THE BLOG
09/02/2013 10:27 am ET | Updated Oct 15, 2013

Just Do the Next Right Thing: Friendship Etiquette Beyond 'Please' and 'Thank You'

From time to time a situation comes up that clearly shows you who is in your corner and who no longer has your back. Perhaps someone that was a good friend for a long period of time has decided to move on. There should be no judgment in taking another direction, either for you or them, as long as the departure is handled with kindness and respect. We are often given red flags to guide us, signaling that it's time to go in another direction, or, perhaps set the other person free in order to find their own way.

Every relationship has a season, some lasting a lifetime while others are meant to be only short term. It doesn't mean that they were not valuable relationships, only that you learned what you were supposed to learn, helped who you were supposed to help, and gained a lesson along the way. Sometimes it's just one person, while other times it may feel like it's a flood of close relationships suddenly all going in different directions. It's neither good nor bad, it just "is." Here are a few tools to help you look ahead:

Let go of the rope. Do you remember when you were a young child, playing tug of war on the playground, holding on to the rope so tight your hands started to blister? You finally had to let go because your little hands couldn't hold on. Such is life as an adult. There are times when hanging on too long keeps you focused on something that no longer works. Letting go will open doors you didn't know you were supposed to walk through. It's time to put your energy and attention elsewhere.

Speak with integrity. If you have something to get off your chest, say what you need to say without bitterness, anger or name calling. You will look back years later and feel better that you handled the situation in a manner that left you both unharmed.

"Do the next right thing." Countless motivational books will tell you that when you don't know what else to do, simply do the next right thing. You can't go wrong when your intention is to "do no harm."

Be bold in your conviction. Stand for something -- anything -- that makes life better for your family, your community, your business and yourself. You will find that reaching out and helping others will benefit everyone around you in more ways than you can imagine.

Be meek in your humility. The second you start drinking the Kool-Aid of your own importance, the universe will find a way to show you just how big this world really is and just how small you are, moving around in it. You are much larger, and more relatable, when you are humble. One of the most insincere remarks you can make when someone pays you a compliment is to respond by saying, "I know." You may think you are being funny, but the reality is that there is truth in humor and it's off putting to the person who just offered a sincere gesture of kindness.

Live the life you want. What are you waiting for? Take actionable steps every day to improve your life and your relationships, while showing others that you are more than just a pretty face. Even if you can't do exactly what you want today, you can do something meaningful, honorable and productive that will enrich those around you. It may be as simple as smiling at your neighbor, or planting a garden at your local children's shelter. You will meet people who are of like minds and kindred spirits.

Walk away from what isn't working. This isn't to suggest you should "give up" on something worthwhile. We generally know when it's time to "let go of the rope," yet we hang on until we are forced to take a free fall. And, in the end, a free fall isn't all that bad. Get your parachute ready now.

Close the door and don't look back. Second guessing yourself is natural, but there is a reason you made a choice. Trust your inner voice and don't question your intuition. There is a limitless number of strangers who may potentially become great friends.

Welcome the unknown. You may not know exactly what is ahead but you can rest assured that doors will open for you when you decide to take control of your future. Today, right now, commit to get up, get out, and get moving with the intention of... doing the next right thing.

For more tips, refer to my blog, connect with me here on Huffington Post and "Like" me on Facebook at Protocol School of Texas.