Friendship. And such.

Bridesmaids laughing

Recently I read MWF Seeking BFF.  Great book – I highly recommend.  And since it’s about – you know – friendship, it got me thinking about – you know – friendship.  I’ve always subscribed to the quality over quantity belief.  Acquaintances, yes!  Of those I have many.  I can small talk and such with the best of them.  {I am an introvert though, so it takes a lot out of me.  I need time to recover from a small-talk rich environment.}  Once small talk has depleted however – it can be hard to sustain.  Unless, of course, there’s a connection.  You know what I mean…the za-za-zoo of friendship connection.  The kindred spirit, where-have-you-been-all-my-life connection.

But making friends in your late-20’s can be awkward.  Almost like dating.  “Did they feel the za-za-zoo too?  Am I coming on to strong?  They know I’m married and strictly interested in friendship, right?”  I met this really nice girl in a barre class months ago and I totally wanted to say, “Let’s hang out!  Here – I made you this friendship bracelet!”  But I didn’t, because that kind of behavior gets labeled under Stay Away From The Crazy Girl and I Should Have Given Her a Fake Name.

I have some best-quality friends locally and afar, which is a blessing.  MWF Seeking BFF reminded me that it’s nice to expand on that pool though by meeting new people and seeing where the friendship road leads with said new people.  Maybe they’ll become best-quality friends too.

Joining Junior League helped me a lot.  On the first day we all went around and introduced ourselves and declared our intentions.  Aka – said why we joined the League.  Probably everyone said that they wanted to do good in the community and meet new people.  Friends just waiting to happen!  I made some best-quality friends and many lovely acquaintriends (acquaintance + friend, obvio).

Switching it up on the J-O-B was another stellar friend-making move.  Many of my colleagues are around my age/life stage/etc.  It’s like hitting the friend jackpot.

You want to hear read about an area of friendship that is a struggle for me?  Of course you do.  Friend-group mixing.  I know, I know, it’s terrible.  The more the merrier!  Let your friends meet new friends among your friends!  I don’t know if I’m selfish and never learned to share properly (MY friends!) or just find the idea of being the common denominator in a group exhausting, but I prefer to keep my friend groups separate.  Like those plastic cafeteria food trays or the flimsy Styrofoam plates with the dividers – don’t let the roast beef touch the mashed potatoes!

{One exception I’ve noticed:  I want ALL of my blogosphere friends to meet and hang out with me at the same time.  I don’t care if you don’t know each other – you all know me!  That’s enough!}

Anyway, the fact that friendship has been on my mind lately has caused me to realize a few things.

One – I should be better about mixing friend groups.  Make it a party all up on that cafeteria tray.

Two – There are people who I became friends with in a different life stage – and who I still consider to be friends, sure, but well, we’ve grown apart – whom I would likely not become friends with if we met for the first time in THIS life stage.  Have I changed?  Have they changed?  In a word, yes.  And yes.

Three – I’m becoming less interested in single-handedly maintaining friendships.  There simply has to be give and take from both parties.  If I am always the one calling or texting to set up a phone date, lunch, pedicure, séance (kidding – just making sure you’re paying attention), maybe it’s time to let that one go.

Do you make new friends easily?  What do you do to keep friendships – local and afar? 


13 thoughts on “Friendship. And such.

  1. Very true. All of it. I like when you mix your friends. For example, you mixed your OSU friend (me) with your Phoenix friend (Joy) and look how much fun that turned out to be now that we’re all friends together and go to fun football games in Austin wearing matching orange shirts? Huh? Huh? Good things. And amen on the idea that it’s too hard to single handedly maintain friendships. I actually pride myself at being pretty good on doing that, particularly when I was younger and single. But now, by the time I’ve dealt with work all day and spent time with (on the phone with…stupid long distance….) Ty and made dinner and gone running, it’s hard to have the energy to work on friendships when you feel as though you’re the only one doing the heavy lifting.

    All that to say, good blog.

    And excellent photo. Pretty sure that’s where the photographer said that I was squeezing you too tight.

  2. The give and take is so important. I learned that lesson the hard way with a couple of friends. I tend to be a good listener so it’s easy for people to feel like they can open up to me. Which is great and makes for close bonds. But what often happens is that I end up doing all the listening and know everything about an individual who feels close to me because she has shared so much, but in reality she doesn’t know much about me. I went through three different girlfriends like that before I realized why I would feel so burnt out on our friendships. Now I’m definitely always looking for that give and take. We both share, we both listen, we both make an effort to spend time together, etc.

    It is exhausting to mix your friend groups! We do it once a year for my birthday. I invite everyone I’m close to in Memphis to come over and celebrate. Which means that most of the people who come never hang out together otherwise or have never even met each other. It’s always fun, but it’s also just a lot in general. So we typically do keep our friend groups separated just because it’s easier. But it’s nice to bring them all together every once and awhile! There are always fun new connections made when we do! :)

  3. I’m adding that book to my list! I love this post. I’ve been thinking about friendship a lot lately too. I’ve always been about quality over quantity – you go through a couple of bad experiences with “friends” to teach you that. I’m lucky that the friends I have today – some have known me for 15 years, 10, 5 and it’s been fun watching them grow as I grow too. I may not talk to them constantly but when we’re together again, it’s like no time has passed. At work I’m one of the youngest by 5-10 years but I think I work with a good group because I don’t always feel like the young in’ and I try to learn from those wiser :) Ditto on all the blog friends hanging out – it MUST happen!

  4. My friend list has shrunk over the years, but they have grown in quality. As you saw from one of my recent posts!! This book sounds awesome. The friends I’ve made lately have been through work, other than that I don’t tend to make new friends. HA.

  5. Such a good topic! I totally am right there-it is hard to make friends outside of school and sadly most of my school friends live across the country. I have made some amazing friends from church and a few from local events. I find you have to be very intentional and proactive, yet not a creeper…ha!!

  6. Such an interesting post Amy! I think about friendships a lot, because I find friendships can be tricky. Especially female friends can be a lot of work! I had a few were I felt like there were little power games being played, and you had to be careful not to make a wrong step. It wasn’t for me, and we are not friends any more.
    Needless to say, I only have a handfull of real friends, and that seems to be all I can handle. But like you, I have lots of acquaintances (mostly from work), and that is uncomplicated and fun! Being a fellow introvert, I need a LOT of time to myself, and can’t maintain too many friendships.

  7. LOL so hard to the seance…!!! You seriously crack me up. Every time I read your blog I smile. Even when Flo passed away and you were really sad, you still blogged about in a happy way that made me smile!

    As for friends, I can relate to so much of what you just said (typed..?!). I don’t enjoy mixing friend groups too much (it feels weird?!) buuut I do want all my blog friends to hang out all at once so we can talk about the blog world and such, haha.

  8. I am all about quality of friends over quantity now. When I was at uni there was a group of about 20 of us that would go on nights out a couple of times a week, but they were not real friends. Now I have 4 really close friends, but I am much happier that way.
    I am adding that book to my list to read.

  9. Your (and others’) take on mixing groups is interesting. I’ve always wanted to mix groups, probably because i’ve typically had a friend here, a friend there rather than multiple groups. I always liked when my friends were all in one place because I wanted just one cohesive group. I didn’t start to get that until I joined the league. But I can now see how it would be difficult to mix larger groups versus three or four separate people.

    I agree on the equal effort thing. I implemented a 3 strike rule in college I will initiate contact three times in a row and then it’s up to the other person. Yes, it is like dating. I have had to accept that some friendships weren’t meant to be, but fortunately, I haven’t had to use this rule in a while.

    A secret: the year you joined the league, I almost immediately picked you and one other person out as gals I wanted to be friends with :)

  10. I’ve heard good things about this book, but now that you said it was a good one I’m adding it to my list on GoodReads. :) See how much I value your friendship and opinion? Haha. I think all your blog friends should get together ASAP. I’m ready for a coffee date with you and Rach like yesterday! XO

  11. It’s hard for me to make friends because I always get really shy (which I’ve been told can make me look snobbish, like, “Who….you? I’m too good to make conversation with YOU”). My mom is one of those people who could make friends with someone while waiting in line at the grocery store–somehow I didn’t inherit that trait from her. But I’m trying…especially now that I’m living in a new place.

    I think you’re right in that sometimes you grow apart and it’s okay to let friendships go. My mom is a friend-machine, like I’ve said…but there are some friendships she has that are such a chore, and she’ll complain to me about them, and I’ll ask her why she’s putting up all the effort? I made a conscious decision to let a friendship go one time when I realized (or rather, my husband helped me realize) that I was ONLY getting phone calls from her when she needed something (i.e.–“Can you drive me to the airport?” “Can you help me move?”). I felt bad turning her down when called, but you’re right–it has to be give and take.

  12. “the za-za-zoo of friendship connection” love love love that wording – funky and fun and so true. mwf seeks bff was a game changer for me, and it seems like it resonated with me for a lot of the same reasons it rang true with you – expanding friends, making friendships that fit *now*, and letting their be a natural give-and-take in friendship <3

  13. I’m with you on Number 3. Sometimes mixing friends can be super awkward, you have to be very careful so each group doesn’t talk about the other, I have to be really ambitious to mix my friend groups. I am going through the whole letting friendships go situation, was actually going to write a blog about it… stay tuned. Love you!

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