Friendship is a subject near and dear to my heart for oh so many reasons. You see, as a kid, I moved what felt like A LOT. I moved away from friendships that mattered a great deal to me at 5 and at 8 and again at 11. I still remember how much it hurt to move away from friends . . . and how much it hurt after the move when I realized those friendships weren’t as strong as I thought. Coupled with the fact I grew up as an only child . . . friendships have been akin to family for me for as long as I can remember. What does that mean? I spend a lot of time thinking about friends, friendship in general, and what it all means.
You might recall a post I wrote at the end of the year last year about Adult Friendship. I have given that post, and the emotions I had writing it, a lot of thought. The words in there are still true, but it is also true we just have different friends who meet different criteria for what we need on a given day. The truth is friendships grow and wane, some friends are in your life forever, some a brief period, but they all matter in varying degrees.
Where I am right now? I am appreciative of my friendships that go beyond my “YES” friends. What is a “YES” friend? That girl who seems to always have your back, she will cheer you on, she will vent about husbands and kids, she will listen to you bitch about Susie-Q, and she will AMEN all you have to say . . . but she will not call you out on your shit. She doesn’t want to offend you, she doesn’t want to annoy you, or maybe she is just half-listening . . . who knows. She is not a bad friend . . . she is just a YES friend and heaven knows I have been a YES friend too . . . but there are times in life you need a friend who transcends all that.
It is imperative we have people in our life that call us out on our shit and who help us grow as human beings.
Here is an adult truth: we are not always right.
What? Yes I am!
That fight you had with your husband? Maybe he did have a better point.
That argument you got in with your kid. Did you actually listen to his point of view? Maybe if you took some time to think about it, there was a really important nugget of information and growth in there for you.
The miscommunication you had with your mom? Maybe that was on you.
Not wanting to workout first thing in the morning because you need the break? Maybe you need a kick in the pants.
The wine you are drinking right after work to forget about all of your clients problems that you wear as your own? Maybe someone needs to tell you to give it a rest and go to bed!
Flipping out at a friend because she offended like none other. Maybe she was well-intentioned and didn’t realize the power of the words she uttered would speak such volumes with you . . . . those emotions you feel? That frustration. That is YOU hurting . . . not her attacking you.
Here is thing . . . as you get older, you may be able to come to some of these conclusions above on your own . . . and without help . . . but speaking from experience, I can tell you that having a friend transcend the YES friendship and call you out (gently) and point out what you are missing is IMPERATIVE to your self growth and self-awareness.
Does it hurt? Sometimes. Is it painful? It can be. Is it worth it? When a friend approaches you with unconditional love, heck yes.
It leads to a better marriage, better parenting, higher self-worth, and just overall satisfaction with life. To have a friend talk to you off the ledge, to save you from yourself is invaluable.
So, I ask you . . . have you been a YES friend to someone you know you need to call out (lovingly). Do you NEED a friend to go beyond YES friendship. If you trust that person, ask them. If you aren’t lucky enough to have women in your life (YET) who do this for you now . . . maybe you just need to ask. Or, do you have someone that does transcend the YES friendship already, but you have been fearful of listening (really listening) to her because you are afraid to change? I encourage to be honest with yourself (and her). There may be some ugly crying, but I can tell you it feels better on the other side.