Making Friends Made Easy
“Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.” ~ Russell H. Conwell
For all my success at the office, the question I most frequently get asked is: How do you have so many friends? This ongoing conversation has taught me that few things are more important to women than finding other women to band together with.
As we get farther and farther away from high school and college (both geographically and emotionally), our strongest female bonds can fall by the wayside as women start to focus more on their careers and families. If this sounds familiar, and you're left wondering why you don't have enough close bonds with strong women, good news:
Making new friends as an ambitious, professional mom is possible.
Here's what you need to know to make it happen:
· Familiarity breeds affection. The people you are most likely to become friends with are the people you see every day or have the opportunity to see every day. Trust is built by small kindnesses over time, so it is easier to build trust (and relationship) with the people you see most frequently. You can start by scoping out your office for a new pal. Most of my closest friendships in adulthood have been forged at the office – where I spent the vast majority of my time. As I began sitting on the sidelines at swim meets and waiting for my kids after karate, the circle of people I saw every day expanded and so did my friendships. Another great way to connect with people is through exercise – CrossFit, OrangeTheory, bootcamps, classes, or recreational sports leagues.
· Be Present. Now that you have recognized opportunities to connect with other like-minded people, put down your device. That’s right. No one is going to approach you and strike up a conversation if you are tapping out a message or scrolling through Twitter. In fact, the mere presence of a phone in front of two people trying to have a conversation can distract them both. With a device in sight, the brain anticipates a potential disruption, which makes it hard to focus on just talking. So, put your phone in your pocket and strike up a conversation!
· Host a feast. Sharing a meal with someone is a powerful way to connect. The people we love most have sat at our dining room table for a meal. Food is shared. Stories are told. Secrets are divulged. Trust is built. For over 2000 years, tables have been important places of human connection. In today’s fast-paced, tech-saturated culture, we strive for more slow meals around a table with people we care about.
For many reasons, proximity is key for building relationships. I found my “mom tribe” at the pool. We would see each other every Friday night with rose in hand and started striking up conversations. Then, I kept seeing them: at swim team, at drop off, at pick up from aftercare, at karate belt tests, and back-to-school nights.
And, it is this neighborhood tribe of vixen that “sister” me. They are the ones who see me looking a hot mess at drop off and ask if I’m OK. I will never forget the day that I had to unexpectedly pack up the twins to move to their adoptive home. I was a wreck. And, two close friends came over to help me pack them up. I wouldn’t have had the emotional fortitude to pack the twins without them there to sister me.
I hope you find your own tribe of vixen to sister you.
Remember, anyone or anything who doesn’t LIGHT YOU UP is too small for you.