What Other People Think About Friendship

‘Member how we were talking about friendship all last week? Well, there was one more post I wanted to write (well, I thought it was just one more at the time!). But I decided to take a short break from the subject this week, to mull over exactly how I wanted to conclude the series. The more I thought about it though, the more I didn’t really want to conclude it. So we’re keeping this discussion open-ended here, and I’m sure there will be many more posts on friendship to come.-

By the by, I’ve really enjoyed reading your feedback on this topic along our journey. Comments, e-mails, and Facebook remarks – I wish I could publish them all right here!

And speaking of feedback, months ago I started taking different polls, asking people about what adult friendship looked like in their lives, etc. and today, I thought I’d share a couple of the responses I received. I hope you enjoy hearing what these girls have to say!

First up is Annie from .turning pages.. – This is a girl who has a heart for relationships, and in a nutshell, here is her advice:Friendships are worth the work (and yes, even the good ones are work). Sure, there is fun and laughter and joy, but it takes effort, especially in adulthood, to connect with someone, to have lunch, to set aside time, to start a book club, to talk on the phone, to listen. If you’re not willing to make the effort to connect, you are going to wind up very, very lonely.

I also loved this discussion about how to know when to let a friendship go – one that is perhaps draining, or unhealthy: “My mother spoke up from the other end of the telephone line: “That’s it, isn’t it? A good friendship is double-sided. You are good for them, but they are good for you, too.” And she continued with this beautiful little exercise that has begun to put all of my relationships into perspective.
Annie is good for                    , and                      is good for Annie. 

I’ve put a lot of friends’ names in those blanks, and for the most part, I’m happy with my results. I have so many relationships that are truly that give-take, that push-pull. Friends who pull me out of the pit, friends for whom I would, given the chance, do the very same.

And lastly, when I read these words from Annie, I knew our hearts beat in the same direction on the friendship continuum : “I just don’t do casual. I want kindred spirits, not Facebook friends. Kindred spirits, though, are unique. You can’t have very many.”

If you’d like to read more about what Annie has to say about friendship, try here, here, and here.

Next up, Sasha from Lemonade Makin’ Mama (who truly knows the value of friendship, and is willing to risk it all to find it) was sharing with me about how her beloved book club came to be: “The book club I’m a part of came about because I had just experienced the breakup of a five woman friendship.  We had all been pregnant together, been raising our babies together and when the whole thing imploded, it felt big.  I went through a mourning period and was so very lonely as I tried to navigate the waters of new friendships again.  I wanted something easy and safe with minimal commitment, so I put an advertisement in a Mother’s of PreSchooler’s group newsletter.  And I invited my neighbors and a bunch of random women.  We’ve been slowly morphing into what we currently are for years, but we are tight now.  We come from different walks and stages of life and yet that once a month connecting has been so important to all of us.  We’ve taken yearly road trips and we talk nonstop the entire time about absolutely everything, and that’s about the only time we all get together outside of our monthly meetings.  I don’t know what to attribute our closeness in spite of our minuscule contact to, but I think it has more to do with longevity, since we’ve been meeting for so many years. 

As for what I’d say to someone who is looking for girlfriends to feed her soul, I can’t stress vulnerability enough.  One of the best friends I ever made happened when I just blurted out the thoughts in my heart, right that moment to a gal I barely knew, and then bravely asked if she had ever felt that way herself.  It got us talking, and before long, we were making plans to get together that week, which turned into a very wonderful friendship over time.  You know that old adage, “if you want to have a friend, you need to be a friend.”  It’s true.  Take that tentative step toward someone, and you never know what you’ll get!”

Thank you so much for sharing a little about your friendship experience with us ladies!

So what about you? Have you found your “kindred spirit” friends already? Or are you ready to step out and bravely pursue some new relationships this week?

To read more in the series on friendship:
Friendship Part 1
Going Deeper in Friendship
Insecurity and Friendship
Friendship and the World Wide Web

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6 thoughts on “What Other People Think About Friendship

  1. Thanks for your posts Kristen, it can be hard when you move to a new town and have to start over…but your posts are encouraging. Most of my friendships are over the phone or email right now but that is just the stage I am in.

    • You’re right Stephanie, it IS so hard to move to a different town and have to “start from scratch”, but what a blessing that you do get to enjoy friendships via phone and e-mail! They are no less real, and every bit as much of a blessing!

    • YOU are a blessing to ME Sasha! You and your way with words and your beautiful photography! You’re right, friendship is most certainly a wonderful gift…

  2. I love what Sasha had to share here! Have you watched either of the Brene Brown TED talks? She speaks beautifully and passionately on vulnerability and the role it plays in our successes and in our relationships. I think you’d love it, especially considering your interest in friendships. 🙂

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