Re-Run: Making Friends As a Grown Woman from Whitney Ingram
We moved to a new place and even though it is only 10 minutes away from where we used to live before Costa Rica. I have found myself trying to be brave and make new friends all over again. So I pulled these posts to re-read and thought to myself, maybe everyone else would like to read them along again along with me! Enjoy!
This subject of lady friends has been on my mind for the last few weeks, since Vanessa asked me to write up my thoughts on the subject. I don’t have buckets of besties. I have a handful of great friends. The ones that are hard to offend, quick to help and slow to judge. They don’t pretend to be perfect. Those ones are the best friends I have. I have been thinking about how I have obtained such great women in my life. I mean, it’s not like they showed up at my door step and declared us BFFs. Great friendships require maintenance! Here are a few thoughts on how to have great, lasting friendships.
Out of comfort zone. Yes, you have to strike up a conversation. You have to approach someone. Avoid the air-headed questions that make up useless conversations. Like please stop asking, “Cute shirt! Where did you get it?” We aren’t in high school any longer. You also need to be apart of things. Volunteering, church activities, neighborhood get-togethers, work parties. Go!
Good listener. Some people are just naturally good listeners. Some have to learn it. I have had to learn it. Being a good listener requires you to not think about yourself at all. Completely concentrate on what the person is saying. Formulate a response that doesn’t talk all about you. And sometimes, you don’t have to respond at all. Just keep your ears and heart open. We all like a friend that let’s us emotionally unload on occasion.
Stick to what you say you are going to do. You say you want to get together and go on a lady date? You say you are going to bring in dinner when your friend is sick? Actually do what you say you are going to do. Nothing is worse for a friendship than a flake. When you bail on something you said you were going to do, you are basically telling that person, “You are not important enough to me to keep my commitment.”
Act on impulses to do good. You made a batch of brownies and you had quick flash of an idea to take some over to the new neighbor across the way. DO IT. Just do it. Your new friend just had a baby. You remember how the laundry piled up when you had your own baby. Don’t be afraid to offer to take a few loads and wash and fold. What’s the worst that can happen? She says no thanks and remembers you were kind enough to care in the first place?
Realize you have a lot to offer. You do, you really do. You have great ideas. You are fun. You are intelligent and people want to get to know you. Don’t close yourself off to new opportunities and new people to add to your life. Don’t let your insecurities swallow up the great experiences that are yet to come.
Whitney writes on her personal blog, is working on a beautiful cookbook and you can track the progress at The Family Flavor and *used* to blog at Rookie Cookie (which has some of our all time favorite recipes on it by Mrs. Whitney).