This weekend I had dinner with a good friend. We don’t see each other often so catching up with her was a special treat. We spent time catching up on our careers and the personal stuff. We did the usual getting up to speed on the children and the parents and enjoyed our dinner and drinks. After dinner we went our separate ways and I noticed how full my spirit was. There was a smile on my face as I drove away. She hadn’t solved any huge problem in my life. We hadn’t talked about anything life changing. But seeing her had done my heart good. It was just what I needed, good ole’ girlfriend time.
“The best therapy in the world is time out with your friends”
Friendships are one of the most important aspects of life. Work friends, church friends, college friends and “cousins” (the girlfriends you have known so long you swear your family), no matter where you met them or how long you’ve been together, our friends help shape who we are. Quality friendships make us smarter and happier. They inspire us to reach our goals, advance in our careers and get to know ourselves better.
Keep in mind I said quality friendships. There is a gloomy side to friendship. Those closest to you know most about you and have the power to betray you if the relationship goes south. Friends can also cause stress by overloading you with their baggage and taking time away from important goals or relationships. So, I started thinking about friendships and which type every woman should have.
Friends Every Woman Should Have
The “Real” Friend
This friend is anything but fake. She’s the one that never changes, good or bad you can count on her to be her! She will ugly cry in front of you or welcome you into her home when it’s a mess. My girlfriend Rhonda shows her true self and she sees mine. She’s “real” and honest and will always tell you the truth. She will be the first to tell you about the spinach in your teeth and when “you need to stop settling”. When asked for advice she will give her honest opinion and will be on your side no matter what decision you make even if it’s the wrong one. These kinds of friends are great because they keep you humble, help you to see things from a different perspective, and encourage you to keep growing.
The “Why Not “Friend
Want to try something new. This is the friend to call. This girlfriend gets us out of our comfort zones and encourages us to take risks. While we’re asking ourselves why, she’s in our ear yelling why not! My sister friend Michelle fits this bill. She is the one that gets you to buy that skirt that looked a little to short but shows off your awesome legs, or say things like “Let’s drive somewhere and get away this weekend,” and “You need to host an event for a few ladies to promote your brand, what’s the worst that can happen?” While you don’t always put the “why not” friends ideas in motion, she reminds you that life is short, so if it feels good do it!
The “Badass” Friend
This is your girlfriend who consistently gets after it. She is basically a badass and inspires you to go after more. She has clear goals and dreams and intentional sets out to achieve them. This woman walks the talk. She shows up consistently and courageously seeks success. This friend helps you think through the next steps in your life and shares best practices and resources that have helped her move forward.
The “Connected” Friend
She is tapped-in. The ultimate resource finder. Laneisha is my connected friend. When your car breaks down, she’s got a guy. When you need a caterer at the last-minute she knows someone who can help. She will not only get you on the VIP list, but she’ll show you how to work a room. She is great with people and connects those who wouldn’t normally interact. She’s probably the best person in the world to help you land that interview or find that publisher for the book you are writing.
The “Check in on you” Friend
I have a friend that no matter how inundated she is with work and family duties, takes time to text or call me once a week without fail. Even if it’s a brief chat just to touch base. That seemingly small gesture means the world to me. It lets me know that she values our friendship. Many of my close friends are now acquaintances because the effort was just not there. We all have busy lives, but people make time for the things and people that are important to them. I value friends that value our friendship.
The “Biggest Fan” Friend
I am blessed to have several of these types of friends in my life. They are truly happy for me when something great happens. These ladies are my biggest fans. When I launched this blog, they were thrilled to finally see this dream come to fruition without being the least bit jealous. They cheered when my daughter graduated, and I found my dream job. They celebrate my wins as I celebrate theirs. That’s quality friendship.
The “Cousin” Friend
Every woman needs a friend who’s been around forever. She might be a childhood or high school friend. You call her parents mom and dad. She has been in your life for so long you can’t remember a time without her. You two may not talk as much as some of your current friends, but this friend can give you the details of most of your major life moments without pausing for a breath. For me, this is my friend Kim. I may not talk to her for months, and as soon as I hear her voice it’s like I just spoke to her yesterday. She knows my roots and has been with me during some very pivotal times in my life. Our long-lasting friendship brings me comfort knowing that through it all she will always be there.
Well, that’s my list. I am sure as I’ll add to it as I continue on this journey. Remember, quality friendships require an effort from both parties, so show up in the ones that matter most. As we get older and time becomes a more valuable commodity, you may have to do some pruning on your friendship tree. Make sure spend your time and energy on the ones that are good for you.
Until next week, Friend responsibly!