Showing posts with label Friendship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Friendship. Show all posts

An Outside-Of-Facebook Friend

 

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The other day Wyatt was taking a nap, and I decided to turn on the TV to see what was on.  And for those of you who have been reading for a while, yes, we got cable back!  It was really good to take a break from it for a year, and we probably will take another break in the future - but there is so much going on this year, like the Olympics and the election, and we decided to get cable again for now.

Anyway, I came across this show about women who hide their pregnancies, so I decided to see what it was all about.  But one of the stories stood out.

One of the girls on the show decided to hide her pregnancy because a few months before she had a son that was stillborn.  And when she shared this heartbreaking news on Facebook, hoping for some support, she got a grand total of 6 responses.  Out of 300 Facebook friends.

I found that to be so sad, and I honestly didn't blame her a bit for not wanting to share the happy news of her pregnancy after getting no support from her "friends" on Facebook or in real life.  I'm not sure I would want to share anything for a while after something like that either.

And it got me thinking - is this what the world is coming to?  A place where people can't muster up the energy (or even just the courtesy) to reach outside of Facebook in the face of a tragedy?  Worse than that, that these people couldn't even reach out properly within the confines of Facebook?  I find that so disturbing.

One thing that I dislike about Facebook is the fact that it does promote apathy when it comes to friendships.  It's one of the reasons I took a Facebook break not long ago, and why I limit what I share on it now.  I don't like the thought of someone just checking my Facebook page to see what I've been doing when they could call or e-mail me directly.  If they want to feel like they are interacting with me, the only effort they have to put out is one click on the "Like" button.  

I think it creates a false sense of friendship, one where someone can get all the benefits of knowing what is going on with their "friend" without having to put out any actual effort to find out.  Where they can feel like they are being a "friend" to someone without doing anything but clicking a couple times and hitting a few keys.

Obviously there are exceptions to this, like in the blogging world (all of our interaction is online by necessity!), or in the case of people who combine Facebook interaction with real life interaction, which I think is good.  

But it is not fine to see something so tragic happen to your friend and comment on Facebook but never follow up with them in real life to see how they are doing.  It is not fine to see an announcement of something so tragic and be so lazy in your friendship that you can't even take the time to type out an "I'm so sorry."  

That is not okay.  That is not a friendship.  And it frustrates me that someone could have the nerve to call themselves a friend to someone when they can't even be there, in the flesh, when they are needed most.

At the end of the show this girl reconnects with her friends, tells them the truth, and it appears that these friendships are on the road to healing after that.  And I'm sure they probably did reach some level of trust again.  But I don't think those people can ever reach the level in their friendship with this girl that they could have reached if they had just been there for her in the face of tragedy.  They've forever missed that chance. And that is sad.

I guess I say all this to remind you (and me) to take the time to be an outside-of-Facebook friend to someone this week.  Because the people who can reach outside of social media to touch someone else are the ones that are the true gems in the midst of all the people that social networks call our "friends".  

I don't want to just be a digital version of someone's "friend".  I want to be a supportive-on-social-media-and-in-real-life, all-in, gem of a friend to someone.  

I want to be a friend worth having.

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When It’s Time To Let Them Go

 

My final tip would be do know when it’s time to let someone go.

This “tip” is less on friendship itself, and more on keeping your sanity and dignity when a friendship is just not working.

You should not be the only person making an effort. You should not have to deal with repeated backstabbing. You should not have to deal with repeated insulting or insensitive comments or actions on the part of your “friend”. Some people are not good friends, and will never be good friends. Some people forget how to be good friends. You do not have to keep trying to be friends with someone who is repeatedly hurting you, intentionally or neglectfully.

Sometimes you need to let them go.

It doesn’t mean you aren’t being a good friend. It doesn’t mean you can’t still love them as we are called to love others in God’s Word. It just means you have self-respect. You shouldn’t have to “beg” to be someone’s friend when they are making no effort in the friendship. You don’t have to keep subjecting yourself to pain if your “friend” repeatedly does hurtful things. You shouldn’t do that to yourself.

These are not things that friends do. Move on, and invest in some healthy friendships. Invest in those who care about you and who want to be friends with you too.

Those are the friendships that will last, and those are the friendships you want.

When do you know that it’s time to let a friendship go?

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I’ve had such a fun time doing this series on Friendship, and reading all of the posts you guys have written as well!  I feel like there is so much more I could say on the subject (and I’m sure so much more you could say too).  Who knows, I might write more on friendship in the future and “add” it to the series.

If you all still have something you want to share about friendship, you have until the end of this week to add your link!  Thank you to everyone who decided to link-up – so many wise tidbits from all you ladies.  I enjoyed reading every one of your posts!

 

 

Other posts (of mine) in this series:

On Friendships That End

Starting A Friendship

Making Conversation

Maintenance Of Friendship

Life Changes And Friends

Parties - Just Go

Reasons Not To Gossip

 



Reasons Not To Gossip

 

When I started this series on friendship, I knew that one thing I wanted to cover was gossip.

Up until recent years, I didn’t have that much experience with gossip – maybe it’s partially because I was homeschooled, and not all of my friends were in the same circles – and that cuts down on a lot of the opportunity to gossip. This was actually a pretty big blessing, because it made those growing up years so much more bearable.

But as I’ve grown older, gotten involved in a bigger church, and met more friends who all seem to know each other, I’ve noticed it more and more, and it becomes more and more of a temptation for me as well. But it has also become more apparent to me why this is such a big problem, and why it should be avoided for the sake of my friendships.

Maybe we should start with a definition.

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I like that definition, because I think it makes it clear not only what gossip is, but also what it is not.  If someone’s name comes up in a conversation and the conversation quickly turns to everything that’s going on in that person’s life?  That would be gossip, and it’s especially bad when the life occurrences that are mentioned happen to be more personal.  If it turns to what this person supposedly said to another person? That would be gossip too.

But if a person’s name comes up and the conversation turns to what a sweet, creative, smart, fill-in-the-blank-in-a-positive-way kind of person they are?  If the conversation turns to how good they are at their job, how cute their kid is, how nicely their house is decorated?  If you haven’t seen the person in forever and you ask how they are doing?  I don’t think that qualifies, because it’s not idle, it’s not rumor, and it’s not too much information.

To me, when someone is gossiping about someone the conversation will have one or more of these characteristics: it will be negative, it will nosy, or it will unnecessary/not useful.  And it may be unconfirmed or untruthful (though that’s not a requirement).

So now that I’ve clarified a bit about what I’m talking about when I refer to gossip, I think there are a lot of reasons to avoid it.

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Gossip separates close friends (Proverbs 16:28). 

Julie recently wrote about a story that really illustrates this well.  When you know one of your friends has been talking about you behind your back, it’s inevitably going to form distance in your relationship.  If you value your friends, you won’t talk about their business to other people, especially not in a negative way.  You can’t be close friends with someone that you don’t trust.  Which brings us to the next point . . .

Gossip makes you an untrustworthy person (Proverbs 11:13). 

I’m not going to trust someone with my personal business if I know they’re just going to pass it on to someone else the first chance they get.  Unfortunately I have known a few people like this.  One of them (who is no one who reads this blog, so don’t think it’s you!) is the sweetest person – but I try not to tell her anything that I wouldn’t want my entire extended acquaintance to know.  Which is a pity, because it’s sad to have to censor myself with one of my friends like that, and it prevents us from getting closer.  The others that I know who are this way . . . well, I avoid them all together.

It’s going to cause you to miss out on some friendships. 

People don’t like to be gossiped about.  I know I don’t.  So if I know someone is constantly talking about other people?  Well, I’m not going to seek out a friendship with that person, because the next thing you know, she’ll be constantly talking about me to other people, and who needs the drama?  I don’t think it’s wrong at all to avoid a gossip this way – it’s something Proverbs even tells us to do (20:19).

It’s going to hinder your current friendships. 

Even if you don’t gossip in such a negative way that it hurts your friendships (as I mentioned in my first point), even gossip that seems “harmless” is going to keep you from achieving a level of closeness with your current friendships.  I think sometimes certain people might gossip because they think it will bring them closer to the person they are talking to, provide some sort of connection.  But that’s simply not true.  If I know someone likes to talk about other people, it’s going to make me think anything I say to them could be passed on to others.  And if I think something I say to someone has a good chance of being passed on to someone else, I’m just not going to want to tell that person anything too personal.  Gossip keeps friendships stuck on a superficial level.

Spreading lies about others is just as bad as lying about them yourself.

One of the things that might qualify something as gossip is if it’s just a rumor, or it’s not confirmed as true.  You shouldn’t spread information about your friends even if it is true, for all the reasons mentioned above, but it’s especially damaging to spread words that aren’t true.  You are participating in lying about other people.  That is serious.  And even if you didn’t start the rumor, do you think the person who is being rumored about is going to make the distinction?  I wouldn’t.  Spreading that rumor is going to have the same negative effects on your friendships that I mentioned above, only they’ll be magnified that much more because you not only gossiped, but you gossiped about something that wasn’t even true.  The level of hurt and distrust just doubled.

You catch a lot more bees with honey than with vinegar. 

I changed it to “bees” rather than “flies” because I think it’s a lot more flattering! 

I already talked about how gossip can cause you to miss out on friendships, or hinder your current friendships.  The only exception to this might be with other people who like to gossip, but considering everything I already mentioned, are other gossips really worth being friends with anyway?  I think you are going to attract a lot more worthwhile friendships if you always have a good word for your friends, as opposed to constantly gossiping about them and their business.  Why wouldn’t you want to be friends with someone who looks for every opportunity to encourage her friends or build them up to others (1 Thess. 5:11)?  Why wouldn’t you want to be that kind of friend?  That kind of friend attracts other quality people, and that is the stuff that true friends are made of.

 

There is one last reason why we should avoid gossip.  It doesn’t have as much to do with friendship, but it is huge for those of us who are Christians.  And it’s that gossip is something that displeases God.  Just read Proverbs and you’ll see so many verses on how damaging a gossip can be.  We are told so many times to encourage one another (Heb. 3:13, 2 Cor. 13:11).  We are told to mind our own business (1 Thess. 4:11).   We are told (in Ecc. 5:3) that many words (I think this would include many words about other people) is one of the marks of a fool (ouch!).  There are so many places in the Bible where gossip is condemned and more godly actions are encouraged.  So the biggest reason why we should avoid gossip?  Because we should want to live our lives in a way that pleases God.  And gossip has no part in that.

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If you have any thoughts on gossip, or any other friendship tips, comment below or write a post and link-up!

I’d actually especially like to hear about ways that you avoid listening to gossip, since that’s not something I covered in this post (and I could use the tips for myself).

Last week is the last week of this link-up, so if you have anything you want to say that’s related to friendship, you have until the end of next week to link your posts up below!



Other posts (of mine) in this series:

On Friendships That End

Starting A Friendship

Making Conversation

Maintenance Of Friendship

Life Changes And Friends

Parties - Just Go




Parties–Just Go

 

Do try to go when you are invited to a party.

When I was younger, we listened to Adventures In Odyssey (a radio drama for kids that Focus on the Family produces), and I can never forget this one episode where a somewhat obnoxious kid, Glenn, invites everyone in the school to his birthday party. 

And no one comes.

I also vividly remember an episode of Smallville (I didn’t even really watch the show, but I remember this), where it shows the villain as a boy. There were presents and cakes and treats everywhere, balloons and streamers and party hats. Then it showed this adolescent boy, sitting alone and looking at all the untouched party paraphernalia. And he was crying. Because no one came. His dad came and talked with him about it, but you could see the hurt had cut deep.

Both of those stories make me want to cry to this day. Obviously these stories weren’t real occurrences, but every story has a hint of truth to it, and I know this kind of thing has probably happened to others.  My heart is so sensitive to the thought of someone being hurt like that; I hate the thought of someone enduring that kind of rejection. 

Maybe it’s because there were a few times when I had a party and not many people came. Maybe it’s because ever since I saw that show, and that boy with tears in his eyes (even if it was just an actor), I can’t bear the thought of that ever being my son going through  something like that.

When I think about these stories, I can’t help but think that if just one person would come, it would make all the difference in the world. 

And I hate the thought of anyone possibly going through such pain when I could prevent it by simply showing up.

If you are invited to a party, go. Unless there is some other event that makes it impossible for you to make it, go. Even if you don’t know the person that well. They invited you because they liked you enough to want you to be there.

Just go. Because what if you are the only person that will? You could be that person who makes a world of difference for someone. 

And that’s pretty special.

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Link-up your friendship-related posts below!  And keep in mind that we only have a couple weeks left of the link-up, so if you have been thinking about participating, now’s the time.  See this post for more details and ideas.



Other posts (of mine) in this series:

On Friendships That End

Starting A Friendship

Making Conversation

Maintenance Of Friendship

Life Changes And Friends



Life Changes And Friends

 

Don’t (necessarily) let life changes affect the friendship.

It amazes me how many friendships have ended after a friend got married (and the other was single), or had a baby (and the other was still childless), etc. 

For me, it has mostly happened when someone moved on to the next life stage up from me and (apparently), no longer found me or my life interesting. It could also happen the other way where maybe someone wouldn’t be interested in being friends with me after I moved to the next life stage from them (thankfully this hasn’t happened to me yet).

Sometimes this is just the natural flow of things – people go in different directions, life drifts you apart . . . and sometimes that’s just the way it is, and it’s okay. If you were brought together in a friendship because you were in a similar situation (same work, school, etc.), and then you no longer have that in common, those friendships probably will fade – and it’s okay, because they were there in the season that you needed each other.

But what I’m talking about is friends that are more than that – friendships that weren’t just based on situation.  There are some friends that you connect with because they are just a lot like you, you have a camaraderie that isn’t only related to you being in the same class together.  And I think it’s a pity to let those friendships end because of life changes.

I think if you really care about keeping a certain friendship you do not have to let this happen. You can’t control whether the other person is going to let life changes affect the friendship (and sometimes there really is nothing you can do about it). But you can control your own attitude on it.

If your friend gets married or has a baby, don’t all of a sudden decide you can’t relate to her or she can’t relate to you anymore. Be there and be happy for her. Your turn will come.

When you get married, don’t drop all your single friends and find new married ones. When you have a baby, don’t drop all your childless friends because they aren’t in the same life situation as you anymore. If you do that, you will miss out on the joy and excitement that comes when your old friends do finally get married/have babies!

Sure, the friendship will be different for a little while after one person goes through a big life change like this.  But I think with the friends that really matter, that’s when you find a new “normal”, and you make that work for you.  People don’t stay the same – they grow and change, and friendships are going to grow and change too.  And it’s not necessarily a bad thing – the friendship shouldn’t have to die.  The good ones will just adapt.

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I don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing if all of a person’s friends are in the exact same life situation as they are. Either they have incredible luck and all of their friends moved on to the next life stage at the exact same time, or they might be missing out on or might have lost some potentially great friendships with girls who aren’t in their exact same situation. And I think that’s kind of sad.

What do you think?  Have you had friendship end because of life changes?  Were you okay with that, or were there some you would have liked to keep?

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Write a post on Friendship and link-up below!  Read here for more details on the link-up and ideas.



Other posts (of mine) in this series:

On Friendships That End

Starting A Friendship

Making Conversation

Maintenance Of Friendship





*I found this image on Pinterest, but it was not linked to the original source.  If anyone ever comes across this post and knows where this image originally came from, can you let me know so I can give proper credit?  Thanks!

Maintenance (Of Friendship)

 

First of all, thank you to everyone for all your congratulations on my little announcement last week!  We are so thrilled to be expecting this baby!  Now you know why I put a little break for this series in there!  We’re going back to “regularly scheduled programming” this week - thanks for bearing with my overload of pregnancy stuff last week, but I had to get you (and the blog) all caught up!



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This week I’m sharing my thoughts.tips on friendship maintenance . . . what it takes to keep a friend.  I’d be really interested to see what you all think on this, so write a post and link-up at the end!

 

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This quote reminds me of the golden rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" (Luke 6:31) - which is a pretty good golden rule for maintaining friendships too, don't you think? But here are my specific tips anyway . . .


8.  Don’t let only one person be the initiator.

Don’t always let the other person be the one to call. Your friend needs to know you have a desire to develop the friendship too, so try to make sure you are the one calling/writing at least half the time. On the other hand, if you are the one who always calls, it’s not a bad thing to step back and wait for the other person to initiate lunch/coffee once in a while. You shouldn’t be the only one doing the work if it’s going to be a healthy friendship.  Speaking from experience, friendships with give-and-take people are so much better and last longer than friendships with take-take-take people, so try to belong to the former group and not the latter.


9.  Don’t assume the worst.

If your friend isn’t calling you back, don’t assume they don’t want to be friends with you or that they are mad at you. Maybe they are very busy, maybe they accidentally deleted your voicemail . . . things happen. Give them a break and call again – don’t give up too easily. Most times when something like this happens to me, I finally do get a hold of my friend and they feel terrible for being such a friendship slacker (I’m teasing – there are times when I’m a friendship slacker too, so I can say that). Then everything is fine again. 

Though on the flip side, if a friend calls you, don’t take weeks to call them back if you can help it, because that’s plain rude.  Just because one of my tips is not to assume the worst doesn’t mean that you should expect your friends to give you a pass if you ignore them for long periods of time.  Just to clarify.


10.  Don’t let too much time go by.

I am guilty, guilty, guilty of this many times (I know, Felicia, Hazel, I know!). But when I start to realize that it’s been a few months since I talked to someone? I call or write. Even if it’s a little embarrassing to admit how long it’s been, and even if I have to apologize for not reaching out sooner, it’s better than letting a friendship go down the tubes.


11.  Do give people the benefit of a doubt.

I’ve said this before, but I give everyone the benefit of a doubt. All the time. It’s a gift and a curse sometimes, but I think it has served me well more times than not. If someone said something that seemed a little rude to me? I try to remind myself that they probably didn’t mean it that way. If I feel a little left out by someone at a party? I try to remember that they probably weren’t even aware of what they were doing. People sometimes just have bad days, and sometimes they are just clueless - keep that in mind and give people a little grace. It’s good not to be too sensitive, and to try to think the best of your friends. It can save a friendship, and it definitely cuts down on drama (which I think most of us could live without).

Note: There’s always a place to draw the line, but that’s a different post.


And this next one isn’t a maintenance requirement so much as a bonus points tip . . .

12.  Do try to do little things every now and then to let your friends know you are thinking of them.

For me, this takes the form of mail.  I’m not always the best at this, but I try to occasionally send friends something through snail mail.  Sometimes it’s a chocolate bar or some other inexpensive gift, sometimes it’s just a note.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be through snail mail either – an occasional e-mail of encouragement can be a sure day-brightener too (though in my humble opinion, there’s nothing quite like getting some good, old-fashioned post mail).   Like I said, I’m not always the best at this (and if you are a friend of mine, and I haven’t surprised you with mail yet, I’m working on it!), it’s just a nice thing to do occasionally when you can, to let the other person know they are on your mind (especially if it’s been a while since you’ve seen them).

Now, if we’re talking pen-pal friendships, I’m still trying to figure out how to incorporate that “little something”.  Because my fall-back is mail, and if we’re talking pen-pals, your whole relationship is mail.  Felicia, friend, any thoughts?

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Basic friendship maintenance is one of those things that could be different for every person, but these are the things that are important to me and that I try to make sure I keep up on.  And obviously it takes a bit of time to figure out what each individual friend’s basic maintenance requirements are, but that’s what brings you closer, no? 

I'd love to hear what some of your friendship maintenance “do’s and don’ts” are!  What is important for your friends to do/not to do, in your book?  What are some things you try to do to makes sure your friendships stay healthy?  Write a post and link-up (the link-up is open until the end of July), or comment below! 

 



Other posts (of mine) in this series:

On Friendships That End

Starting A Friendship

Making Conversation





*I found this image and quote on Pinterest but could not find the original source (that is so frustrating to me).  So if by chance anyone ever reads this post who does know where it came from, please send me an e-mail and let me know!





Making Conversation

Welcome to friendship tips, round two!  If you didn’t read the other posts in the series so far, scroll down to the bottom of this post.

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This week is a bit of a continuation of last week’s post on starting a friendship, because I’m going to talk about making conversation with potential or existing friends.  I feel like the following “tips” have been helpful to me in making friends, but conversations with long time friends just go better when I follow these suggestions too. 

So continuing off of the last tip of “Don’t talk only about yourself”…

 

4. Do ask your friend about herself (and be interested in what she has to say).

A lot of you mentioned this one last week too, and I felt like you were reading my mind! 

Sometimes you are trying to form a friendship with someone who is just really quiet. If you are a bit of a talker (like me), it’s easy to just fill the silence with a lot of jabber about whatever, but that’s not really accomplishing anything. Take a breath and come up with some questions to ask the other person. People like to know you are interested in them as a person, and generally people like talking about themselves.

If you are the quiet person, then come up with some questions you can ask the other person before you go. Then you won’t have to talk as much yourself, and you won’t have those uncomfortable silences if you fill them with a question.

And if you are going to ask a question, really be interested in what the other person answers. People can tell when you aren’t really paying attention, or when you aren’t really interested in what they are saying.


5. Do learn to be a conversationalist.

Being a good conversationalist involves giving and taking. You have to ask questions. But you also have to be able to hold up your end of the conversation. If someone asks you a question, try not to let your answer be just one sentence. They are asking because they are interested in learning more about you – give them some details. Not too much (obviously), but put in a little effort – if you have a story that might be applicable, tell it. If you have an opinion of the subject or an interesting tidbit, share it. For example . . . if someone asks me how my baby is doing, there are a few things I could say:

Option 1 (poor): “He’s doing good.” *Followed by awkward silence as the other person scrambles for something else to ask me.*

Option 2 (slightly better): “He’s doing good. He’s growing so big!” *Still not great, but at least the other person has something to work with – my baby’s growth.*

Option 3 (better): “He’s doing good! We started solids last week and he’s learning to crawl!” *The person has a couple of more interesting directions where they could possibly take the conversation.*

Option 4 (best): “He’s doing good! He’s learning to crawl and last week . . .(insert cute story).” *This is better because stories are good – they fill time and keep the conversation going. As I tell about my how my baby crawled into the kitchen, opened the cupboard door and scattered cereal all over the floor, the conversation has a lot more possibility – the person could comment on my baby’s crawling, start up a conversation about baby-proofing, talk about how the price of groceries is getting outrageous, or bring up some related story of their own. See?*

Note: My child did not actually get into the cupboard and scatter cereal all over the floor.  It’s just something I can imagine him doing.


6. Do put yourself in a group with your friend.

I’m not talking about taking your friend to a group with you (although that’s not a bad idea), I’m talking about using group words. Words like “we” and “us” can work wonders as far as building a bond. If you have similar experiences you can put yourself into a group with your friend using those experiences. For example, as the conversation leads (don’t force it), you could insert these type of phrases “The things we moms/wives do for our families. . .” Or “those of us who have been skydiving know . . .” as you are talking directly to your fellow sky-diver. You get the idea. But please! Do not use these types of phrases in conversations with one of your friends when you are in a group of friends that includes some people who might not belong to the same “group” as you do. The only circumstance where that would be okay is if it’s part of an inside rivalry/joke that includes everyone in the group. Otherwise it’s just rude.


7. Do not leave others out.

Okay, I feel like we are going back to grade school on this one, but it’s probably worth mentioning. If you are in a group setting and you want to have any possibility of developing friendships with some of the people you might not know as well, do not cling so closely to the people you do know that you exclude the ones you don’t. If there are three or four of you getting together for a girl’s day, don’t talk about an event that only two or three of you are invited to. Stories are good, but don’t get so caught up in reminiscing with one friend that you make the other{s} who weren’t there feel left out. Try to include everyone in the conversation, even if you don’t know some of them as well.

 

As I was writing these tips, I kept thinking about the verse in Proverbs that says a man who has friends must show himself friendly (Proverbs 18:34). I think that verse pretty much sums up the last two posts, don’t you? I feel like everything that has been mentioned so far is just encompassed in general friendliness toward our established friends and potential friends. Of course I wanted to elaborate more on specific tips, but I might have saved us all a bit of time by just quoting that verse. I don’t think the Lord minds my taking the time to apply that verse specifically though, which is what I’m hoping the last seven tips have done.

What are some of your conversational tips for friendship situations?  I’d love to hear!

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Don’t forget, if you want to link-up, you can do so anytime between here and the end of July.  Read this post for general guidelines on the link-up and more ideas on what to write about.  I can’t wait to read what all of you come up with!  Be sure to check out the other posts in the link-up too, because everyone had such good things to say last week, and I’m sure there are more good things to be said this week!

Just a reminder – next week is a break week on this series for me, but if you have anything you want to say, just write a post and come back here to link it up!  The liny will still be open even though I’m taking the week off. 

On July 3rd I’ll cover Basic Friendship Maintenance – but I feel like that is something that could be wildly different from person to person, and I’d really be interested in what others have to say on that one.  So be thinking!



Other posts (of mine) in this series:

On Friendships That End

Starting A Friendship




Starting A Friendship

 

So my posts about friendship are going to be in a do/don’t format, since these are my friendship “tips”.  As the button says, I am an average girl, and I’m not pretending to be an expert on friendship.  But aren’t average people the ones who are out there making friends?  Sure they are!  So the following are just a few things that have worked for me in making new friends, and I’d love to hear if you had anything to add to my (rather brief) list.  Write a post and link-up, or comment below and tell me what you think!



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Without further ado . . . my tips (suggestions?) on making friends.


1. Don’t be afraid to be the first one to say hello.

Someone has to make the first move, and why shouldn’t it be you? This is something my mom taught me from a young age – back when I was in grade school. I was a bit shy as a kid, but she would spot a little girl she thought looked nice and give me a little nudge in her direction. As I grew older (and maybe as I got a little better at saying hi), she’d let me know if she saw or knew someone who didn’t know anyone else, or who she thought could use a friend. I owe a lot of my friendships to my mom’s “nudges”. And really, how hard is it to walk up to someone and introduce yourself? Okay, I take that back, it can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. It just takes practice.

2. Do utilize social media.

If you can’t make yourself physically walk over to someone and say hi, “friend” them on Facebook (make sure they know who you are first). But for pity’s sake, don’t stop there! Being a Facebook friend will not lead to developing a real-life friendship unless you make things happen. After you “friend” them on Facebook, send them a message saying hello, and invite them to coffee. Social media can be a good tool for developing real-life friendships, if you use it right. I’ve made several friends this way, and reconnected with old friends this way too. But it won’t just happen – it does take effort. Don’t expect Facebook to do all the work for you, because you’ll be waiting a while.

3. Don’t only talk about yourself.

This applies when making new friends, and when talking with an existing friend. I have been guilty of breaking this one – there have been times when I got together with one of my friends, and I left feeling like I did too much of the talking. I’ve also been on the other side of it in the past, and it’s harder to feel a connection with someone if you don’t get to do any of the talking. If you notice yourself talking too much about yourself and not enough about the other person, make a concerted effort to make sure the other person does more of the talking next time.


 

And I’ll end there this time, because it’s a nice segue into next week’s tips (which incidentally are mostly about making conversation).

What do you think? Do you have any do’s/don’ts when it comes to initiating a friendship?

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The link-up has officially started, so if you have anything to say on friendship topics, check out this post, grab the button, write something up, and link-up your thoughts below!




Swimming, New Car, Pinterest

 

One of the things I’ve been wanting to do more of this summer is go swimming!  We got to go a couple times last year, but not enough for me.  And if I can’t have the beach, I can have the pool, right?  So yesterday I met up with my dear friend Ashley, and we took Wyatt swimming!

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Wyatt loved the water, which is a big difference from last year (he was either indifferent or upset last year) and we had a really fun time!  He loved splashing around in the kiddie pool, and Ashley and I took him in the bigger pool and he loved that too.  I jumped up and down in the water a few times while holding him, and he thought that was so funny!  Ashley and I also had a great visit, and I think the day was a success!  Hopefully we can go again soon this summer!

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On another note, last weekend Derek and I bought a new car!

My little white car is getting toward the end of it’s life, and I really wanted to find an SUV.  After a little research we decided on a Ford Escape, and Derek and I found one at a dealership last week and bought it!   Here it is:

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Snazzy, right?

It’s a 2002 Ford Escape with about 132,000 miles on it, so it should last us another five years, we figure.  We run our cars into the ground.

I gotta admit, I feel pretty cool riding around in my SUV.  I always wanted an SUV, but hitherto it just hasn’t worked out.  But now it has, and I’m going to enjoy it before I have 3-4 kids and will possibly need a van or monster SUV or something!

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And lastly, the poll last week!  Here are the results:

 

How many projects/ideas on Pinterest have you pinned and actually done/used?  (Excluding recipes)

Um, eh, zero. (It's okay, really, just be honest) - 6 (17%)

Eh, 1 or 2? - 2 (5%)

Probably 2-5 - 9 (26%)

Over 5 projects/ideas - 8 (23%)

Over 10 projects! (Go you!) - 5 (14%)

Um, Pinterest? I don't have an account - 4 (11%)

Votes: 34

 

Wow, we have a nice little curve there. 

First of all, good for those of you who were honest and said zero.  No shame.

The most common numbers were somewhere between 2-9.

And four of you who voted don’t have a Pinterest account.  To which I say either “You should check it out”, or if you have chosen not to for a specific reason “Good for you, stick to your guns.”  Because it has the potential to be addicting.

I, personally, have done 20ish projects/ideas I have found on Pinterest.  Here’s the breakdown, in case you are curious:

1. Balloon banner for Wyatt’s birthday.

2. Picture banner for Wyatt’s birthday.

3. DIY banner for Wyatt’s birthday (actually I came up with that mostly myself, I was just inspired to try because of other banners I saw on Pinterest).

4. Children’s book/guestbook for Wyatt’s birthday.

You can see the pictures of all that in Wyatt’s birthday recap post.

5. DIY word art for spare bedroom.

6. DIY easy painting for spare bedroom.

See my spare bedroom post to see all of that.

7. Crackle painted frames (which I don’t have a picture of, but maybe I will soon).

8.  Newspaper manicure (though it didn’t turn out that well).

9. Scrapbook paper manicure (I need to perfect it, but it was fun).

10. Hairstyle.

11. Turtle tag toy.

12. Mr. and Mrs. pillows.

13. Photographed letters for couple’s last name.

15. Tweaked my social media buttons for my blog.

16. Made a skirt.

17. Made another skirt.

18. Actually working on another skirt.

19. Made a dress

19. Altered a shirt using an idea from a tutorial I found on Pinterest, though I kind of re-applied the tutorial so it’s sort of my own now.

Note: The skirts are all from the same tutorial, but I changed them each up a bit.  And I’ll probably have a post on all my sewing projects soon – I’m just waiting until I finish the last skirt, but I haven’t had time yet.

20. And one more idea that was inspired by ideas on Pinterest, but I want to surprise you with that one (you’re lucky I actually told you about my sewing projects, because I was debating on whether to surprise you with those too).  It’s coming soon.

And those are all of the ones I can think of now. What can I say?  My discovery of Pinterest came at a great time for me, ie., before Wyatt’s birthday, when I was working on decorating some rooms, before my sister got married, around when I got the sewing bug, etc.

Nicole is actually thinking of doing a monthly link-up where you can show off the projects you’ve done that were inspired by Pinterest, and I think that might be fun!  So you should go over there and tell her you like the idea if you’d want to participate in a link-up like that.

And that is it, my friends.  Unless you count informational articles that I’ve found on Pinterest and read, but those don’t actually count. 

What projects have you done that you found on Pinterest?

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New poll about Twitter is up (it’s a short poll since I’m late on getting it up this week, so don’t forget about it over there).

And for goodness, sake, if you have a Twitter account, will you request to follow me?  Because I know there are probably plenty of you who have Twitter that I don’t follow simply because I don’t know you do/have missed it on your blog.  But I would like to, so comment below with your Twitter username, and you can follow me here: @CallieNicole7.

Friendship link-up starts here tomorrow, so be thinking of something you can write about!


Friendship Link-Up Details

 

So I decided to do a friendship link-up to go along with my friendship series!  Here are the details.

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- I decided to go ahead and make this a “rolling” linky party – meaning I’ll keep the same link-up open every week.  If you want to participate, you can link-up anytime you feel like writing a post on friendship.  If that’s once?  Great!  If it’s every week?  Go for it!  Just remember to come back here and add the link to each post you write.  Also, please include the button and link back to here so others can check out the link-up if they want.

- Please keep the posts you link-up on topic.  This is a link-up on friendship topics, so just keep it within that range.  I don’t care what aspect of friendship you want to write about – make it whatever you want!  More ideas in a minute.

- Please keep the posts appropriate/generally uplifting.  Please avoid crude language/swearing.  Also, this isn’t just an opportunity to complain about how all your friends stink.  Just try to keep it constructive in some way – at least if all your friendships stink, try to give us some encouraging tidbit, bit of advice, do’s and don’ts, etc, that you’ve learned through the experience.

- I do reserve the right to remove any post that I consider inappropriate.  I seriously doubt any of you will post anything inappropriate, but I have to say it!

- Please link-up using the direct link to your post (not just the link to your main blog page).  This way when someone stumbles across this years from now, they can actually go back and read what you wrote, instead of just being taken to your main page.

-This link-up will last through the end of July, so if you want to link-up, just write something before then!  I’m posting this week’s post on Wednesday, but typically this will be a Tuesday thing.

-This is the schedule I’m following, and the general topics I’ll be writing about.  Feel free to borrow any of my topics and use them for your own – I don’t mind a bit.  In fact, I’d like to hear what you have to say about the topics I picked!

June 13th – Starting a Friendship

June19th – Making Conversation

June 26th – Break week

July 3rd – Basic Maintenance

July 10th – Keeping Friendships Through Life Changes

July 17th – Parties – Just Go

July 24th – Gossip

July 31 – When It’s Time To Let Someone Go

 

There will be a break week during the last week of June, just fyi.  Keep that in mind.  Also, I reserve the right to tweak this schedule/extend the link-up, but if I do I’ll let you know.

Also, for the sake of this link-up I’ll be mostly talking about friendships with people outside of family, but I may write a separate post on friendships within family, so stay tuned.

 

- Okay, other ideas . . . I have a lot, so if you want to join in and aren’t sure where to start, feel free to borrow any of these.  Just consider them prompts.

 

1. What makes a good friend?

2. Tell us about one of your best friends.  What makes them so special?  What do they do/have they done that makes them a good friend?

3. Steps to making friends.

4. Do’s and Don’ts of friendship.

5. Tell us about a friendship of yours that has ended (without being too specific or embarrassing in case that former friend happens to come across your post).  What happened?  Was it unavoidable?  Was it a good or bad thing?  What would have made that friendship end differently?

6. Have you gone through anything particularly hard in your life?  What were some of the things your true friends did that helped you through that time?

7. Have you ever had any conflict in friendships that you’ve been able to successfully resolve?  Give us an idea of what worked and what didn’t.

8. Talk about about blogging friendships.  How are they different from real-life friendships?  How do you be a good blog friend to someone?

9. Talk about social media as it relates to friendships, either blog friendships or real-life friendships.  Do you think it’s useful for your real-life friendships, or does it take the place of more personal communication? 

10. Are there circumstances that you think it’s good for a friendship to end or in which you think a friendship needs to end?  Explain.

 

Go ahead and use any or all of the above ideas!  A lot of them I actually won’t be covering in my posts, so I’ll be curious to read what you think.

The first post will be this Wednesday, and then Tuesdays after that, so be thinking about what you want to write about and then come back and add your link!  This should be fun.

*smile*







On Friendships That End

 

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship.

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I’m not sure what brought this on.  I suspect it has something to do with a few heart-breaking posts I read on other blogs – of friendships fading, ending.  Then I read another friendship story in a book I was reviewing, and it got me thinking about it again.

However it started, I’ve found myself mulling over some of my friendships – from the past and present, successful and not.  I’ve been particularly thinking of the ones that have ended.  I still can’t figure out why or how things changed, though I have a rough idea in most cases.  But I’m not really sure what I could have done differently to prevent the friendship from ending.

I think I’m a pretty good friend, in general.  I think one of my spiritual gifts is mercy, and I give everyone the benefit of a doubt.  I’m a pretty loyal person, and it takes a lot to lose my loyalty.   I’m also not afraid to be the one to initiate the friendship, which has served me well.

Oh, I have my moments.  Like when it took me over six months to write Hazel back (sorry Friend!), or a similar length of time to write Felicia back (I’m working on a letter today, Girl!), or when Erin came to see Wyatt in the hospital and didn’t see him again until he was six months old (it still makes me cringe).

But those friendships are still firmly in place, and I don’t see them ending any time soon – even when time and distance separate us.  That hasn’t been the case with some of my previous friendships, even though the complicating factors were the same as in my successful friendships.

I think the difference lies in the commitment of each party to the friendship.  Friendship can’t be a one-sided thing, it takes two.  And if one person isn’t willing to make the effort . . .well, you can’t make someone be or stay friends with you, and I’ve had a few too many experiences that taught me that. 

But I think it’s better to look back and know you did everything you could.  At least everything you could without losing any self-respect.

Thinking back over those friendships that ended makes me so grateful for the friendships I have that have stood the test of time.  The friendships where we may not see each other for months (or even years) but we can still get back together and pick up right where we left off.  The ones that have lasted even through moving to different places, going to different colleges, being in different life situations.

  I can’t shed too many tears over the lost friendships when I have others that show me what true friendship is.  Those are the friendships I want, and those are the friendships worth investing in.

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By the way, when I say I’ve been thinking about friendship a lot lately, I mean for a couple months at least.  Yeah, it’s been that long, and things just keep coming to my mind.  I’ve written probably four or five posts of things to do to build/keep a friendship, based a lot on my own friendship experiences, and I’m thinking of doing a little blog series over the next few weeks on “Tips On Friendship From An Average Girl”, or something like that. 

Because you all know I’m not perfect, not any more than you are, but I think we all have a sense of what makes a good friend and what doesn’t.

I think it actually might be encouraging to hear what you all have to say on the friendship subject too, so I was considering turning this into a link-up.  Maybe not every week, but we could at least do one and see how it goes from there. 

You could write about characteristics of a good friend, feature one of your own friends, talk about a friendship that went awry and lessons you learned from it, write about what you try to do to be a good friend, or how someone has been a good friend to you, write about how to be a good blog friend (that would be interesting!).  Whatever you want!  Just as long as it covers friendship.

If you’d be interested in writing a post on friendship and linking up, please comment below and let me know!  If I get at least a couple people interested I’ll do the link-up and post the details soon, otherwise you all will just get to read my ramblings on the subject for the next few weeks. 

Which you know will be fascinating reading all by itself, yes?

Don’t answer that.

(Unless you have something nice to say, then answer away – ha! . . . I’m just kidding. *smile*)



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