Lately, I’ve been thinking a great deal about friendships. Friends and social acquaintances are a big and important part of a woman’s life. Therefore, it remains vital, as we age, not to let those relationships slip away. It’s so easy to get caught up in other life events.
Grandchildren and husbands or boyfriends and appointments and social events can easily eat away at our time. It seems friendships are often the first to go, because it’s easy to put off returning that phone call or email or text message.
But it shouldn’t be. If you are finding yourself pushing your friends on the back burner, or you’re the friend that seems pushed to the side, you need to reevaluate these situations. I have developed some questions you should ask yourself about your relationships with your girlfriends.
Friendship doesn’t just happen. Friendship takes time and energy from both parties. Ask yourself, is everyone pulling their weight to maintain the relationship?
If you chose a friend who is working to make the friendship a happy one, it means you should feel the obligation to respond to her. Answer her texts, emails or phone calls.
Making time for a lunch date or maybe a manicure is a great opportunity to chat and share. If you don’t both feel the need, you should evaluate the friendship and ask yourself: “Does, this friend feed my soul? Does she inspire me? Can I rely on her? Can I trust her? Do I laugh with her?”
Mirroring doesn’t make you two peas in a pod. It simply means you are on the same wavelength. You understand where each of you is coming from. You are more similar than different.
I don’t believe in cliques. That works for some women but not for me. I like my friends to come from different walks of life – that adds spice to the relationship.
And yet, my friends must have my life values. Our values are the glue that bonds us. My advice is to not try to mirror your friend. Choose a friend who mirrors you.
Every month in my winter home in California, I host a focus group. Each month we discuss a topic of concern. The women I invite are open and honest, and we discuss tough topics.
For example, it’s not easy to admit that you feel invisible because of your age or that you don’t know how you will handle finances if your husband dies. Open honesty is as important in a friendship as it is in a romantic relationship.
Do you share useful information with one another? If you have a friend who is open and honest and wants to offer you meaningful and thought out advice, she is a keeper. Sharing is caring and creates a tight bond.
Friendships simply can’t be taken for granted. If a friendship isn’t working, you owe it to the other person to have an honest conversation.
Perhaps you need to clear the air. Perhaps you need to re-evaluate the relationship. I am a firm believer that after 60 you should be thinking about quality rather than quantity.
Do you have a group of good friends? What are the qualities that you value most in your friends? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.