Yesterday I touched on how much I enjoy having girlfriends as an adult. I think not making time for friends is another way homeschool moms Let Themselves Go.
As much as I love my husband and children, having friends fulfills a need I have in a way nothing else can.
Is my husband my friend? Yes, my best friend. Things aren’t real until I talk about them with him. He would listen to me talk about any little thing my heart desired, bless him. I do try to spare him too much estrogen overload.
Are my children my friends? Well, not yet. They are great people, but I’m still parenting them. Is the lion tamer friends with the lions? Does James Bond go shoe shopping with Dr. No?
One day when that role is over, I hope that we will have a new relationship that is more friend-like. Like my husband, there are things I can’t talk about with them. They do not want to hear my concerns about my bone health or about my Jane Austen obsession.
|Not this one…|
One of my friends recently mentioned that she opened a magazine to read the story inside about “How To Be Good Girlfriend”. She was hoping to see tips for women on how to be better friends to other women.
Instead, she was disappointed to find advice to 20-somethings on how to keep a man happy while you are dating.
Fresh, modern advice like “laugh at his jokes, even if you don’t get them” and “be nice to his friends, even if they are jerks”.
You’ve come a long way, baby.
So let me fill the void of GF info.
- Reach Out. Your mom was right–to have a friend you have to be a friend. If you know a lady you’d like to be friends with, extend an invitation to coffee without the kids along. It happens! I find coffee out to be a low-cost, safe outing.You can sit for half an hour or three hours. You can even have tea or cocoa if you don’t like coffee.
- Be a Good Listener. My friends are giggling right now. I definitely have to rein in my mouth. I’ve come home from many a time with friends with “Sharer’s Remorse”. Still, when you let someone else talk, look at them. (You’d be surprised at how many people don’t do this.) React to what they are saying with your expression. This is not rocket science.
- Ask Good Questions. You can only do this if you are interested and listening. If you can’t do this, maybe the friendship is not a good fit. No harm, no foul. You aren’t going to be friends with everyone. I did fall in friend-love with my GF who asked me on our first real-life meeting to “tell her my story”. Who wouldn’t like to be asked that and be really listened to?
- Give More Than You Get. In relationships, sometimes we nourish and sometimes we take nourishment. Try to maintain a balance. My good friends will listen to me moan for months during hard times, but it shouldn’t be that way forever.
- Follow Up. We say we are very busy, but we make time for what’s important. Let them know you are thinking about them. Call your friend, send a card, e-mail something just to them that you think they’ll like. Not “The Evolution of Dance”. We’ve all seen that.
- Respect Their Limits. Not all women need the same amount of contact to feel close. Not everyone wants to talk about certain personal things. Know your friend well enough to not tell them the story involving the word “placenta”. There are Vulcan friends and Empath friends. Understanding and accepting them for what they are is very important.
Has your life been blessed by friends? Tell me about it.
Give me your best tip on being a good girlfriend.
Live long and prosper,
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