A New Year is a natural boundary between your past and your future.  It begs new questions, new paradigms, and even a new relationship with how you spend your time.  No matter your age or stage of life, the New Year can represent a trigger to press your habits into alignment with the person you want to become.  

Even friendships can be reassessed and made more meaningful by properly categorizing them to match their importance.  This is my New Year’s wish for you.  Let me explain this one.

There are many ways to categorize friendships. I recall having dinner with Darren Hardy, professional mentor, and former publisher of Success Magazine. He shared a categorization of friends that I found funny at the time, but so resourceful in context.  He said there are “3-minute friends”, “3-hour friends”, and “3-day friends”.  He described each friend category as being valuable to a person’s life, but only if properly categorized.  The coworker who exchanges a dialogue around last week’s football game, but with no responsibility to inquire about anything more substantive in your personal life is a 3-minute friend.  And that can be good!   But, rest assured, you do not want to go on a weekend, one-on-one camping trip with a three-minute friend. That would not only be uncomfortable, it could be relationally painful.  

A different way of categorizing friendship is by applying “The Three C’s”.  There are three basic types of people with whom you interact: Constituents, Comrades, and Confidants.  

The first is a Constituent.  They are those who are for what you are for!  Constituents are important for advancing your vision.  And, if you are for what they are for, they will gladly walk with you and work with you and problem solve with you.  But they will not stay with you forever.

The second is a Comrade.  They will come alongside you to help fight a mutual enemy.  These are not for what you are for, they are merely against what you are against.  They are necessary for watching your back and protecting you from unseen obstacles.  But don’t be confused by their association; they will only be with you until the victory is won. These friends are like scaffolding.  They are very close to you and come into your life to fulfill a purpose; and when the purpose is completed, the scaffolding is removed.  Do not be upset about that.  When the scaffolding is removed, the building remains.  Everybody wins.  

The only real risk with Constituents and Comrades is when they are miscategorized.  It is when you perceive either of them to be “Confidants” that you could be headed toward heartache when they leave you for another, better cause.   This is one reason why many people don’t let people in close.  It can be difficult to discern the Constituent and the Comrade from the Confidant; they look so much alike in the moment.

Confidants are different!  They are so powerfully special that no matter what, whether you show a frailty or a strength, they treat you with an expectation of greatness! You will have very few of them, and that’s okay.  If you have just two or three of these in your lifetime, you are an exception.  And since there is only so much time and energy to meaningfully reciprocate this level of relational privilege, you cannot effectively be responsible to more than just a few Confidants anyway.  

Constituents are for what you are for; Comrades are against what you are against; but Confidants are those people in your life who are truly for you!  For you!  Confidant’s love you unconditionally. They are into you. Whether you are up or down, right or wrong.  They are with you for the long haul. If you get into a mess, they will get into the messiness with you.  You can open up and share anything with them without feeling judged.  You can trust them so much that you can be who you are with them the way you would be when you are by yourself.  You never become all that you can be in life until you find your Confidant.  Though they may not always agree with you, they will always have your back, seeking to help you become the best version of yourself in all things.  There are many good things that can be achieved through the assistance of Constituents and Comrades.  But the beauty behind the Confidant is that this person is for you!

My New Year’s wish for you in 2021 is for you to properly categorize your relationships and enjoy each of them in their own separate way.  Minimize the relationship risk of expecting too much or too little of someone; avoid being offended by someone who does not measure up to your expectations in the relationship.  It’s not their fault. 

May you identify your Confidants this year and take the risk of investing in them.  Here’s to richness of life in 2021; a richness that includes rightly dividing the truth of relationships. 

Happy New Year 2021 from your Friends at VisionWise Capital.

Source: TD Jakes 2014

  • Separate Quotes for potential future use:

“Visionaries use new beginnings to see with their heart those things imaginable, and then realign their habits to pursue them.”  

Sanford Coggins, VisionWise Capital

“The New Year can be used to shock the habits that have been underperforming for you…treat yourself to that rush of dopamine into your system that rewards you for getting off the bench and into the game that you were born to play, and win!  

Sanford Coggins, VisionWise Capital

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