20 Things Men Should Start Doing in Their Lives

By Cypher Avenue | Posted Jan 30 2014 | 16 Comments  


Its the end of the first full month of 2014 and many of our New Years Resolutions have already gone down the tubes. What I’ve come to learn over the years is that many of us fail because of the negative people we have on our squad. This includes ourselves. There’s an old saying that, “if you hang out with a group of 4 broke friends, what does that make you?” The answer is: “The Fifth.”

This is not to say that you should abandon your friends only for more affluent people. What you should be mindful about is if these people are subconsciously holding you back. A broke friend with goals that he’s actually working to achieve is very different than one who just wastes the little money he gets and is content with mediocrity.

This idea applies to all parts of our lives and the people we let into it. People are not islands, off to themselves. We need relationships (friends/family/lovers) with other people to influence us, to vent to, to confide in, to socialize with, to love, to be affectionate with, to share our hopes and dreams with.

The problem is finding and maintaining these relationships with positive people who won’t drag you down with them. As adults, sometimes we have to cut cancerous people out of our lives and don’t look back.

Here are twenty tips to help you find and foster these special and needed relationships and cut out the cancer.

– Nick Delmacy

1. Free yourself from negative people.

Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.  Relationships should help you, not hurt you.  Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be.  Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.  Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  When you free yourself from negative people, you free yourself to be YOU – and being YOU is the only way to truly live.

2. Let go of those who are already gone.

The sad truth is that there are some people who will only be there for you as long as you have something they need.  When you no longer serve a purpose to them, they will leave.  The good news is, if you tough it out, you’ll eventually weed these people out of your life and be left with some great people you can count on.  We rarely lose friends and lovers, we just gradually figure out who our real ones are.  So when people walk away from you, let them go.   Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you.  It doesn’t mean they are bad people; it just means that their part in your story is over.

3. Give people you don’t know a fair chance.

When you look at a person, any person, remember that everyone has a story.  Everyone has gone through something that has changed them, and forced them to grow.  Every passing face on the street represents a story every bit as compelling and complicated as yours.  We meet no ordinary people in our lives.  If you give them a chance, everyone has something amazing to offer.  So appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work.  Trust your judgment.  Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory.  Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.


Seb on Flickr, CC-BY-2.0

4. Show everyone kindness and respect.

Treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are.  There are no boundaries or classes that define a group of people that deserve to be respected.  Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give to your grandfather and the same level of patience you would have with your baby brother.  People will notice your kindness.

5. Accept people just the way they are.

In most cases it’s impossible to change them anyway, and it’s rude to try.  So save yourself from needless stress.  Instead of trying to change others, give them your support and lead by example.

6. Encourage others and cheer for them.

Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places.  So be happy for those who are making progress.  Cheer for their victories.  Be thankful for their blessings, openly.  What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.


Anthony Posey on Flickr, CC-BY-2.0

7. Be your imperfectly perfect self.

In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your awesome self.  And when they laugh at you for being different, laugh back at them for being the same.  Spend more time with those who make you smile and less time with those who you feel pressured to impress.  Be your imperfectly perfect self around them.  We are not perfect for everyone, we are only perfect for those select few people that really take the time to get to know us and love us for who we really are.  And to those select few, being our imperfectly perfect self is what they love about us.

8. Forgive people and move forward. 

Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the remedy.  It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened.  It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.  Remember, the less time you spend hating the people who hurt you, the more time you’ll have to love the people who love you.

9. Do little things every day for others.

Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.  You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people.  Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty.

10. Pay attention to who your real friends are.

As we grow up, we realize it becomes less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones.  Remember, life is kind of like a party.  You invite a lot of people, some leave early, some stay all night, some laugh with you, some laugh at you, and some show up really late.  But in the end, after the fun, there are a few who stay to help you clean up the mess.  And most of the time, they aren’t even the ones who made the mess.  These people are your real friends in life.  They are the ones who matter most.


Elvin on Flickr, CC-BY-2.0

11. Always be loyal.

True love and real friendship aren’t about being inseparable. These relationships are about two people being true to each other even when they are separated.  When it comes to relationships, remaining faithful is never an option, but a priority.  Loyalty is everything.

12. Stay in better touch with people who matter to you.

In human relationships distance is not measured in miles, but in affection.  Two people can be right next to each other, yet miles apart.  So don’t ignore someone you care about, because lack of concern hurts more than angry words.  Stay in touch with those who matter to you.  Not because it’s convenient, but because they’re worth the extra effort.  Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.  Paying attention to these people is a priority.

13. Keep your promises and tell the truth.

If you say you’re going to do something, DO IT!  If you say you’re going to be somewhere, BE THERE!  If you say you feel something, MEAN IT!  If you can’t, won’t, and don’t, then DON’T LIE.  It’s always better to tell people the truth up front.  Don’t play games with people’s heads and hearts.  Don’t tell half-truths and expect people to trust you when the full truth comes out; half-truths are no better than lies.  Remember, love and friendship don’t hurt.  Lying, cheating and screwing with people’s feelings and emotions hurts.  Never mess with someone’s feelings just because you’re unsure of yours.  Always be open and honest.


Adam Jones on Flickr, CC-BY-2.0

14. Give what you want to receive.

Don’t expect what you are not willing to give.  Start practicing the golden rule.  If you want love, give love.  If you want friends, be friendly.  If you want money, provide value.  It works.  It really is this simple.

15. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Give the people in your life the information they need, rather than expecting them to know the unknowable.  Information is the grease that keeps the engine of communication functioning.  Start communicating clearly.  Don’t try to read other people’s minds, and don’t make other people try to read yours.  Most problems, big and small, within a family, friendship, or business relationships, start with bad communication.

16. Allow others to make their own decisions.

Do not judge others by your own past.  They are living a different life than you are.  What might be good for one person may not be good for another.  What might be bad for one person might change another person’s life for the better.  Allow people to make their own mistakes and their own decisions.


John Steven Fernandez on Flickr, CC-BY-2.0

17. Talk a little less, and listen more.

Less advice is often the best advice.  People don’t need lots of advice, they need a listening ear and some positive reinforcement.  What they want to know is often already somewhere inside of them.  They just need time to think, be and breathe, and continue to explore the undirected journeys that will eventually help them find their direction.

18. Leave petty arguments alone.

Someone else doesn’t have to be wrong for you to be right.  There are many roads to what’s right.  And most of the time it just doesn’t matter that much.

19. Ignore unconstructive, hurtful commentary.

No one has the right to judge you.  They might have heard your stories, but they didn’t feel what you were going through.  No matter what you do, there will always be someone who thinks differently.  So concentrate on doing what you know in your heart is right.  What most people think and say about you isn’t all that important.  What is important is how you feel about yourself.

20. Pay attention to your relationship with yourself.

One of the most painful things in life is losing yourself in the process of loving others too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  When was the last time someone told you that they loved you just the way you are, and that what you think and how you feel matters?  When was the last time someone told you that you did a good job, or took you someplace, simply because they know you feel happy when you’re there?  When was the last time that ‘someone’ was YOU?

Article written by Marc Chernoff reprinted from his blog MarcAndAngel.com.


About the Author
Cypher Avenue

Cypher Avenue is a direct response to the lack of a single website on the Internet catering to gay/bisexual men that love hip hop, pop culture, video games, sci-fi and mature, open minded conversations. Topics ranging from sex, sports, movies, new tech, science, fashion, comic books, politics, working out, hip hop, booze, television, cars, the outdoors, geek stuff, dating, and relationships; you name it, we have it.

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16 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. $toney Braxton™
    $toney Braxton™ | January 30th, 2014

    Amen to ALL of that. I need to work on number 8

  2. Ace of hearts | January 30th, 2014

    This was a good write @nick. For me personally I will be working a lot on giving people I don’t know a fair chance. I think I’ve had some bad experiences and though I’ve forgiven the people I let the experiences linger and they keep me from connecting with people who show signs of possibly doing the same. The strange thing is I do a great job with connecting with new people, but I always feel there has to be an initial trust. I feel I’m an intuitive creature so I don’t give everyone a chance just a select people. I also need to let other make their own decisions good or bad. I’m always screaming I want to make my own and here I am telling others what I think they should do. Ya I’m a hypocrite so stone me. Last but not least I need to let go of those who are gone. I have a habit of keeping the door open for people and want to do this reach out thing when I know they are the worst for me and they don’t care about me. Maybe thats me being young when I do that. Part of me feels I care to much about too many people when it comes to that. But all in all as a growing black male I can improve in all of these areas in some degree! Once again great write up @nick!

    • RolandG
      rolandgarros28 | January 30th, 2014

      @nick didn’t write this. Marc Chernoff wrote this. Nick is sorta the editor but i get your point.

      The tricky one is staying in touch with people that matter to you. It’s not tricky for me but I had to learn for myself that when i’m calling you 30 times to your 1 and you only call me when you notice I haven’t called you in 6 months, I’m not an important person in your life and you shouldn’t be one in mine. A small group of friends is all i need. I don’t need to be popular.

      • Ace of hearts | January 30th, 2014

        Ya @rolandgarros28 I started to catch on to the small group of friends at the end of 2013 which I’ve done well at. Atlanta is a city where you can become a “gaylebrity” really quick and when I first moved here I was attracted to it. Once I saw what really went on in those circles… I’d rather pass.. I just need to focus on not letting people back in my life who don’t need to be. that is my really bad habit. I deleted some out my phone but I come to realize some isn’t enough.

    • NextLifetime
      nextlifetime | January 30th, 2014

      Ditto! You just spoke my life smh. I’m working on it.

  3. RellyRell | January 30th, 2014

    I’m good on everything except #3, that shit is easier said than done. I consider myself to be fairly good at reading ones character so if you give me red flags I either dip out or keep you at a distance with the invisible yardstick.

    But because I’m this way I’ve always had this fear of becoming jaded and not giving people a fair chance but got dammit most of these niggas out here are predictable!

    A lot of #3 is also going to be limited by your location and the size of the gay community there; gay folks are already clique-ish… I need to find some straight people to hang out with, I think I just solved my own problem.

  4. Daylon | January 30th, 2014

    I like this post. : )

  5. African King | January 30th, 2014

    Thanks for posting this @Nick. Very good article that you’ve found here. 2, 3, 5, 7 and 20 are the ones I want to do more of.

  6. PAPIMARCOVIBE | January 30th, 2014

    wow, looks like the road map to a happy, successful,prosperous, and meaningful life. just what the doctor ordered, spent the last month doing some personal house cleaning, and learning you can have friends that are doing good things and are a good influence.cutting all that old baggage can take a lot of effort but it does leave more room for people who will add to your life then subtract like leaches. all your points are valid and on point and a real yardstick to measure the value and quality of my relationship. A heart felt THANK YOU.

  7. SB3000 | January 31st, 2014

    Dope list @nick N @ocky …I wana point out that I love the stripped down approach that accompanies the ‘no kid gloves’ dc approach. Just meaning, I love the fact that u guys are injecting more personal stances and opinions. Not that u guys havent done it b4, but its just great to see, what i see as, another level of saying, ‘hey, i think he’s sexy too’, lately. Thats gonna help many kats more than many ppl think.

  8. Kasule | January 31st, 2014

    6. Encourage others and cheer for them.

    Ok yeah this one is real big for me. You know how many people in our lives tell is we can’t accomplish shit?

    I really take as many opportunities as I can to encourage people when I think they have a good idea.

    Maybe others feel this way too, but I’ve put so much effort and time in my life towards accomplishing basic things – that family/friends thought I couldn’t do, which made shit harder at one point.

    Definitely encourage your peers! It can be more helpful than money.

    Great list.

  9. Richard Ruffin | February 1st, 2014

    Wonderful Post! Number 7 is exponential to me. After acting and being a great pretender for so long in regards to preference in all most every regard from music to sex, I became so confused and shattered. I’m gradually improving and starting to care less about who, what, why, and how. so I’ll definitely keep these steps in mind along the way.

  10. Zion MarQuiese Devereaux | February 1st, 2014

    I love all of these and in the first 31 days of this year I have had to endure all of this which means since I made it to Feb 1 I am doing very good.
    I made a promise to myself to do better for ME and not for others.
    I ran into an issue where someone who was supposed to be a friend of mine had a lunch date with some friends of his who I don’t know and ended up talking about me.
    I didn’t even get an invite to my “roast” but you know what I said what I had to say and I left it alone.
    This year will be better than any year I’ve had in the past 5 years.
    God is yet on the throne.

  11. Ocky Williams | March 5th, 2014

    #11 and #13 gay men pay attention!

  12. TheEdge
    COSHAMO | April 14th, 2014

    Words on paper are very much different from practice. Practice what you preach should be at the top of the list. There’s nothing worse than a hypocrite. And if you can’t say anything good about the person KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! This is one statement that can’t be repeated enough. Reflect the person you want to be around. I like quiet, intelligent, spontaneous, adventurous, artistic, secure, self-sufficient, healthy…. Guess I will not attract any who have these qualities, because they only exist in my mind’s creation. I possess these qualities but can’t seem to find them exhibited by others. Pretentiousness doesn’t cut it with me.. If people would only internalize half the maxims on this list we would have better relationships throughout and better communities.

  13. ColumbusGuy
    ColumbusGuy | July 1st, 2016

    This is actually a very very good list. Bravo! 100dap

    8. Forgive people and move forward. -the very hardest one can be forgiving yourself- I am still working on that one.

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