In general, I believe we can tell a lot about someone by looking at their circle of friends. We all know who our friends are at their core. If someone were to ask me to name a few of my dear friends, I would not hesitate to say Dr. Bill Austin and Elaine Thompson. Why these two? Both are excellent human beings that I trust implicitly. I also know about their halo effect.
A halo effect is when someone or something known as particularly worthwhile illuminates the worth of someone or something else. If Bill Austin acknowledges me as a close friend, my reputation is enhanced. Those who have benefitted from the friendship of this wonderful man or have come to know him through his popular Relationship columns in our publications or through his books and speeches will attest to his kindness and wisdom.
If we all
pause to consider
those we would not hesitate
to connect to our reputation,
we will identify our closest friends.
Similarly, Elaine Thompson has been my best friend forever. Elaine is a no-nonsense, straight-talking, excellent woman who walks 6 and sometimes 12 miles in a day with a walking group. (Best friends can be very different from us.) She does everything right and lives every day to the fullest. Anyone who knows Elaine holds her in the highest regard. I am proud to be her friend.
If we all pause to consider those we would not hesitate to connect to our reputation, we will identify our closest friends.
I expect we all have acquaintances we may like but would not chose to be identified with closely. We probably have valid reasons we can call to mind as to why we choose one person and not another. There is, we realize, an opposite of the halo effect - casually defined as the bad apple factor. Just as we are proud to be recognized as being in some inner circles, we intentionally avoid others.
I am writing of reputations - core values - not of wealth or fame or power. If we pursue the latter, we can lose our grip on the former. Fortunately, however, wealth, fame, and power can also be found intact with core values resulting in excellent reputations. We just need to make certain core values are the foundation of our circle of friends.
Halo effects raise the tide. Bad apples spoil the barrel.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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