Vail Daily column: Foundation of friendship |

Vail Daily column: Foundation of friendship

In most cases an architect can take one look at a hole in the ground and be able to determine the height of a structure that could possibly be built on that site. The architect knows this because the depth of the foundation will typically define how high he or she can build.

Our friendships are the same way. The deeper and stronger our foundation, the higher we can take our relationships.

I am sure that many of us have experienced both, the awesome closeness of true friendship as well as the agony and angst of the superficial person pretending to be a friend. And sometimes we stick with the phony friends hoping we can turn them around, or because it’s just the type of people we are.

Although not someone who watches a lot of television, I do occasionally share time with my family watching some of the reality shows. The shows that inspired this column are the “housewives of anywhere” shows, New Jersey, New York City, Orange County, Beverly Hills, Atlanta, or wherever as it really doesn’t matter because each one is worse than the next.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not judging you as I do not judge my family for their preferences in television shows. I am just saying that this has to be the furthest thing from reality I have ever seen. I think one of two things is happening. Either America is being conned and sold this series as reality when in fact it is just scripted, made-for-TV drama. Or, I am delusional and this really is how friendship is supposed to be – toxic, brutal, dishonest, petty, and out of control.

Really, I mean really, would any one of us stay connected to a person or group of people like this?

The foundation of friendship is built on mutual respect, understanding, never talking about people behind their back, encouragement, loyalty, and commitment. The depth of friendships, whether they are newly formed or lifelong relationships, deserve our best efforts and very best of intentions.

Deep friendships even allow for gaps in communication sometimes. Close friends are the kind of friends that reconnect after a lapse in time only to find themselves picking up exactly where they left off. It feels as though they just saw or spoke with each other yesterday.

Strong friendships also show their true colors in times of need. No questions asked, minor or petty disputes are forgotten and forgiven, as the depth of friendship shines brightly when someone close is in need of help.

How deep are your friendships? How tall can you build them? Surround yourself with friends who have your back, and who you know you can count on in every situation. And remember that it goes both ways – make sure you are ready to demonstrate your depth as a friend. Because as my great friend and life-long mentor Zig Ziglar continues to remind me, “If you go out looking for a friend you will find a few, but if you go and live your life as a friend you will find many.”

Thanks to all of my friends out there and for all of your support. Keep those emails coming and I would love to hear all about the depth and height of your friendships at Thanks to your friends, I’ll just bet it will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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