THE BLOG

Relationship ROI: What Are Your Friendships Really Costing You?

So how do you determine whether or not these individuals are adding to your quality of life? Believe it or not, the true value of a relationship can be quantified using this simple equation:
07/07/2015 03:23pm ET | Updated July 7, 2016
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Too much drama in your life? Are relationships at work and home draining all your energy? The problem could be that you are in relationships that are, in fact, poor investments of your time and talent.

If you suspect this to be the case, it could be time to assess the value of your friendships and determine the (real) return on investment you get from the major relationships in your life - whether friends, neighbors, mentors or colleagues. At the end of the day, are they making your life better or worse? The answers might surprise you.

So how do you determine whether or not these individuals are adding to your quality of life? Believe it or not, the true value of a relationship can be quantified using this simple equation:

Current Value + Future Growth Potential -- 3xEmotional Expensiveness = ROI

Here is how this equation breaks down:

Current Value
To determine the current value of a relationship, ask yourself, "Does this relationship provide value to me in the present? Does it mirror my own values and the qualities I want to exemplify in my life?" A wise mentor in my own life once told me, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with in your life." I encourage you to do the math...do you like the results?

Future Growth Potential
Future growth in a relationship is determined by the extent to which your friends and colleagues are challenging themselves to grow and inviting you to greatness. Ask yourself, "Does this relationship challenge and inspire me to new heights? Does it introduce me to new thoughts, experiences, or information? Does this person already have skills, behaviors or habits that I aspire to adopt?" Sometimes, we need others to challenge and push us to get to that next level, whether personally or professionally. Embrace these individuals and the new opportunities and perspectives they will bring to the table.

Emotional Expense
Lastly and most importantly, you must offset any value derived from the relationship with the "cost" of the relationship to you emotionally. Get honest with yourself and inquire, "After time together, is my energy heightened or drained? Is it full of negative drama? Am I working harder on making this relationship work than the other person is?" The emotional expense of a friend, co-worker or acquaintance can outweigh their value and growth potential three to one, so be sure to take it into consideration. But be sure to remain compassionate by considering the long-term potential in the relationship rather than focusing on short-term issues. After all, no one is perfect. However, if the relationship brings more negative than positive energy over time, re-evaluating it might be necessary for your own well being and peace of mind.

Too many of us spend a colossal amount of energy trying to win over others who are resistant. They aren't open to change, new ideas, the lessons at hand, or participating in a healthy way. All the while, those who are willing and naturally drawn to us are standing right in front of us, seeking mutually beneficial relationships -- ready, willing and able! So choose wisely, and friend those who are willing to reciprocate what you bring to the relationship unconditionally and without pause. Get clear about their overall value proposition and have the courage to upgrade those relationships when necessary to improve your overall quality of life.

Remember, you are only as good as the company you keep. So ditch the drama and put your time and energy into those who truly deserve it the most. In the end, you won't be disappointed.