I am an “Air Force Brat”. By the time I was 5 I had lived in a few countries. My family moved less than many military families, thankfully, but I still learned to pack up and move on.
Some of that was bad and I had to unlearn. I realized many years ago I learned to just turn off the pain of leaving friends behind. I don’t embrace that anymore.
One of the good things I learned was how to make friends in “the new place”. Between that and my high extroversion trait you’d think that making friends would just magically happen for me. Well, it does and it doesn’t.
Meeting people and striking up a conversation comes very easily (Bill might say, perhaps too easily, lol).
Having hundreds of high-level friends comes easily for me. As an extrovert I put people in the friend category that some of you would definitely put in the acquaintance category. (I love that cheesy saying that “A stranger is just a friend I haven’t met yet”.)
Real friendship though takes intention, time, trust, openness, vulnerability.
I definitely have deep friendships with people I hardly ever get to see. The friends that would be there if I needed them. That I could go super deep with immediately even if we haven’t talked in 6 months. Those friendships though are ones we have both sewn into. Sewn in time, deep talks, lots of laughter, perhaps shared giving to others together.
Here’s what I notice. Life gets busy for all of us and often what suffers is taking time to give yourself the gift of really solid time with your friends. You need it. There are few things that fill our tank like time with healthy friends that we can really be ourselves with. Time with people that we can laugh and cry with. Friends that see our warts and extra pounds and bs and love us the way we are.
Who do you need to have some time with?
Be picky about your friends! Does the relationship feel mutual? Is one of you the rescuer of the other? Do you feel a pull to fix or be needy? Healthy friendships are not about fixing. Support is different from fixing.
Which of your friends do you laugh the most with? Do you need to do some more laughing with them soon?
Now, let’s talk about BFF and real life. Friends come and go. That’s okay. Different friends meet different needs in our life. Some will be super long-term and others will be for a season. Hold them lightly and gratefully. I like the languages “One of my dear friends” over best friend. “Best friend” excludes others and gives the impression that one friend can be just about everything for you.
I have friends that challenge me to be more philanthropic. Friends that crack me up. Friends that know how to get me to open up more. Friends that check in on my spirituality. I need them all. Friends that love business and share that world with me.
Here is to my friends! Many of whom may even be reading this. I love you, you are what make my life so incredibly rich!
And, here is to you getting some really awesome time with some of your dear friends soon or, to taking steps with acquaintances in your life that will turn them in to dear friends!
What is your next intentional friend step?
Until next week,