I’ve had both friends that were “love at first site” friends and friends that kind of grew on me over time. Both are legit ways to become friends–neither is a truer friend. For me, there’s only a few things I look for in a friend: do we have things in common (obviously), are they super needy? (we’ll go here in a sec), and the biggest thing: are they genuine??
DEFINING A SIMPLE FRIENDSHIP
Common interests are obviously pretty important. It’s also great if you have a few different like because you can learn a ton from each other. But if you have no common interests what will you talk about? What will you do together? It’s easy to find these people through your kids activities or other regular hangouts. But you definitely need more than common interests to have a close friendship.
Are your friends needy? This is maybe just me, or maybe because I homeschool and even though I am at home, I am really busy at home, so that means coffee dates and a lot of daytime activities aren’t really happening. Do you have friends that get upset if you don’t call them right back? Or maybe they want to “compete” with your other friends in a way. Maybe you just simply feel drained after spending time with them. That would be a needy friend. I’m not talking about a friend going through a hard time and them wanting to talk through it, not that at all. We should be there for our friends through hard times. I’m talking about a friend that never runs out of problems, when you’re left feeling like you just went through a tornado after a coffee date.
I look for friends that understand that I’m a busy mom and returning a text .3 seconds after I receive it is not always going to happen. I need a friend that will be ok if I can’t get together for something and won’t feel insecure if I say no.
My friends have to be real, genuine. This is the most important thing for me. Life is short, life is busy. There are a million things everyday to attend to. We (or maybe just me?) don’t have a lot of time for small talk. For me, I do not have room for surface friendships. I want the real deal. I want to be able to give it to you straight. I want to be able to tell you my heart and trust you with it. I want to laugh till our side ache together. I want to be able to cry with you and have you just get it. Yes, we have friends that are deep friendships and those that are not as deep and that is totally normal. We need all kinds of friends. But those few that we hold dearest are the ones we commit most to. If there are friends calling every day that you’ve known for a long time, but they can never get real with you, you may need to move on from that friendship. I need real.
If our lives are consumed with a bunch of friends that we have nothing in common with, that drain the life out of us, that maybe make us feel bad about ourselves, or that never get past the surface, it may be time to cut ties. We change. Other people change. There are friends that are with us for a season and there are friends that are with us for life. There are a lot more in the first category, and that’s OK! Not every mama we have coffee with is meant to be our soul sister. We need to be wise about who we spend our time with. Choosing your friends wisely–those that are simple friendships–is really essential in obtaining the simplicity we long for.
Choose wisely, my friends.
This post is part of a 31-day series on simplifying our homes and schools.
To read from the beginning of this series, click here:
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Amen! I spent a weekend in June at a homeschool conference where I was with my best friend since 6th grade who lives across the US and I hardly ever see. I couldn't believe how amazing it was to spend time with someone I didn't have to walk on egg shells with and could just be me with. Add that to then having Heidi St.John talk about exactly that. She even had bracelets that said No Drama Mama and reminded us that it's okay to cut friendships out of our lives that were draining.
Thank you for this. I often can't find the words for how I am feeling about friendship but you summed up everything so perfectly. Thank you.
I do not have any good friends and have no idea how to get any. I have definitely reached the point of needy friend ( although it's all internalized I do not actually act that way to people) because I am so lonely. I have invited people to do things with us so many times and been turned down so much it is depressing. I am not an outgoing person usually but have put myself out there so much lately and get nothing back. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I dream of hanging out and chatting while our kids play but nope. Never happens. I feel like everyone already has their friends and they aren't interested in making more.
I'd love any tips on how to actually make friends.
Everything you said is so very true! I homeschool our children (2 out of 6 are school age) and my time is very limited. I have 2 close friends who know me well and I'm so blessed to have them as friends. I'll take just a couple true friends any day over having a dozen friends who don't being joy to my life.