My dear departed friend Sonya once said to me "Soph, I refuse to spend time with people who bring out my baser nature." I follow this credo as much as I can. Clearly, it's easier to choose your company in your personal life than in the workplace, but even on the job, I try to avoid certain types. At my last corporate job I found myself being territorial, resentful, and paranoid, all shitty ways to feel and I had to resist lowering myself to the levels of the hounds around me.
Many years ago I was friends with a woman who was funny and kind and a great cook. We had known each other for years and had shared interests, friends, and an industry. Despite all this, I chose to withdraw from the friendship because she brought out my baser nature. I found myself being competitive over the most picayune things, like where to get a great custom birthday cake.
I always say that other than my children, my cadre of friends is my greatest source of pride. I expend much care and time--in some cases decades--to foster these relationships which are a constant source of love, laughter, tears, joy, and support. I am constantly reevaluating my friendships because it's only in so doing that I think they can become stronger and therefore more enriching for both parties.
I don't believe the sophomoric notion that we're all going to be best friends forever! Far from it. But while we are spending time together, I want it to be fulfilling and fun. And I want my partners in friendship to bring out my godly, not my base, nature.