Friendship

Articles on all types of friendship and friendship issues.

5 Things I Know About True Friendship

5 Things I Know About True Friendship

What is a true friendship? I know, such a loaded question. Especially because as humans, we are constantly evolving, changing, growing, and morphing into newer, hopefully better, versions of ourselves. What I might have needed in a friendship in my 20s is profoundly different than what I need now as a 40-year-old woman. Some friends come and some friends go. Some friends are there for the mountaintops and others for the valley lows. Some friendships are seasonal, while others are lifelong. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned, both good and bad, through many types of friendship. Have a Safe Place, But Beware! I remember my younger days of chatting on the land line with a certain friend of mine. We were […]

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How to Forgive a Friend Who Betrays You

How to Forgive a Friend Who Betrays You

“You don’t even know us well enough to not like us,” I wanted to say in a smirky tone. I could tell from day one that the new computer teacher didn’t like me or my husband. He wouldn’t smile or joke around with us as he did with the other staff and faculty, and when I asked a question, he mumbled an answer without looking me in the eye. Baffled by an Unexpected Admission For twelve years, I wore a few different hats at a Christian boarding high school founded in 1924. I served as activities director; oversaw the publications, including the student newspaper; and coached an award-winning cheerleading squad. Michelle, who taught art, was my closest friend on staff. She was

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This-Is-Why-You-Need-an-Aloe-Vera-Plant

This Is Why You Need an Aloe Vera Plant

Just last week, I was boiling some water on the stove in preparation for dinner. At least, I thought I was boiling water. I accidentally turned the wrong knob, so the burner next to my pot was heating up rapidly, and the handle to the pot was hovering over said burner. I mistakenly reached for the handle and…you guessed it. A fiery sensation ran up my fingers, and I jumped away from the stove, holding my sad, injured hand. Now, what’s a woman to do? It definitely wasn’t serious enough to rush to a hospital, but it would likely become painful if it wasn’t treated soon enough. I quickly sifted through any knowledge I had of home remedies. Then, bright as the

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What Your Grieving Friend Really Wants You to Know 2019

What Your Grieving Friend Wants You to Know

When I first lost my mom, I had so many well-meaning friends, and relatives offer help, advice, and words of encouragement. The outpouring of support was amazing, yet a little overwhelming at the same time. Everyone meant well, and I certainly appreciated the sentiments, but it was difficult for me to express what I really needed at any given time. It wasn’t until I started speaking with several friends and relatives who also lost loved ones that I discovered I wasn’t alone. Several told me they too, had a difficult time figuring out how to help their friends help them through the grieving process. People have a tendency to want to “fix” the bereaved, but many times, all we’re looking for is

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5 Ways to Make Adult Friends in the Lonely Age of Social Media

5 Ways to Make Adult Friends in the Lonely Age of Social Media

As I scroll through my list of friend requests on social media, I usually ask myself the same questions: if my life was falling apart, could I call on this person? Would they drop everything and be over in a few minutes with a tasty meal or a listening ear or to watch my kids quick while I scream into a pillow? And the answer is almost always “no.” Today, I am “friends” with thousands of people, but I’ve never felt more alone. Why Is It So Easy to Make Friends as a Kid? When I was five years old and regularly wore a pink tutu or my beloved red cowgirl boots and pigtails, I met my soulmate. Her name was Crystal.

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Feeling Lonely?

Feeling Lonely? This is a Battle You Can Win

As I sat down with my second cup of coffee to follow my morning ritual, I scanned my emails when an article caught my attention: Study Reveals Loneliness at Epidemic Levels in America. If you’re feeling lonely, realize you’re not alone. The results of the study conducted by health insurer Cigna stated that nearly half of Americans surveyed sometimes or always feel left out, with only 53% saying they have meaningful in-person social interactions.1 Loneliness has plagued all of us through time, sometimes leaving us feeling lost for a few hours or a few days. In other seasons, we may discover we awaken each morning and end each day with a chronic hurt and ache that lay within the feeling of aloneness.

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Why You Should Just Have That Hard Conversation (And How to Do It)

Just Have That Hard Conversation (And How to Do It)

Have you ever had that sick, anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach? The one that occurs when you know there’s a hard conversation you need to have with someone you don’t want to have it with? Or maybe they don’t want to have it with you. A misunderstanding has occurred—or even worse—they are heading down a road you know you can’t let them travel without at least having an honest discussion before they do. In reality, it’s the last thing you want to take on. A tooth extraction seems more pleasant. But one thing I do know is if there’s a conversation you’ve been avoiding, it’s usually the one you need to have. Nothing will change if you don’t deal with

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Ask Dr. Zoe – Should I Maintain a Friendship With Someone Who Keeps Pulling Away?

‘Frosty in Fort Worth’ Asked How to Maintain a Friendship: Hi Dr. Zoe, I have a cousin who is just over a year younger than me whom I have been close with since childhood. She was the person I would tell everything to, and I thought I was the same for her. Looking back now maybe it wasn’t quiet that balanced. As adults, we have the same friend group, go to the same church, and lived in the same house for some time. When I went through a difficult time emotionally and became very depressed, feelings were hurt, and we withdrew from each other. We didn’t speak to each other, except for the obligatory “hi” at family functions for two years, even

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To the single woman searching for true love

To the Single Woman Searching for True Love

After tossing and turning for an hour last night, I finally got out of bed and began reading an old journal. There’s something about looking back on the things that used to occupy my mind—things that are now resolved and long forgotten—that settles me. There was one journal entry that caused me to reach for my phone at 4 a.m. and text my best friend, the one person I can text in the wee hours of the night and not think twice about it. I read something that my 23-year-old self scribbled off the cuff… words of gratitude for my best friend and a prayer over her life. What a gift to experience a bond that remained and deepened over 10 years,

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How to Survive a Party as an Introvert

How to Survive a Party as an Introvert

If you’re an introvert like me, you may not love parties. So, here are five simple tips to surviving the get-togethers that are sure to await us this season: 5 Steps to Survive a Party as an Introvert. 1. Bring a friend. If you’re an introvert, you’re probably familiar with this faithful crutch. 2. Make a friend. If you can’t bring a friend, make a friend! Just because we’re introverts, doesn’t mean we are unable to socialize. Most of us simply prefer small groups, or better yet, one-on-one conversations. So find a fellow wallflower and figure out what they’re passionate about. Once you discover a shared interest to discuss—you’re golden! 3. Take a break! Do you ever feel drained from smiling, nodding, and

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For the Girl That's Single During the Holidays

For the Girl That’s Single During the Holidays

November through February marks perhaps the most dreaded season in the life of a woman who is single during the holidays. We kick off with family gatherings at Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving, and, without fail, as we go around the table listing what we’re thankful for some doey-eyed friend gazes lovingly at her new groom and says, “I’m thankful for my husband. He’s so amazing.” Then there’s the “plus one” you never have for the office Christmas party. The week spanning Christmas and New Year’s might as well be dubbed National Engagement Week as the social media feeds from countless friends will be filled with romantic carriage rides, kisses under the mistletoe, smooches at midnight, and shiny new rings. The new year brings

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As My Friend List Shrinks, I Love How It Deepens

As My Friend List Shrinks, I Love How It Deepens

I’ve reached the age where my ideal Friday night involves pajamas, a couch, a book and being asleep by 10 o’clock. (ok, 9:30). The 20- to 30-year-old version of me had a very different idea of an ideal Friday night. At twenty, I’d hope for a date, a bar or a large group of friends. At thirty, I still hoped for an invite of some kind. A dinner party or excuse to wear anything besides yoga pants or school clothes. I wanted to be included and invited and to laugh the loudest. Don’t get me wrong; I still want to be invited, but I don’t always want to go. Be Choosey When it Comes to Your Friend List My life seemed to

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one woman who is feeling the loneliness epidemic gazes out a window looking sad

Are You Part of the Loneliness Epidemic? You Don’t Have to Be

Loneliness seems to be an increasingly real problem for people all over the world. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, 61% of American adults reported feeling lonely. Add to that several months of social distancing and remote work, along with the usual sense of isolation caused by social media, and it’s clear that we are facing none other than what behavioral scientist and researcher Susan Mettes is calling the loneliness epidemic. Grit and Grace Life interviewed Susan about this particular slice of her research and her new book, The Loneliness Epidemic. Originally intended to become a podcast episode, the recorded audio quality wasn’t quite suited for headphones and speakers, but the content is nevertheless just as vital. We’ve adapted Susan’s responses into a

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5 Must Ask Questions for a New Roommate

5 Must Ask Questions For a New Roommate

Maybe you’re about to get your dream apartment with your college besties or maybe you’re crossing your fingers and setting up house with people you’ve just met. Either way, new living situations call for some late-night Target runs (yay!) with your new roommate and a few uncomfortable, but necessary, conversations (boo). I’ve lived in multiple dorms, apartments, houses, and one trailer park, and over the years, I’ve learned a few things about how to start off on the right foot with new roommates. There are some pitfalls you’ll want to avoid and a few things you can do proactively to make home a happy and peaceful space for all of you. So text your future roommates, schedule a time to meet at

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a group of people eating at a table together in the backyard of a home; a lesson in how to become friends with your neighbors

How to Become Friends with Your Neighbors

It’s one thing to dream of neighbors gathering around your table when you have ample, decorated space, freshly cleaned bathrooms, and kids who keep their toys in their rooms and their crumbs on their plates. It’s a different kind of story when you’re renting a humble home with upside-down outlets. Unforgiving, flat-painted walls. Nicked linoleum. Then the dream gets turned round and round in your heart as you ask, “Why?” and “When?” and “How?” But the best dreams don’t wait for us to be ready. They meet us in boring, over-tired, spilled cheerios, right-now moments. When we feel most inadequate. When we most need hope. That’s where our family’s dream started. It’s also where it began to collect dust. If I could

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Choosing to Be Vulnerable Takes Courage—Especially After a Bad Breakup

Choosing to Be Vulnerable Takes Courage—Especially After a Bad Breakup

The sun set behind the golden California hills out windows of the conversion van as I stared out, stunned. He was breaking up with me. We’d traveled across the country from New York to California together, modern day pioneers as “van lifers” going from national park to national park. We’d talked about getting engaged and moved all my belongings into his family’s place while we apartment hunted. Now, his words were as surreal as the sunset itself. Newly Single and Homeless “I need to just do me for a while. I haven’t been selfish enough.” As the minutes and devastation sunk in, I realized I was in trouble far worse than just my broken heart. I was homeless. “Where am I supposed

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Take Your Friendships to Another Level with a Heartfelt Dinner Party

Take Your Friendships to Another Level with a Heartfelt Dinner Party

My college days centered around food. Cooking with the international students on campus, I forged lifelong friendships and learned recipes for dumplings I’d use well into adulthood. Something about our conversations shared while chopping green onions and brewing hot pots strengthened both our bodies and souls. Adult life seems disconnected, busier, and less social. It’s full of instant meals and quick conversations. Nutrient- and communication-starved. A Loneliness Epidemic Hosting the occasional dinner party could be a simple and elegant way to jumpstart the well-being changes we need, injecting the benefits of close community and good food into our emotional, mental, and relational health. Dinner brings everyone together, encourages them to spend time getting into entrees and entertaining conversation that doesn’t happen anywhere

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