotiate difficult customers so that you’re both on the same page or you clearly realize from the start that the relationship is not a match. At that point, you will have learned to trust yourself and appreciate the value of your own work enough for it to generate the customers who can do likewise. Whether in dating or business, once you learn to trust your own judgments and listen to what your emotions are telling you about the other party, the ability to select the right relationships becomes clearer and easier, and far more profitable.

Magnifying Your Manifestation Powers Through Purity

angelMedicines that are pure are more powerful and act more quickly on the system than those that are impure. In the same way, if you are trying to use the power of consciousness to manifest things in your life, you have to pay attention to purity. This has come to my attention more as I realize that most of the things that spiritual traditions advocate for their followers is a measure of raising consciousness through raising purity. So, they ask people to stop doing drugs, stop drinking alcohol, stop gambling, deceit, etc. These are all impurities that affect how well you manifest and what things you manifest in your life. It seems common sense, but these days, purity is a four letter word and no one wants to be told that you can’t sleep around with everyone and expect not to catch something, you can’t use drugs and not expect to develop addictive tendencies, and you can’t pollute your body with smoke, food, or drink that is bound to weaken the immune system. How can we be pure when every bit of our society tells us to let it all go and there are no consequences? There may be no consequences on a physical level for a very long time, but then one day you reach that tipping point and there’s no going back to what you had before. However, if you live a pure life, the effect tends to be protective in your emotional, psychological, and physical systems. It has a cumulative effect of protecting your consciousness from things that will eventually lead to confusion and an inability to create what you want in your life.

Here are some ways to purify your life so that your consciousness can create with laser-like power and precision:

  • Reduce the amount of meat, alcohol, sugar, and caffeine in your life.
  • Wear bright colors that uplift your spirit, in particular, purple has a very high vibration and is excellent for purification of the environment.
  • Indulge less in sex or even try periods of celibacy. It’s said that celibacy is the the elevator lift to higher states of consciousness that increase your power of manifestation.
  • Refrain from gossip and slandering talk.
  • Meditate more and seek to clear your mind and emotional state from discordant thoughts.
  • Read spiritually uplifting materials.
  • Volunteer for service to help some organization or someone.
  • Always seek to see the Divine in everyone.
  • Stop watching television or reading the news.

While you don’t have to be a saint to do any of these, many people find them nearly impossible to do. That’s because self-gratification is so rampant in our society that we are also pulling against the norm when we try some of these things. The more your practice, however, the more of a habit you develop and you can definitely increase the powers of manifestation much faster when you are within a pure state of being. If you are experiencing a very difficult obstacle that has failed to shift and you are using the power of consciousness and self-development to shift your reality, seek purity in your life – whether it is through your diet, your habits, or your spiritual practices. You will find that what was difficult before becomes a simple stepping stone for you to bypass many problems in your life with a simple act of self-control.

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How To Nurture Your Offline And Online Friendships

Maggie and LouieYou know how cats make friends? They rub up against you and mark you with the scent glands in their cheeks. At least, that’s what my daughter tells me. It’s a way of “claiming” you as their property, just like when a male cat pees to mark their territory. It’s now theirs and other cats should know to stay off their property! It’s the kind of behavior that makes me cringe when I see it in my own circle of friends.

What This Can Teach Us About Human Friendships

People can be equally as neurotic with friendships, I’ve noticed, particularly when it’s a male/female friendship. You can even see some of those dynamics online, where people try to associate with particular friends so that some of their glamor rubs off on them. There’s nothing wrong with that, but making friends online may be easy to start, but not so easy to maintain. You have to nurture both your offline as well as your online friendships to bring more relationship wealth into your life. You should never be a passive participant in any relationship, if you want it to be mutually satisfying. And, you want to behave in ways that show you appreciate the friendship, without being overly possessive of it too.

Here are some ways to establish a good mutual reciprocity in friendships, both online and off:

  • Do give tit for tat – I’m sorry but one-way relationships are draining, both in virtual reality as well as physical reality. If someone comments on your blog, be nice and comment on theirs too. If someone invites you to a social event, try to include them in your list of social events too.
  • Earn their trust – If you start out by sending too many Facebook pokes or flowers before you’ve even gotten to know them, it can make people suspicious. Start by reading their blog, their profile, or whatever else is important to them in their lives. It helps you build your appreciation of who they are and can help you relate to them on a deeper level.
  • Interact – Do ask questions, make helpful comments, and contribute to the conversation, however, don’t dominate the interaction. There’s a fine line between an admirer and a stalker.
  • Give it time – All good friendships take time to develop. If you really start to connect with someone, it will develop naturally as you continue to interact with them. However, if you’ve given it several months and the reciprocity fails, well it may be they ‘just aren’t that into you’ as a friend. Time to nurture other friendships that are more mutually satisfying. It may be your absence makes them realize what they took for granted.
  • Establish good boundaries – Let’s face it, this is particularly important with male/female relationships. If you find someone making assumptions about the relationship, propositioning you, or just making you feel uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to let them know that’s not your cup of tea. If they persist, you can always end the friendship. This is even trickier if there appears to be a good reason to violate the boundary, don’t fall for it. Good fences make good neighbors.
  • Network your friends – Does one friend seem like a good contact for another? Network them at a sit down dinner together, or using online tools. Facebook even has an application called “IntroduceMe” that can help make that easier. Maybe you know that one friend is looking for a job and you know of another friend who is a headhunter or does professional resumes. Hook them up!

There are probably more points that could be added. Do you have anything that makes you cringe about online or offline friendships? How do you know when a friend is a keeper or not?


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