Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happiness Project: Friendships

A few months ago, I shared my thoughts on the book The Happiness Project. I've been thinking off and on ever since about what happiness resolutions I should make in my own life.

One area that I really want to concentrate on is friendships. I am not one of those people that needs a lot of friends; I have always been content with having a few, very close friends. But, I've felt like things have been a little lacking in the friendship department ever since we moved to Illinois. Now, don't get me wrong, I do have several wonderful friends here, and there are a lot of nice, smart, fun people at church. But, I feel like I don't have that one special friend—someone I can talk to about anything for hours, someone I can call any time without worrying I'll bug them, someone who "gets" me.

I have been fortunate enough throughout my life that those types of friendships have just fallen into my lap. But that hasn't happened this time. I'm not sure what it is. Am I being too picky? Am I not trying hard enough? Am I just a complete dork? Just kidding about that last one. Kind of . . . I realize that it probably does become more difficult to make friends once you are out of school, but I know plenty of people who have best friends they met as an adult so it is possible.

After 2 years of throwing myself a little pity party, I've decided that I'm going to have to do my part to be more satisfied with my friendships. I came up with a couple of goals to help me:
  • Twice a month, I will initiate plans with friends. I am very guilty of waiting around for someone to call me. I am often reluctant to ask someone to do something, thinking the other person will say yes just to be nice. But, that's ridiculous, and I've got to get over that. If they don't want to hang out, it's their responsibility to say no. And, probably, there are other people like me just waiting for someone to call them, right?
  • Once a month, I will call one of my college friends. I'm pretty good about staying in touch with friends via e-mail, facebook, etc., but I think there's something different about a phone call. Any time I talk to one of my friends, I feel so much happier after I hang up. I'm not much of a "phone person," but I think once a month is something anyone should be able to handle.

Ok, everybody, hit me with your best friendship advice. How do you initiate a friendship? If a friendship doesn't immediately "click," how long do you keep trying? How do you keep up with friends from high school, college, etc?


Clint and Whitney said...

Ummm..first you keep up with our friendship FOREVER!!! Just kidding. I mean, kind of. I like to think our friendship is one of those that doesn't really fall to the way side even if we haven't talked in forever. But anyway, to be serious. I think we are a lot alike in this area. I think friendship can be work and even though you know people around you whom you like, you still may not just "click" with them. I think that's when you have to be a bit more open minded and maybe be a bit uncomfortable. (Not that I think you are close minded at all). And even still I think there are seasons in life when you won't have someone that's a good friend and you just click with. Bobbi and I have talked about that before. So don't think you are the only one! Hope that helps a little.

Matt said...

One of the easiest ways that I have found to cultivate friendships is to find a common interest and start sharing it. I loan books to my friends who love to read, burn CDs for people who love the same kind of music, etc. Even though friendships aren't about the material benefits, it helps to know that a person trusts you enough to let you share something they care about. By the way, you are a dork.

Kalyn Gensic said...

I can't offer any advice on this because I totally suck at it. I'm good at keeping up with my old friends, but when it comes to making new friends, I start receding into my anti-social self. All I can really say is that dogs help with the loneliness. And that is my moment of sheer pathetic-ness for the day. Now you can feel good about yourself by comparing yourself to me :)

The Lances said...

The best way to initiate a friendship is to invite them to get Custard Cup! ;-) (Wink, wink)