How to Make Friends: Part THREE.

3 Feb

JESUS HAD A CREW, YOU SHOULD TOO!

So.  You’ve found your niche (see part 1) you’ve made a great first impression (see part 2) and NOW – drumroll please – you’ve made……. an Acquaintance!

(Sound of brakes screeching)

“Wait a minute, Cecilia!” you say, ” I wanted REAL FRIENDS! I’ve got lots of acquaintances! I want someone I can rely on, be real with, and trust my feelings with!”

Calm down……..

We’ve arrived!  Welcome to the third and final part of my series on making friends:

To make a TRUE FRIEND, you must BE a TRUE FRIEND!

READY?  This one is a bit long, but hang in there with me!

Here’s the magic, here’s the missing piece and here’s where you’ve been going wrong:

EFFORT people.

Have I offended you?  By assuming that YOU haven’t put enough effort into your relationships?  YES!!!!!  It is your fault that you don’t have friends.  I don’t want to hurt your feelings.  I really don’t.

HOWEVER…….

The whole point of me blogging is to be able to tell the truth.  To myself, to you, and to the poor soul that accidentally stumbled upon this blog.  (I’m going to pretend that you just ended up here and can’t help but read these ground breaking and enlightening thoughts of mine.)  But FEAR NOT, God is on your side and so am I!!  So let us sally forth (!) into the realm of truthful and intentional friend making!

The CREW.  I have friends that I can depend on for anything.  I can TRUST them.  I can tell them what I am struggling with, without fear of judgement.  I can trust them with knowing my past, even the UGLY stuff, because I know, they love me for who I am and who I am trying to be.  Pretty cool huh?

I know you want that too.  Who doesn’t???? And guess what, you deserve it. And you need it.  I believe that we were made to crave friendships.  But let me tell you, each one of the people in my crew, I had to hook myself.  I wish I could tell you that they walked up to me.  They didn’t.  So if you’re holding your breath, waiting for someone to approach you with that MAGICAL phrase, that will be everything you’ve ever wanted to hear about how cool you are, let it out.  Please.  You look a little silly all beet red and oxygen deprived.  I had to ask, I had to initiate, and it was a little scary at first.

 EFFORT People!

You can only control what you do, so take control of your actions!  Make them meaningful!  Find out what that makes your potential friends tick, and give it to them. As selfish as it sounds, I believe that great friendships form out of a necessity to GET SOMETHING REAL from someone else.  No, not money.  No, not power.  I am sure that if you’ve tried to get those things out of a friendship, you don’t feel good about it.  I think that the “something”, is that special thing about you, given to you by God, that makes you feel LOVED.

LOOOOOVED!!!

Not pretty.  Not smart.  Not rich and fabulous or frizz free.  I would ask you to take a second and review some of your failed attempts at friendship, what were you looking for?  What were THEY looking for???   There is a great book out there called, “The Five Love Languages.”  READ IT!  It will change you. It was so enlightening to learn how each of us were made differently, and require different types of effort to feel loved.

Mine is “Quality Time.”

I need to have people around me that can spend REAL time with me.  Time to talk or do fun things together. Time to vent, time to feel like someone really, truly gives a rat’s fart about me.  That’s why I NEED date nights with my husband, and why I NEED one-on-one time with my friends.  My friends are busy people, all have kids and some also have careers.  I know their time is precious, but in order to be what I would consider a TRUE friend, you’ve gotta give me your TIME.  Again, if I were to see someone everyday (quantity) and didn’t feel valued (quality) it would not be a worthwhile friendship.

I knew a woman who would send little encouraging cards in the mail, or every time there was a holiday or special occasion, she’d always have some little gift to give. She was a “Johnny on the Spot”. Dinner party?  She’d bring a bottle of wine.   Hospitalized?  She’d send flowers.  Need a pen?  She’d have seventeen.  Everything she did, was exactly what the books say you’re supposed to do.  It was very nice, she was thoughtful. And always prepared.  BUT!  I really could have cared less.

Harsh right? I know, I’m sorry.

The bottom line is that I needed the investment of her time, and she could never make me a priority. While I could rely on her to have nine different books on breastfeeding, I couldn’t trust her to come over and listen to what was going on in my heart.  It hurts too much to be friends with someone who can’t give you what you need. You’re always left feeling a little inadequate.

I hear you saying, “Wait a second, what if that is how she shows she cares?!!!  Can’t you be friends with someone as long as they care about you??”

I would argue that NO, you cannot.  A true friend finds what YOU need and gives it to you.  It takes EFFORT and it can be a little uncomfortable if what they need is your weakness.

But you see, that’s where the separation from “friend” and “acquaintance” come into play.  A true friend WILL SACRIFICE for you.  A true friend will do things that build you up, even if it means being uncomfortable themselves.  It’s HARD to be a true friend.  That’s why they are so very, VERY special.

Keep in mind please, that it is OKAY to be OKAY with NOT moving someone into your crew.  I knew a girl in the military, that NEEDED me to agree with everything she did.  Her need in a true friend was someone who could stand by her, no matter what.  Like, really, NO MATTER WHAT.  Sleeping with the guy you like?  “Borrowing” your credit card without telling you?   Not lying, but “omitting.”  I couldn’t be there for her “NO MATTER WHAT.”  I was a doormat, or maybe I was a revolving door.  Either way, I couldn’t be anything related to doors. It exhausted and frustrated me.

So we could never be true friends.  In my early twenties, I was saddened and upset by that. I just wanted a friend SOOOO desperately.  Now, in my thirties, I understand that it was okay to let her go.

Here is an example of a sacrifice I CAN make.  I have a TRUE friend that is insecure.  About everything.  Her past, her parenting, her looks.  Heck she’s insecure about being insecure!!!  She NEEDS a true friend that can give constant ENCOURAGEMENT.  It doesn’t come easy to me.  In fact if I left myself, I can get annoyed with it. Because I am  more of a, “Buck Up Buttercup!” type.  But I do it, I put EFFORT into encouraging her because I care about her deeply.  The value of her friendship to me, far outweighs being uncomfortable.  And guess what, she gives me quality time, despite the fact that she’s a mom, and a wife, and a successful business owner.  She is a wonderful friend to me!

So the moral of my tale is this:

***It’s very important that you take some time and find out what YOU NEED in a friend!  Then ASK for it!****

***Take a hard look at who you consider your friends to be.  Are you able to be their TRUE friend?  Can you sacrifice and give THEM what they need? Do they give you what you need?  If not, release them KINDLY into the “acquaintance” group.  Because in the long run, you’re taking the place of someone who can!***

I hope that you find my position on friendship helpful, especially if you are lonely.  Being lonely sucks!  I’ve been there and I would hate to for you to be there too.   If you have a question, let it rip!!  I promise to REALLY try to help you if I can.  I have messed up so many times, I have a really reliable list of what NOT TO DO!  Good luck friends!

 

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6 Responses to “How to Make Friends: Part THREE.”

  1. Rachel February 4, 2013 at 6:43 AM #

    Very convicting and honest. Loved this post!

  2. Gena February 4, 2013 at 9:29 AM #

    I agree with so much of what you have said in all 3 parts. Something that as recently camped out in my brain & heart is regarding making friends. “Don’t spend so much time trying to be friends with someone, that you are ignoring those who are trying to be friends with you.”. Sometimes we see a person who we want as a friend, we do all the things you have mentioned in your blog entries… but that person either just doesn’t have the same interest in us or possibly already has a full dance card. But in our attempt to make them our friend, we are totally oblivious to the person(s) who see us in that same light. They are trying to befriend us, and we don’t even realize it. We are turning down their invites trying to be available for that other person… who isn’t available to us (for whatever reason).

    • mrs.not.so.perfect February 4, 2013 at 9:49 AM #

      Such a valid point Gena! Thanks for your input. I know that people will benefit from it.

  3. neverbroken0222 February 9, 2013 at 7:32 PM #

    There’s a quote that goes well with this post: “if you allow people to make more withdrawals than deposits in your life, you know you will be out of balance and in the negative. Know when to close the account.”

    Amazing blog!! Thank you for writing about this!

    • mrs.not.so.perfect February 10, 2013 at 7:42 AM #

      That’s a GREAT quote! A perfect summary of something I took about 1500 words to say! :)))

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