Remember last week when I talked about upping my friendship game? Well, this week is ALL ABOUT being the friend you wish you had. The website InCourage is hosting Friendship on Purpose which consists of 5 days of 2 ‘friendship tidbits’ emailed straight to you. We will follow along here with their daily “me too’s!” and hopefully cultivate new energy into our friendships! Ready?
How often do we think to ourselves that we MUST have it all together? That no one likes a ‘needy’ friend? There is a big difference in being needy and showing vulnerability and asking for help. What better way to allow someone to bless your life than to ask for their help and LET THEM help you? In times when I am overwhelmed, utterly consumed, and generally in a state of “I can’t do anymore today”, how I wish I had the courage to reach out to a girlfriend and say “will you please help?” Granted, a lot of my friends are just as busy (or even busier!) than I am. It feels like imposing to ask a friend to do anything for me.
But let me tell you a little story.
About a year and a half ago, when Violet unexpectedly left a doctor’s appointment, was routed to the Vanderbilt ER where we sat and waited for test results for 8 hours and then were finally admitted, I texted one of my coworkers, Lisa, and let her know I would not be back in the office. She asked “what can I do?” I hesitated and then asked if she would stop at my house after work, grab an overnight bag for me (that my older daughter would pack) and drive it to Vanderbilt. She never missed a beat. “YES!” she immediately responded. In the past, I never would have asked that of anyone, but I was scared, stuck in the hospital not wanting to leave my baby for even a second, and she was more than willing to help me. I can tell you Violet is now fine, and now many months since that day, Lisa has moved on to another employer, but we still have lunch, cocktails at happy hour, an occasional dinner and we cheer for each other from two separate office buildings. She is a real friend and I believe one of the first bricks in building that relationship was me asking for help.
Let people love on you and help you.
Do you ever find yourself surrounded by people all day long but feeling lonely at the same time? Being around people and being connected with people are two different things. Jennifer Dukes Lee talks very candidly about being a public speaker, interacting with people all day, but also feeling very lonely at times. She tells a story about the Preacher’s wife who you sit with at the ball game but don’t invite to your house for a beer after the game because you don’t know how that will be perceived. They don’t want to be judged, but neither does the preacher’s wife.
“Loneliness envelops people in their beds at night, and then first thing in the morning. It strikes them in the silence of their marriages, and the noise of their toddler-filled house. Loneliness sits beside women on the back pew, the gymnasium bleachers, the holiday parties.” – Jennifer Dukes Lee
If you’re feeling lonely, ‘go first’. Invite someone to lunch, have coffee or to go for a walk. Pick up the phone. Communicate!
I love that Jennifer’s unofficial 2015 self care project is “52 Lunches”. Once a week, for the entire year, she is having lunch with a friend. She’s not calling it 52 women because SURELY there will be women she wants to have lunch with multiple times. What a great idea!
Once I read this, I looked at my calendar and quickly tried to count how many friend lunches I’d had (I think cocktail hour counts too!) and I’m doing okay thus far with 8 under my belt. I’m definitely going to do better with this- starting with lunch this week with my friend Rachel who is also closing on a new home Thursday! I’m excited to see her and celebrate her new digs.
Takeaway for today:
* What friend can you reach out to and ask for help in a time of need? Can you offer a lending hand back to that same friend in their time of need? If you can’t list one, maybe go to the next takeaway!
* How will you ‘go first’ this month? Is there someone you’re interested in knowing but haven’t made the first step toward making that a reality? Call her! Is there an old friend you’ve been neglecting – and she’s been neglecting you – but you love her so YES you’ll go first and ask her to lunch or dinner or if you can visit her for the weekend?
Up Your Friendship Game! Tell me what you’re doing! xoxo