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Friendship famine to feast

A few days ago, I sent my mom this email…

Hi Mama!

I am in Costa Rica and loving it!
Home on Sunday night.

I am curious if you would be open to me
writing an article about how friendship
has evolved in your life? I’m so inspired
by the fact that you’re gathering with your
friends on Global Sisterhood Day, especially
since you only started developing friendships
recently.

I know that it’s your story and it’s not mine to
tell, which is why I ask. If it feels too personal
or too sensitive, I understand and have no
problem NOT writing about it 🙂

If you feel like there’s an interesting story to tell
about your journey with friendship, what do you
feel would be some important aspects to highlight?

I love you!
Nisha

Mom replied…

I’m so glad you are enjoying your trip.  I would be delighted
if you wrote an article about me and friendship, because I think
there are probably a lot of people in my position.  Friends from
high school and university move away or drift apart, careers and
kids keep us busy, caring for aging parents takes time and energy.
Then, when you lose your job, retire, move away, your kids move
away, whatever…you discover you are alone.

Cards and flowers during illness and crises were from “the office”.
I really liked a lot of the people that I worked with, but they were
very aware that I was their boss, too.  I have always been shy and
socially awkward, so when I needed to act outgoing for my job I
felt like a fake.

Then I started to build a new life in a new place.  No more office,
no more hospitals [my mom had a bone marrow transplant],
no more daily social contact.

When I tentatively reached out, I was amazed at the response.
When I told people I didn’t enjoy social activities, many of them
said they felt the same way and we supported each other.
I feel so rich and fulfilled.  When we recently went to a local
event, we met so many people I know and I got hugs from three
women just for being there.

I always worried that friends would make demands on me and that
I would somehow let them down.  Part of the ” I’m not good enough”
fear that plagued me for much of my life.  It isn’t true.

Friends love me and accept me for who I am.
They believe I am good enough as I am.

Enjoy the last few days of your vacation.
I’m off to spend the day with my friends.

xo, Mom

In 2 years, my mom went from friendship famine to feast.

As a little girl, I remember wondering where all of my mommy’s friends were.  She struggled with depression (she’s open about those challenges) and is quite shy and introverted.  She spent most of her social time with my step-father, her mother or her sisters.  I, on the other hand, have always been more extraverted and love spending time with my many girlfriends.  We’re built differently, and while I always marveled at my mother’s solitude, she always marveled at my ability to make friends.

A few years ago, she came to me with a question: “How do you suggest I make friends?”  

She took a zucchini loaf over to the neighbors house and invited her for tea.
She signed up to join a community of women who love sewing as much as she does.
She hosted her own version of Burning Man for her friends at the farm.

She put herself out there, bit by bit, in her own way, and she made friends.

If you consider yourself too shy, too introverted, too awkward, too old, or too “different” to develop new friendships or friendships with depth, I hope my mom’s story inspires you.  Friendship is for everyone, even you.

If you’re looking for new friends, sign up to join a Sister Circle on Global Sisterhood Day .  We already have over 100 set up, all over the world and online.

—> In the comments below, share how you’ve cultivated friendship in your life, even if you’re shy or introverted.

11 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this post. As I have gotten older I have lost touch with some friends or have grown apart from others. I still have many friends but I have felt a desire for a while to have close relationships with women who share what I have grown into. We all change in time and so do friendships, it’ s good to know that as I change and grow I can also have opportunities to make new friends. Thanks again and thank your Mom!

    • Thank you for sharing Kyla and you are so right, as we grow and change so do the opportunities for us to welcome new friends into our lives as well 🙂

  2. What a beautiful story! Inspiring and reminds me how to find your tribe, you have to do it ‘your way’.

    • We sure do Indigo, and what a gift that is 🙂

  3. Here I am 53 yrs lonely and with a few friends. I worked 7 days a week for my whole life.. I never been married or had any kids.. I was wondering how do I go about making friends.. I feel most of time no body likes me or I am boring,,,,, Your mother’s story is inspiring . Does anyone have any comments for me .. I will appreciate any feedback.

    • Hi Karen, Thank you for sharing your story with us, and I feel that the opportunity to make friends can be present for you wherever you may be. I can imagine that it may feel difficult to do as your schedule is full, but perhaps you work space has some lovely souls you can begin connecting differently with yes? 🙂 And there is also Sisterhood Day which Nisha has so lovingly prepared for all of us to ignite us in connecting with other like minded sisters. To learn more about it this day happening this very Saturday, please see this link: http://sisterhoodday.com/join/ We can’t wait to support you in creating new friendships xo

    • Karen, I am 61 – at 53 I didn’t feel I had any friends, either. I worked long hours and always felt rushed and too busy. When I took stock – as you seem to be – I realized how important it was to have someone to share my thoughts and feelings with. My husband is wonderful – but that relationship is different from sisterhood! I have found that reaching out to groups where people share my interests (sewing, gardening, etc.) has resulted in many relationships. Inviting my neighbour for tea started a lovely friendship. I have taken baby steps, as I am definitely an introvert, but each time I reach out it is easier. I am holding a gathering tomorrow for Sisterhood Day, as I now have many women in my life that I consider to be friends. I know that everyone has a story to share. Recognize yourself as an interesting woman with a unique story and invite people into your life. My very best wishes for you.

      • Hi Linda,

        Thank you for your kind words and inspiration.. I know there are people out there the way i feel , I just don’t know how to go about making friends now. and how to reach out to them..

        Thank you,

  4. After moving to another state I feel like i’m in a state of drought. I am surely craving a tribe of love and support <3

    • Hi Ginger, we are so grateful that you are here and hope that in our community and sisterhood you can find some support and love. Will you be joining us for Sisterhood Day? http://sisterhoodday.com/join/

      • I would love to be part of one. I did download the PDFs.

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