Well, I just dropped my sweet peas off at school today. Another year begins. The kick off of the school year gets me thinking about friendships for my kids, but also for all of us. How to make em, how to keep em, and how to bring in only the best.
One of my dear friends told me a story about her grandmother who lived well into her 90s. When my friend was about to get married, her grandmother told her this:
"Love your man, honey, but it's all about the girlfriends."
What a beautiful piece of advice. If you have great gal pals, you know what she's talking about. If you wish you had great gal pals, you feel the gap in your life. And it's okay. We are all in that spot, time and time again.
The point is, it's WORTH it to put the effort into making great girlfriends.
Here are some of the best lessons I've learned about creating my own power crew...
1. BE a friend FIRST:
If you want to make friends, BE a friend first.
It is easy to wish you had more friends, a better friend or whatever. What specifically are you doing to create said friendship? Have you offered to pick up her kids? Have her over for lunch? Have you listened when she needed to offload? Sent her a text telling her you thought about her recently?
Great friendships don't come from just chatting casually in commonly frequented places. Just like any relationship, a friendship needs attention.
You shouldn't have to whore yourself out to meet another's needs. Stay grounded and give authentically. You are not desperate and others are lucky to be friends with you.
But specific and directed effort WITHOUT seeking something in return (or depleting yourself) is critical. Risk putting yourself out there first to find great friendships. The right ones will stick.
BE the friend you want to have, and she will appear.
2. Consider proximity:
I have a woman in my life who I consider a mentor. She's maybe 20 years older than me, and dang, is she inspiring. She is someone I consider to be in my inner circle, but I don't see her very often. At best, we text every now and again, and maybe grab a lunch twice per year.
She is highly professionally focused and travels a lot, and I am occupied balancing family and personal ambitions. Her kids are grown and gone. Our lives do not intersect.
Because of this, she cannot be someone I spend time with regularly. It just doesn't make sense. It's nothing personal. But, proximity matters.
Many wise souls have said before that we are the result of the FIVE people we spend the most time with. Who are your five people?
If you are looking for more regular friendship, consider common places and interests. Certainly don't limit yourself to only women your age; intergenerational friendships are some of the very best. But do find commonalities so it is EASIER to maintain said friendships.
The point is to make this fun and easy on yourself and her. Nobody needs to be pressured to spend time together when it creates more strife than good.
3. Create high frequency friendships:
Friendships created out of love and excitement for one another are much healthier than ones created out of shared disdain or saddened states.
Sometimes it feels good to talk shit and bond over this. Or to create a relationship where nitpicking the men in our lives feels like genuine connection. Or only to share what is difficult and painful. But these kind of friendship habit patterns are destined to leave us feeling gross.
You are better than this.
When your shared passion for your children, pets, for travel, for art, for helping others, for growth, whatever it may be, is the driver of the relationship, you will naturally benefit each other and want to spend more time together.
I have a pact with a dear friend that if either one of us begins to speak ill of another, we stop each other. The most tempting can be in groups, so we have a secret hand gesture that we do to each other to remind one another that talking negatively never brings positive reward.
Find a buddy in your circle and try it out!
4. Remember friend chemistry:
Just like any romantic relationship, there is also friend chemistry. Some people just naturally get along better than others. This is perfectly okay. The idea of forcing ourselves to be friends with everyone is just ridiculous. (I always need to remind myself of this with my kiddos, too).
Be open to moving on to other women if the ones you continue to try to be friends with aren't sticking in the way you'd hoped.
Move forward with confidence knowing that you are an incredible woman who has much to share. Your tribe will find you, no doubt.
"What you seek is also seeking you."
Interested in getting clear about your own tribe of 5?
March 16-23, 2019