Welcome to part one of a three part series on friendship. Today’s post is my take on friendship and how I hope to have a positive influence on my kids’ friendships.
I’ve heard it said that friends are the family you choose. I love that. As someone who had a difficult time making friends as a teen I feel especially blessed to have an inner circle of women in my life now that I count as my closest friends. My inner circle friends are those with whom I am extremely close. We’ve shared good times and bad; secrets, fun memories, knowing looks and other types of non-verbal communication, dreams and inside jokes. We’ve also shared heartaches, disappointments, illnesses, and loss of children, parents, and jobs.
Having a bunch of friends has never been my style and I’m selective about who I spend my time with. I choose to spend my time with women who share my values, whose company I enjoy and leave me feeling recharged. I like to learn from and be inspired by my friends, and I hope I am that friend in return.
Once, a woman sat across from me in my office and told me she guards her time. I thought that was one of the most ridiculous and self-important things I had ever heard. That is, until several years and several episodes of burnout later. Now, I guard my time. I guard my family’s time. If something isn’t a “want to”, I don’t do it and I don’t feel guilty about saying no. This means, I don’t have to accept every invitation, and I don’t have to volunteer for everything. How is this relevant to friendships? One of my most important friendships is the friendship my husband and I share. I can’t be a good friend to him if I’ve spent all my energy elsewhere, and he can’t be a good friend to me if I’ve spread our family so thin that there’s nothing to give to each other.
I see my daughter being a good friend to her friends. Like me, and her dad, too, she prefers quality to quantity. Her friends rely on her for sound advice, and she relies on them, too. I watch them as they create special memories and support each other. I want to model what it is to be a good friend by involving her with my friendships. I think the best friendships are the ones that the whole family is part of. Maybe that’s why some friends end up becoming like family.
-What do you value most in a friendship?
-Do you thrive with a large group, or do you prefer an inner circle?
-What are some things you want your kids to learn about friendships?
Please come back tomorrow for part two. My friend Lynn Cowell will be sharing about “Bulls –Eye Friends”. You won’t want to miss it.