Renewing Friendships In A New Year

by Jim on January 2, 2011

I came across an old humorous email a friend of mine had sent me a few years back. It read:

“NOTICE:  After serious and cautious consideration, your Contract of Friendship has been renewed for another year. It was a hard decision to make. Lots of good people were cut, so try not to screw it up!” 

At dinner tonight with another friend, she and I were talking about friendships in general. She said that she was really taking steps this year to have better friendships and in doing that, she was actually not renewing that “Contract of Friendship” with some of her friends.She said that it felt horrible that she was always the one initiating contact, whether it was a phone call, an email, a text or whatever. This is an important topic. One that I thought I’d bring up.

  • What are you looking for out of a friendship?
  • What DOES it mean to be friends?

Often these questions are answered by by a sweeping, “A friend is a friend, stupid….” Well, maybe. By as my friend and I were talking, it’s not so simple. Do you want your friend to call, or contact you every day? Weekly? A few times a week? And the same question if you and your friends get together in person. How often is enough? (How often is too much?)Or are they one of those friends who “Oh, I don’t see them for time on end, but when we do get together, it’s like no time has ever passed.” Great. That’s an awesome relationship…for what it is.The fact is, in navigating our lives, it’s important for us to be conscious and aware that WE are the one’s who decide who our friends are, what kind of contact we’ll want/need with them, and how we’ll interact with them. As with my friend, it can be exhausting being the one constantly reaching out, and it can evoke all kinds of uncomfortable feelings. So, the question then becomes “Is this the type of friendship that I want’ in my life?” That’s a huge question!So for this new year, what kind of friendships do you want to bring into your life? What are your boundaries in that friendship (Do I initiate contact with them, to they initiate contact with me, what kind of contact is ok, and what’s not—is the friendship valuable enough for me to be constantly reaching out and my “friend,” really never initiating contact)?May this year be filled with rich experiences for you, insightful inner growth, and wonderful and fulfilling friendships that IN that friendship, your life is naturally enriched as you enrich theirs.Jim

{ 1 comment }

Scarlett August 25, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Thank you, this was so insightful and definitely gives me reason to ponder and evaluate many of my friendships.

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