One sad but inevitable part of life is that we lose touch with people. In some cases, this is a good thing – in others, not so much. When it comes right down to it, some of us aren’t very proactive about appreciating the good people and making the effort necessary to keep them around. Maybe they’ve disappointed you once or twice, and you said, “To hell with it.” Maybe it was their bad. But maybe not.

Perhaps a little bit of perspective is in order. Regardless of our differences, we can all agree on the following things: (a) life is short; (b) we’re all human; and (c) because of “b” we are all likely to screw things up, sometimes badly. Again, all of us make mistakes, even in relationships. But none of us should look at this as a deal-breaker – especially when a relationship between two good, well-intentioned people is at stake. This is particularly true concerning people that make us better, simply by having them in our lives.

Human beings also have a reputation for being too prideful. That too can get in the way of a healthy relationship. Sometimes we’re not comfortable with saying, “I’m sorry,” or, “I think I misunderstood you,” regardless of the good that can come from doing so.

The point is this: there are some people in life we should never let go. Life is too short to not keep in touch. Often, our “reason” for not picking up the phone or dropping by is pitiful – and we know it. With all of this in mind …

… here are 5 types of people to never let go:

  1. The Honest One

“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” ~ William Shakespeare

Never let them go, because: The Honest One will remind you to live up to your ideals – the most important of these ideals being to remain true to yourself and others.

Honesty is a way of life. Honesty is a virtue. Despite these attributes, not all of us appreciate the unfettered “tell it like it is” approach of such a person. Sometimes we don’t want to hear what they have to say, even if what they have to say is for our own good. But whatever our excuse may be, we should make a sincere effort to keep these truth-tellers in our life.

We can all identify a time – perhaps more than one – when we didn’t want to hear the truth about ourselves. But there’s no escaping the fact that the Honest One is probably right – and we would be smart to listen.

toxic people

  1. The Teacher

“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.” ~ Immanuel Kant

Never let them go, because: The Teacher has a way of imparting useful knowledge in a loving and nonjudgmental manner.

Wisdom is best defined as “profound common sense.” Wisdom is more common sense than book smarts, though they’re certainly not exclusive. (Socrates and Confucius, anyone?)

The Wise One is someone who can seemingly devise a super simple solution to any problem. Not only can they design the solution, but they’ll also hand you a friggin’ blueprint. They’ll patiently listen as if you’re the only person in their world at the moment, and, with a look of compassion and thoughtfulness, effortlessly deliver their wisdom to you. The question then becomes: what are you going to do with said wisdom now that you have it?

  1. The Motivator

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better, and your better is best.” ~ St. Jerome

Never let them go, because: The Motivator will always encourage and inspire you to live up to your potential.

The Motivator is cheerful, disciplined, and always willing to help. When life has us in a rut, motivators have an uncanny way of transferring some of their contagious energy to someone in need. Perhaps the most beautiful thing about such a person is that they love, indeed, live for, inspiring others. It isn’t unusual for such a person to craft this inspirational attitude through the overcoming of personal adversity. Speaker and life coach Les Brown is an excellent example of someone who wholeheartedly embraces and  embodies these characteristics, having personally triumphed over tragedy to fulfill his calling.

  1. The Kneeslapper

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” ~ Charlie Chaplin

Never let them go, because: The Kneeslapper brings light to your day – and, if you’re lucky enough, to your life – through smart humor.

Laughter is the best medicine, and The Kneeslapper is the skilled surgeon. You probably know a person or two who can effortlessly replace the tension in any room with unabashed laughter. This is a real gift from an unusually gifted human being; and make no mistake, it is a gift. Going further, it a precious talent that our world desperately needs. Humor has been, and always will be, the spice of life.

  1. The Connector

“Personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows.” ~ Ben Stein

Never let them go, because: The Connector is a faithful friend that will drop everything to introduce you to the right people to have in your life.

The Connector is the person who seems to know everyone. More than that, they are more than happy to introduce two people who have common interests and mutual needs. While they may not have the “answer” to your problem, they more than likely know of someone who does. This person is usually gregarious, selfless, honest, and loving. What’s amazing is that all of their relationships are genuine, stemming from a real love of people – and the desire to bring people together.

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