Moving a Friend Down the Friendship Ladder

By Leah Campbell

Nearly every woman I have ever met has experienced the death of a friendship. For some, the loss of a good girl friend was a tragic and dramatic event. For others, friends simply faded off into oblivion without much cause or explanation. Read on for how to navigate these situations.

Most reflect back on those instances with feelings of sadness and remorse, while some will talk about being better off without the toxic influence of friendships that never should have been.

But all remember well the moment when they realized a specific friendship just wasn’t what they had always believed it to be anymore.

The reality is, not all friendships end in a dramatic fashion. In fact, in life there are just some friendships that serve a greater purpose during certain transitory periods, but that don’t have the staying power to last over the long term. Just as with romantic relationships, not every pairing is meant to endure. And at least some of the time, two adults can recognize when a friendship has run its course; when they are no longer connecting at the same level they once did.

It may sound harsh, but no one actually benefits from continuing to prioritize a friendship that is no longer working. Downgrading friendships that have ceased to be fulfilling, means opening yourself up to focus on friendships that could stand that greater test of time.

Sometimes, friendships need to be moved down the ladder. And that’s okay.

Reasons for the Downgrade
The important thing is to examine your friendships and to understand why they are no longer working. If there is a pattern in your life of hopping from one friend to another, the problem may be with you⎯and that is something worth addressing.

But in a lot of cases, two friends just aren’t on the same page anymore. They may reach different life stages, or start pursuing different passions where they simply no longer connect easily. When get-togethers become strained and conversations seem to go nowhere, it is fair to ask yourself why you are continuing to commit time to a friendship that you wouldn’t pursue if you were to meet today.

Examine your own reasons for wanting the downgrade, and make sure you aren’t setting unfair expectations on your friendships. But then, ask yourself if this is a friendship you truly want to continue giving the same priority level you have up to this point.

Having a Heart-to-Heart
Depending on how close the friendship has been over the years, and what your reasons for pulling back are, it might be beneficial to you both to have a conversation. You need to consider whether this friend is going to be hurt by the redefining of your friendship, or if she is likely ready for a bit of distance as well. If she has been a good friend to you over the years, and is likely going to be confused by your absence in her life now, she may deserve an explanation⎯if only so that she doesn’t spend the next several years wondering what went wrong.

The Drama-Free Downgrade
Sometimes though, it just isn’t worth the conversation. Or a conversation isn’t necessary, because you both realize the friendship has run through its lifespan. If you can’t see any good coming from a chat where you tell your friend things just aren’t the same, then don’t feel the need to put either of you through that. This isn’t a big dramatic affair that needs to be ended with force. You aren’t in a fight and you aren’t ending things off on a bad note. If you see each other in the future, as you likely will if you maintain mutual friends, you will hug and catch up like the old friends you once were. But you both kind of just know that whatever once was, isn’t anymore.

And again, that’s okay.

Losing the Guilt
Even in knowing a friendship has run its course, there can still be guilt over pulling back from a friend to whom you were once attached at the hip. If that guilt becomes overwhelming, or is accentuated by the fact that your friend doesn’t seem to understand what is happening, it’s time to go two steps up and have that little chat. But if the guilt is entirely self-imposed, you feeling like you should still be there for someone who hasn’t really been there for you in quite some time, let it go. The whole point of downgrading a friendship is creating the space in your life to focus on the relationships that actually do matter and have staying power in your world. So don’t feel guilty about pulling back. That’s part of life.

Walk Your Weight Off With a Friend

By Leah Campbell

Looking to lose 5 pounds? Looking to find a committed partner to help you on your weight-loss and fitness journey? Then look to to help you find a work-out buddy fast and help you lose weight fast!

It seems to be a natural consequence of being a woman: we always feel as though there is something about our body we should be working to improve. No matter what your girlfriends say, or your spouse, or your kids, there is always that voice in the back of your head telling you that if you could just lose 5 (or 10, 20, 50) more pounds – everything would be better.

Can I tell you something? I hate that voice.

I have a long history of battling (and hating) my body, but over the last couple of years, I think I’ve come to a place of real acceptance – and even love. I’ve learned to stop focusing so much on the numbers, and to instead pay attention to overall health and wellness. Which is where staying active comes in for me. Not so much in order to maintain an ideal weight, but instead to continue showing my body the love it deserves.

I’d like to think that all women eventually hit that point, where it isn’t so much about a number on the scale as it is about being happy and healthy. Maybe you’re there yourself right now. Perhaps you have newly found yourself with an empty nest, and are realizing that for the first time in many years – it is time to take care of you! Or maybe you just had a child and are yearning to feel in control of your body once more. It could even be that after years of battling in much the same ways I once did, you’ve come to a similar conclusion I have – that your body is yours and yours alone, to cherish and care for, not to beat up and destroy.

No matter how you got there, you’re ready to start embracing health now. Which, as we’ve already discussed, starts with getting active. If it’s been a while since you’ve done that, there may be no better place to begin than with a regular walking routine. And sticking to that routine becomes so much easier when you have a friend committed to making a change alongside you!

Finding the Perfect Walking Partner
Sure, you could get out and walk every day by yourself. But you know what? It is so much more enjoyable to do that with a friend! So first things first: let’s find you a walking partner!

Start by hitting up friends and family on your social networks. Share a post about wanting to start a regular routine, perhaps a few nights a week after work, and ask if anyone would be interested in joining you and holding you accountable. If there are no takers there, try your co-workers – you may even be able to arrange time around your lunch breaks to walk together every day!

Still looking, though? Don’t discount the idea of going online to find your perfect walking match. In addition to finding new friends of the general category, is a great place to find friends of the fitness category as well.

More and more people are turning to the Internet to find their ideal exercise partners – and you might just make a new friend out of seeking someone online with similar goals as you.

Create a No-Shame Zone
Remember, this is about getting healthy, not about beating yourself up. So establish early on that while part of your new walking partnership will involve motivating each other, it won’t ever result in shaming one another. Hold each other accountable, absolutely, but don’t get in a competition of comparing numbers or ridiculing diet choices. The second this stops being fun, you’ll lose all desire to continue doing it – and that isn’t good for either of you.

Embrace the Motivation
Still, don’t forget that there are real benefits to doing this with another person – and one of those is that it is just so much easier to convince yourself to get moving, when someone else is moving right alongside you. We all have those days when we just don’t want to do it, for whatever reason, but knowing someone else is relying on you is usually exactly what it takes to get your butt off the couch and into your walking shoes. Don’t discount that, or downplay it. Remember that you wouldn’t want your walking partner to bail on you, so don’t bail on her unless absolutely necessary. Rely on each other for support and motivation. That’s half the reason you’re doing this together, after all!

Look at it as Time to Download
So what’s the other half-reason for doing this as a pair? Well, the fact that it can be seriously nice to carve out an hour a few times a week to talk to another adult who isn’t your spouse. Starting a walking routine with a good friend means creating those spaces in your week that are reserved just for chatting with someone you enjoy talking to. Sure, you’re walking while you do it, but you are also having so much fun enjoying that girl-time – you hardly even notice when you start building up a sweat!

Because You Deserve It!
No matter what stage of life you are in, and regardless of how much weight you may have to lose, you deserve a little dedicated time to your health and fitness. You deserve the mental health benefits of taking care of yourself. And you deserve the time spent catching up with a good friend while also burning a few calories in the process.

Look, we all love a good wine night spent on the couch with our girlfriends. But there is no one saying you can’t have that, as well. Spend your afternoons walking together, and your evenings preparing a healthy dinner and enjoying that glass of wine. The important thing is to create a routine and stick to it. Get moving.

For both your sake, and your friends!

Flove – It is How I Feel About My “Friends”

By Janis Kupferer

Flove—that intersection of a great and dear friend and your friendly love for them. Perhaps a silly new word/concept, or perhaps that something that we can all admit to and strive for.

Of course I remember each of the times that I’ve fallen in flove. There was my best friend in high school, Liz, who was everything my parents aspired for me to be, but wasn’t. Then there was a gal named Joan, also from high school, absolutely nothing that my parents wanted for me, but a ton of fun and even better memories over 30+ years.

My next was Deb—Deborah professionally, Debbie to acquaintances, and then Deb—that’s what you got to call her if you were really, really good friends. (I suppose when she marries, her husband will just call her D.) Honest to God, she is the best person to talk to about anything—cause she loves to talk, and seems to attract every wacko within 50 miles of her so she’s heard it all. If she is judging you, she’ll never let on, and regardless, she’ll have you laughing at yourself soon enough anyhow.

And finally Trisha—sweet, soulful Trisha. Trish is the kind of woman who would literally take the shirt off of her back if you needed it (and it isn’t only because she owns a terrific second-hand clothing store). She takes in stray dogs, stray people, and me … and puts them right into that big old heart of hers. Got a pimple on your tush, Trish will take care of it. Got your heart broken by a bum, Trish will take care of him too!

Yep, that isn’t a typo—it’s a new word that I invented. It is a sniglet of friend and love … flove. (okay it is also a portmanteau for you grammar geeks).

What is flove, and why in the world do we need another word when we already have so many that we don’t use anymore? Well, flove is a very simple concept to grasp and to apply. It is friendly love, the love that you feel for your dear, dear friends. You “flove” them.

Silly ...  perhaps (okay, yes), but it does provide the language and classification system that our society seems to so desperately want since we don’t have enough words to describe all of the levels of friendship/acquaintance that we encounter/enjoy.

I mean, we have BFFs, acquaintances, new friends, old friends, good friends, frenemies, cliques, posses and sidekicks. And none of us knows exactly how to define any of these terms or ideas or relationships. Heck, some of us are even seeking out friendship contracts to extract formal definitions and expectations.

But the label and nomenclature that you use is really unimportant. Rather it is the feeling that comes from these relationships that makes the difference. And to me, that difference is flove.

I save this expression for only my dearest of friends—those who have stood the test of loyalty, laughter and longevity. These are the women for whom I have only the deepest affection. I want for them, as I want for myself—truly and always. I seek out their guidance and perspective just as often for important, as for mundane matters. And I’m just as likely to seek out their shoulders for my troubles and my accomplishments—they are there for both.

But I think the biggest reason that I flove them is because they allow me to be completely honest and open with them about who I am, yes some pretty nasty warts and all … and they still care. Hence, it is the intimacy, sharing and support that leads to friendship love.

Save Your Flove for the Special Few
Some say (a little too perkily in my opinion) that “everyone is a friend.” Maya Angelou—with whom I agree about almost everything—said that most people we know are really just hovering at different depths of acquaintances.

And this is what I think too. That except for a very special 3 to 5 people, most people that I know and call friends are really just acquaintances—some really, really good acquaintances, but acquaintances none the less. To earn the title of “friend” from me—and for me from you (it is a two-way street after all)—we need to flove each other (share, support, care, be available).

Now, don’t get me wrong—there are definitely some people whom I flove but sorta don’t see very much. These are the longtime friends whom I’ve moved on from, but our history is such that I still care greatly. And there are people whom I have a blast with who I don’t yet flove—they are great candidates for this affection, but we haven’t gotten to that level as of yet.

And I’m sure there are some gals whom I consider extremely close friends, who just think me “special,” and honestly, have other friends in their own “flove” category which currently doesn’t have any vacancies.

And none of that really matters. What does matter is that when you find a really great, warm, supportive, open, fun, honest and secure woman willing and able to be a great friend, snap her up, and give her a big dose of your flove. :)

*     *     *

So what do you think, is the idea of Flove silly, or something that we should all strive to embrace? We'd love to hear from you.

Now That I’ve Moved, I Want Some New Furniture and New Friends

By Leah Campbell

Wouldn’t life be amazing if we could pack all our very best girlfriends away in a box and take them with us wherever we went? Not with any intention of keeping them in that box long-term, of course, but solely for the purpose of ensuring that no matter where we were—our best friends would be close behind.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work that way. As a girl who has embarked upon several big, solo moves in her life—I can tell you that it is always hard to say “goodbye” to the friends you leave behind. And perhaps even harder to find women who can step into those same shoes in your new location.

It’s not like you lose your old friends. They are always there, in the periphery, available for phone chats and e-mail conversations. The friendship is still strong, but you’re out that physical presence you used to rely on. And it doesn’t take long to realize you actually really enjoyed having friends you could meet up with for a drink or night out on the town.

Finding new furniture is the easy part. Finding new friends takes work.

Get Bold
The older we get, the more difficult it seems to become to make new friends. People get so wrapped up in their lives, be it child rearing or dream career chasing, that they stop making as much time for new people and interactions. Which is why making new friends in a new city requires you to be bold; to be willing to interrupt the lives of others in your quest for new connections.

What does that mean, exactly? Well, it means not being afraid of going out of your way to introduce yourself to someone who seems like they would be exactly your type of friend. And it means being willing to extend invitations, sometimes even after being rejected. Obviously, paying attention to social cues is important. But so is remembering that people are busy, and that just because a new potential friend doesn’t accept your first invitation, doesn’t mean she might not be interested the next time an opportunity arises.

Get Introspective
Now is the time to evaluate what kind of friend you are, and how you can be an even better friend. What we put out into the world is absolutely reflective of what we bring back into our own spheres. Which means that if you want to start attracting good friends, you need to be a good friend in return; the type of person with whom people will want to spend their time.

Too often, we are all guilty of becoming so self-involved that we fail to see the needs of others around us. Insecurities and loneliness can cause people to succumb to gossip or negativity, creating an overall toxic presence. That isn’t always intentional, and for some it can be difficult to find the balance between being authentic and being a positive influence. But people generally want to spend time with those who are uplifting to be around. So think about the way you represent yourself to new potential friends, and about how you can be a good friend to them first.

Get Active
You won’t make new friends sitting alone in your living room. If you really want to start making those connections, you have to get out into the world, associating yourself with the kind of people you might want to spend your time with. Perhaps that means joining a local club that piques your interest, or signing up to be a part of an intramural athletic team. Anything that gets you out there socializing with like-minded women.

Spend some time thinking about your own interests and the kind of people you want to be around. Then, find ways to get out there. Local Meetup groups can be a great place to start!

Get Online
Forging new relationships online isn’t just for dating anymore; friendships are now being built this way as well. And when you are new to town and feeling unsure of where to even start, what better way to make new friends than by getting online and connecting with other women who are also looking to add to their social circle? can be a great way to meet other women, both in your area and beyond. Women who share your interests and are just as excited about making new friends as you are. There was a time when a lot of women felt uneasy about the idea of seeking friendships out online, but just as with internet dating, the realization that this can be a great way to make connections is starting to take hold.

So dip your toes in and see if there is anyone online who might be looking to fill the role of your new friend. Then, get bold about pursuing that friendship, and introspective about being the best friend you can be.

Before you know it, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a new group of friends just as amazing as your old ones. And while you will likely still always wish you could keep all those women you care about together in one place, the desire to cart that box around with you will no longer be as strong.
After all, you won’t need that safety net anymore when you start making new friends in your new town.

But you will still need a couch for everyone to hang out on when you invite them over for wine!

*    *    *

Have you recently moved to a new city or town? Have some great advice on how you built a new social circle? We'd love to hear from you!

Friendship in your 60’s

By Janis Kupferer

We are living longer and we are living happier. It is true -- research says so. And a large part of the reason for this pleasant phenomenon is our friendships.

Oh How We Age
Per the U.S. Administration on Aging, we are both getting older, on average, and a bit more alone. It seems 85 years is the average life expectancy for women in America; the average American male is expected to live until 83 and some change. That is the good news.

The bad news is that nearly a third (27%) of older folks in the US live alone, a statistic that jumps to 47% within just 10 years or at 75 years of age. Living alone is actually not a trend reserved for the aged; in fact it is one that spans the generations these days, especially with the associated trend for singlehood (a whopping 43% of American adults are single).

For American women the stat is even worse, as nearly 40% of women age 65 or older are widows, a characteristic that has significant ramifications on a person’s life.

But, here is the really interesting thing—as we age, we get happier.

The reason, so say those who study these things and are so much smarter than me, is that happiness is a function of contentment. And contentment comes from more realistic expectations and an acceptance of our lifetime achievements. Apparently it isn’t really that important that we didn’t write a best seller or run 12 marathons.

And given the fact that friendships lead to happiness, I’m going to extrapolate the conclusion that as we age we are happier because we are more content with our friendships, because we have less grand—or more realistic expectations for them.

Whether I am right or wrong (and I’m rarely wrong), the truth still is that we are an old happy bunch!

The Reasons Stay the Same
The other really interesting thing I discovered during my readings this morning is that whether we are 22 or 72, our reasons for needing, wanting and selecting someone as a friend pretty much remain constant throughout our lives.

• We like them (from the playground slide to the “electric slide,” they are fun to be around)
• We deem them “good” (they don’t steal our legos, our boyfriends or our dentures)
• We share similar interest (mortgages, martinis and Manolos—what else is there? )
• And, we develop a true caring for the other (we truly, truly want the best for them)

Likewise is the fact that regardless of age, we are regularly in need of restocking our supply of buddies. Friendships turn over as a direct result of movement in and out of various life events. When you move, you need to find new friends. When you divorce, you need new friends. When you marry, have children, retire, work virtual, become a widow, you need new friends to support your new life.

And while making new friends can be a bit easier in our early years (simply due to proximity to others when in school … and bars), the challenge of finding new friends as an adult spans the decades.

Of course we recommend (the premier friendship networking site), as a great place to meet new women friends, but also echo the advice from author Marla Paul to get out and meet new people by accepting any and all invitations, to become active in your communities by attending functions of any and all sorts, by staying employed (either in a volunteer or W2-producing capacity), and by extending invitations to others.

We like this last tidbit so much that we are going to call it out with an expanded explanation.
Even if you feel as though you have all the friends that you could possibly handle, invite one more person into your fold.

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone has all the friends they need, and would welcome an invite to your walking group or to meet you and your neighbor for coffee. If you are blessed with a solid social circle, look for and include that woman whom you think may be a smidge lonely. It takes absolutely no additional effort on your part to include someone, so include someone. It could honestly make the world of difference in their lives and significantly improve their happiness.

So do it.

Friendship—It Does a Body (and Mind) Good
And speaking of making a difference in lives, did you know that good friendships can have dramatic health benefits for all of us?

Oft repeated in numerous studies, being in the company of good friends helps us to feel less stressed, make healthier decisions (in terms of exercise and diet), keep our memory strong and stave off dementia, and can significantly lengthen our live span, especially after a bout of illness.

Whether from the added support that your friendships deliver, or simply the added laughter they supply, these are health benefits that we can all use as we move into our later years.

So lets all pick up the phone and call a friend and start living longer and happier lives together.

Making New Mom Friends

By Leah Campbell

Your house is a mess, you had an awful day at work, your husband is out of town, and your kids are acting like tiny terrorists. Whom do you call? Well of course, you call on your network of mommy friends.

In fact, nine times out of ten, the best answer here is going to be one of your closest mom friends—preferably one with an understanding husband who will agree to let her come over with a bottle of wine while he stays home with their kids. Because sometimes, what we really need is another woman who understands exactly what we are going through. Someone we can vent to, laugh with, and bounce ideas off of for things like potty training and handling a picky eater.

Your female friendships have always been important to you, but never more so than when you have little ones running around and need that unity of motherhood.

What if you don’t have any mom friends, though? Maybe you are the first in your group of friends to start having kids, or perhaps you’ve recently moved and don’t know anyone nearby. The problem is that unlike college, when you had plenty of time to devote to socializing, making friends after motherhood is much harder. How do you make those connections when your life otherwise seems so ruled by bedtimes and runny noses?

Get Out There
If you want to make some new mom friends, you have to first get out of the house. Mommy and me groups can be a great place to start, and there are usually plenty of options. From music classes to gymnastics, you can find ways to get your kids excited about an activity while also meeting other moms with children who are the same age. Local Meetups are another great idea, and there are often groups dedicated to walking with the kids, hiking, or just starting a book club.

If your kids are a little older, you may want to consider volunteering at the school. This can be a great opportunity for you to meet other like-minded volunteers who have kids in your child’s class.

Take Risks
Meeting other moms is only half the battle. Just as with dating, making new friends requires you to take risks and put yourself out there. You may have to make the first move in asking a potential mom friend to coffee or attempting to organize a play date with your kids. And sometimes, you may have to try more than once in order to facilitate schedules.

This can be scary, and the sad truth is, not every other mom is looking for new friends. So you may find yourself making an effort where no effort is being made in return. But the only way to make new friends is to remember not to take things personally, and to keep trying until you meet someone who seems like they are open to expanding their connections as well.

Dig Deeper
True friendship goes beyond superficial commonalities like having children in the same class. There is an intimacy involved in creating lasting connections that requires you to dig deeper and really open yourself up, while also spending time learning about who this person is as well. That doesn’t happen overnight and it isn’t something you can force. But if you find yourself really enjoying the time you spend talking to another mom at your child’s ballet class, try to make plans outside the class so that you can really get to know each other.

The key is to share pieces of who you are, but to also show a genuine interest in finding out more about her as well. The more we open up to others, the more connected we become. Friendship is a give and take, but it is worth the effort in the long run.

Get Online
Every once in a while, you may find yourself in a situation where making new friends organically just doesn’t seem to be working. Perhaps you live in a small town where options for new friends are limited. Or maybe you are in the midst of some major life changes that make it difficult for you to commit time to getting to know other people outside your home.

No one ever said that great mom friends have to be women you meet at the park. There are so many mom’s online looking for connections and validation that they are not alone in their experiences. From blogs to social networking sites like, there are absolutely connections to be made online. And sometimes, those online friendships can be even stronger than the ones you have forged in real life, because they allow you to seek out and connect with women who share similar experiences to you. For instance, if you are going through a divorce and feel alone in your group of happily married friends, there are certainly women online who can share in your grief and help you to realize that you are not the only mom navigating these newly single waters.

No matter what stage of life you are in, those mom friends can be invaluable to helping you not only celebrate the good times, but also work through the bad. We all need that support from time to time, and women who get us and what we are going through. So start taking some risks and reaching out to other potential mom friends. You may be surprised by how many moms are out there hoping to make a new friend as well!

What’s Your (Friendship) Story?

By Janis Kupferer

We all have a story we tell ourselves as to what our lives should be, and for most of us this story includes a chapter on the many and great friendships we hold. But the truth is, our story and our lives don't always jive. Here is how to get your story and your reality in alignment.

I’m a sampler. My favorite meal is a well-stocked buffet or whatever everyone else at the table ordered for dinner. I like to read the comments before—and sometimes in lieu of—the actually article or book. And previews are my favorite movie.

I also sample learning from thinkers, constantly picking through another’s beliefs and thoughts on how we function in terms of our bodies and minds, individually and collectively (I lean strongly to the belief that we are a collective bunch).

Which is how I happened upon the thoughts and teachings of Mr. Tony Robbins (okay, it isn’t difficult to stumble onto his work).

We all have a story we tell ourselves as to what our lives should be, look like, include and involve. The most common archetype is that we’ll find someone to love, marry, become a parent, enormously enjoy our family and friends, and have a successful and fulfilling career where we make a difference—all while keeping our minds and bodies strong and healthy.

Of course, this is just one story that can be told, and for as many people who roam this planet, there is a unique story they’ve created for themselves, perhaps one that doesn’t include the parenthood aspect, perhaps one that requires a 32-inch waistline, or perhaps one designed to provide a promotion and new car every 3 years.

According to Robbins, these stories that we develop for ourselves become our mantras, they are the goals and aspirations that we set for ourselves, and the yardsticks we used to determine whether we are on course, or needing a bit of an adjustment.

They are also the gauges we use to determine our happiness. For when our lives seem to be in alignment with our stories, all is right in the world. But when the story doesn’t synch with the personal plan, then we have a problem.

The gap between our story and our reality, Robbins explains, creates emotion. The tighter the gap, the happier we are, and the wider the gap, well … it can provide emotions that range from simple stress to full-blown depression.

So What is Your Story?
So, really—what is your story? And what is your story for each of the areas of your life? Which areas are you satisfied in, and which ones aren’t your favorite? Robbins says that we tend to focus on the good areas and not so much on the “less good” areas. For example, if we are killing it in our careers, we might opt to stay late and work more rather than keep our commitment to do the Body Pump class or attend book club … because it is easier.

For the members of and many, many women, one area of our lives that might need some focus is our relationships. Perhaps our marriages or partnerships are sound, but we lack a strong social circle of friends, and according to our “story” we should have well over 200 Facebook friends, at least 5 BFFs on speed dial, and receive a steady supply of invitations throughout the year.

But again for many, this isn’t how it is, and we’ve no idea where to start, and friends are hard to find anyway, and even harder to keep. Women don’t really like us, the time required to foster a friendship just isn’t available because work is too demanding, travel happens too often, there are too many other priorities, etc.

Here is where Mr. Robbins would tell you that you have three choices:

1. You can blame your situation on events outside of your control and never change
(“Everyone already has their own circles of friends, there is no room for me”)

2. You can change your situation
(Give more priority to friendships by actually attending book club, for example)

3. You can change your expectations (aka your “story”)
(Having even one strong female friendship would be wonderful)

A New Plan or New Perspective
I personally love this advice and perspective, and find it applicable to so many areas of my life. As a person who regularly recites the “things are outside of my control” refrain, I find Robbins perspective liberating, especially given that he says simply putting blame on other people and events is actually the equivalent of doing nothing (except giving yourself a short shot of power in the form of anger/frustration). That leaves us with either option 2 or 3 if you actually do want any sort of permanent change. The alternative is to remain in endless stagnation.

Therefore, if you want to add more, better, deeper friendships to your life, than you need to make a plan, a plan that includes either changing your life to accommodate and promote new friendships, or change your story so that “friendship” no longer has a negative connotation and actually fits into your reality.

For example, your new plan might be that you make more of an effort with the friends and acquaintances you do have, or you host a party or girls’ night out, or invite a co-worker to lunch. Additionally, you might sign-up for tennis lessons, or start going to the weekly yoga class regularly and consistently so that you see the same gals week after week (frequency breeds familiarity).

Or, a new adaptation of your “friendship” story may have you simply appreciating the strong relationships that you do currently have, realizing that your career is a bit demanding right now, and that you’ll do a better job of finding companionship with your neighbors and co-workers. And perhaps, that quality friendships and true feelings of connection don’t come from hundreds of Facebook connections, but from time spent with the ladies with whom you do share a bond, and that you can in fact be a “good friend” and be “successful with friendships” without having a designated “BFF” or an annual girls’ weekend.

* * *

To sum it up, if you don’t like your “friendship” story, than change it—either by creating a new plan (which hopefully involves online friendship sites like or relaxing and editing your definition of what “successful friendship” looks and feels like.

Continuing to feel bad about your situation and blaming outside events and conditions (like, “I’m more of a guys’ gal” or “friendships are hard to find as adults”) will get you nowhere and certainly doesn’t get you better friendships.

If you are having trouble building a new story, try this one:

"I really enjoy the women whom I have in my life, and I make my friendships with them a priority. I share and support them as best I can, and cherish the support and caring that I get from them (in whatever form and quantity it is offered). I look for opportunities to include more friends in my life, and realize that over time and with continued effort, I’ll be able to build a strong circle of friends of my own. But for now, I appreciate those whom I do have."

Let us know how it goes.

Try it now!

Enter your ZIP to see a few of the members waiting to connect with you!

Popular Posts