Tag Archives: friendship

Lawbreaking Friend vs. Your Ethics

To snitch or not to snitch? That is the update, Shakespeare. Preserving your ethics when friends do break the law.    — BadWitch

P.S. HAPPY VETERAN’S DAY (enjoy this well done and helpful video). Much gratitude to those who served and sacrificed.

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — A friend I love did something illegal I can’t tell you the details of. What do you do if a close lifelong friend does something like this? Do I turn him in? — Shawshanked Heart

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Dear Shawshanked Heart,

Ah, ethics. Yo, Shawshanked, we may be without the details, but I think you know exactly what you must do. I think you’re here for permission to do a hard thing. While it is always about increments and degrees of a thing’s severity, truth and sticking to your own ethics and values don’t shift. Speak up and separate his crime from yours of being a silent accessory after the fact. If you are so bothered by the bad behvior(s) of a loved one, I think you owe it to yourself and him to do the right thing…the one in your heart. Not saying it’s easy. They call it “tough love” for a reason. Sometimes truth telling is hardest for the truth sayer to do, when a loved one is involved. You already feel what you know you should do – now give yourself the courage to do that thing that represents your own best self.

Here are two very different yet related questions you might want to review.

Good luck,

BadWitch

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Dear Shawshanked Heart,

Wow. This is a very heavy issue and without knowing the severity of the crime, whether someone was hurt by these actions, it is very hard to answer this question. This is firmly somewhere in the middle of some deep gray areas.

If the issue is your conscience AND no one was hurt in the making of this criminal action, then one must wonder whether saying anything is for the defense of your own moral high ground and/or revenge. Did your friend brag or pour a guilty heart in front of you? Was this information shared as a deep bonding moment of deepest secrets? Would you respect yourself if you broke a confidence and broke someone else’s heart by telling what you know? Sometimes the moral high ground is not really very high if you have to betray and hurt others to take it.

On the other hand, if your friend did something in which other people were hurt then it becomes a whole different story. You wonder how many people VanderSloot bragged to who never mentioned a thing to the authorities, despite the fact that a girl is missing and her family continues to mourn and search for her.

In a case such as this, with victims, it may be necessary to move beyond weighing your loyalty to a friend and responsibility to the larger community. If you think there is any chance that this illegal act might happen again, you will need to step forward before anyone else is hurt.

Whatever the specific details, just be sure you are not stepping in to take over someone else’s karmic lessons [link: Whatever the specific details, just be sure you are not stepping in to take over someone else’s karmic lessons — either by telling because he has to pay for minor sins or not telling when others may be put in harms way. I appreciate how and why you wrote to us looking for input, but really, you must judge what is right for your own soul. Will you harbor guilt (a depleting emotions) because you said nothing? Can you live with yourself if this person commits this act again?

Pray over this answer because you will be affecting your friendship and his life. Felons don’t just pop back into society with ease. Jobs are barred. Housing is barred. In the end, just make sure you are doing the right thing in your heart for the right reasons.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Image: Avada Kedavra

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Trust (GW)

It is almost impossible to trust any human completely unless you have learned to trust yourself. And self-trust is an uphill struggle on a greased slip and slide for many of us. Trust in one’s own judgment. Trust in our own abilities and trust in our own vision. Tricky.

Map your life. Where have you been? What were he critical junctures? Remind yourself of the critical decisions you got right. The ability you have shown. The determination to survive you’ve demonstrated. The people you have loved who love you. Apparently, you did some things right. Yes, there may have been mistakes, but that is what makes you human. Divinely human. “Don’t be upset, it’s just a milkshake.”

Trust is built on history—a history of recognized decision-making, adapting, living and loving to the best of your ability. Making decisions for your best interest and the best interest of those you love. Map your history and learn to trust. Namaste — GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Trust (BW)

What is trust? Why trust? And why is it so hard for some people to do it? Trust, like all other deep ways of being in life, is informed and imprinted early on. A gallon of nurture beaten into an ounce of nature. Add salt to taste. Let stand 9-12 years. Serve frozen or warm. It’s hard to be trusting if you were abused or abandoned (in their many forms) as a child — but not impossible. It just takes realization, information, and consistent will to make this change for the better. But you have to want to learn to trust. I’ve often been stumped by some people’s seeming inability to adjust (at their own pace) their thinking and attitude when it is revealed later that their trust was warranted, after all. And it is this latter bit that I see as people keeping themselves down (in relationships of all kinds, by life circumstances attracted) because a relentless inability (or distrust) to learn to be more open and trusting when warranted evolves into a cynicism (worse than just jaded) that is hardened to expect less of life and for one’s self.

Learning to appropriately trust when it’s earned leads to better relationships and a more expansive life. Trust is possibilities. Possibilities are freedom. Freedom is a responsibility that must be consistently tended.

Is trusting easy or difficult for you to do? What life situations do you find yourself less trusting than others? What small steps (or tips) can you take towards becoming more open more often? — BadWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Dating Chat, Scared Bambi

When easy peasy natural chat reveals attraction and real date interest, deer in headlights syndrome can ensue. Dimming those high beams and safely crossing the road to fun.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — This is a dating question I think. When I meet new guys, I’m really relaxed and friendly and they ask me out because I’m pretty. My problem is I freeze up with the ones I really like when I realize its now a date kind of thing, and not just a chat up about nothing. Giveme some advice on how to relax and not change myself when I’m dating and not just being friends.Dating Doe

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Dear Dating Doe,

I think you’re onto something subconsciously because I’m not sure this is strictly a dating question, either. Do you feel like you have performance anxiety around other situations you assign importance to, like presentations or public speaking, or maybe tests if you’re still in school? Don’t just blow it off with an easy ‘no’ because your mind is primarily on the dating. Think about it and look for any patterns you may have.

When and if you do identify that you place more value over some situations than similar but less formal others (i.e, you are an A or B student at a subject but test at B- or C level frequently), then you could benefit from learning to let go of perfectionism and start practicing going with the flow and even — gulp! — “failing” a few times. Get the feel for Nike-ing it more often in life, and release yourself from the pressure of reacting like you have to turn in opening night-level Broadway performances all the time. Don’t stall (or reject) yourself when you realize you’re standing in the starting gate. If you feel you are likable and fun when you’re not trying to impress a guy, then try not impressing the next few, and pretend you’re chatting up an old familiar friend. This works equally well for tests, work presentations and public speaking, but you have to practice being yourself. To be comfortable in your own skin, you have to understand before you can own who you are.

Buddha say Relax,

BadWitch

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Dear Dating Doe,

OMG! That’s so cute!

OK, I totally get it, but why is it you know you are pretty, have a good rapport with guys in general and freak when you like them. Why would you suddenly decide you need to change who you are or act differently just to be liked? Here’s the deal, when you are just feeling friends with a guy you have no issues, right? You feel like you can be yourself and comfortable, because the balance of power feels even.

Now, then you decide you like a guy, seem to shift all the power over to him and then freak yourself out trying to be the kind of girl he will like. WHAT? He already likes you cause you were that cute, confident girls. Be yourself. That is what will attract him to you. But more importantly, take some time to check him out. Does he have what it takes to hang with you? Does he appreciate your sense of humor (key), your quirkiness and your goofy side? Realize that he must. If your relationship is going to make it past the first couple of dates, you have to be honestly yourself with him.

Take a deep breath. Realize he may not be the one, but he has a lot to teach you about being you in relationships. Decide to trust yourself enough to know you have an infinite amount of appeal by just being you. Then make the decision to trust him with seeing the whole you. That is the scary part. You must trust that this guy will see you and remain a gentleman. You must trust that he will not make you feel bad about who you are. But you know what? Even if he does, you are blessed! Because now you know this dude isn’t worth the time of day. You can kick him to the curb and keep rolling.

You have much to offer and by your question, I say at least part of you knows that. Let that part lead in this new world. Challenge yourself to show up for yourself like never before. Let yourself by seen so you can finally feel like you are a fully known quantity in a relationship. It will be freeing. It will be magnificent. It will be you, showing up as you for you.

Mantra: I’m good enough. I’m smart enough and I am awesome just as I am. I will be me for me, so that I can feel comfortable and seen in all my relationships. I will not hide to be liked. I am liked because I am free to be me.

Deep breath. Remember you rock. Now go,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Booster Shot: Team Building Fun

Not all team building activities need be forced, formal or make eyes roll. Having fun in the office together builds healthy bonding and productivity.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — What can I do to boost the morale of my team? I’m a supervisor who’s more hands-on with face time than our department manager who travels a lot and I know I can have her blessing if I present solid ideas. We actually have a pretty strong rapport but I want to keep them happy and engaged. Do you have any non-monetary ideas for a busy professional but not corporate environment.Booster Shot

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Dear Booster Shot,

I take your question seriously, but I think it’s cute. Make sure you do this more for your team’s morale than your own popularity and/or advancement, and whatever you do will be a sure-fire winner. The main suggestion I have for you is to put yourself in your team’s collective shoes and think like it does on most days. You know better than me what your professional environment is like and will/can tolerate, and more importantly…could use more of. So I say: make it fun, make it low-key and don’t over-think the thing — the more natural and spontaneous, the better. We used to improvise water bottle bowling with a random Nerf ball. We threw up a tape of something or other, spanning between a cubicle wall and the actual wall and limboed under it (be careful; those of us who participated were fit and not litigiously minded). Another of my offices consisted of several music lovers, so maybe something around a music trivia game would have been fun. Whatever we did, we did spontaneously, had a blast, and I never had to actually tell people (who only participated if they needed and wanted to) to get back to work, which they did willingly, refreshed, refocused and more productively than ever. After all that some people will need to hear this: yes, we booked multi-million dollars of business in this atmosphere. Occasional informal communal silliness can be a breath of fresh air especially in an office with windows that don’t open!

Group “hug,”

BadWitch

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Dear Booster Shot,

I love where your head is at! In this economy some managers completely forget the importance of boosting team morale for best product output. You have no idea how many people I’ve heard from who complain about bosses and managers threatening them, rather than inspiring best work.  Kudos to you!

OK, that said, answering your question, your attitude and wanting a warm, cooperative work environment has already gone a long way towards creating that environment. People can feel whether a manager is invested and willing to give back or not. Your willingness helps foster willingness in your employees.

Now, to keep that moving without capital investment, ask for feedback. Creative juice meetings designed for feedback on current projects or upcoming projects will help your staff to feel like valued members of the team. There is nothing worse than feeling like another meaningless cog in the wheel. When asked to participate with ideas and input on company projects, staff feel needed and important members of the team with something to offer. That is the best way to keep them invested.

Also, strangely enough food works wonders for making folks feel appreciated. I know, you want a no financial investment idea, but I gotta tell you, Friday morning bagels are a cost effective way to say, “You are appreciated.” It’s not something you need to do regularly, just a once in a while, “thanks for working so hard” gesture. And, further surprise, you’ll get much office gratitude for the food and the appreciation.

You know Booster Shot, I just have to say, you are doing a great job. Keep up the good work! (Felt good, right? Well, I meant it. Now pass that sentiment on to staff in the moment when they deserve it. They’ll feel it too.)

Mantra: My attitude affects work from the top down. If I am invested, appreciative and supportive of my staff, I inspire my staff to be invested, appreciative and supportive of  the team and our work environment.

Great job,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Cheating Boyfriend, Third Wheel Jealousy

This is IT. GWBW is taking a break all August. Please RSS or EM subscribe now. SEE YOU BACK HERE MON, SEPT 13 — that’s a new date.

Not all coffee and emails are created equally. How to tell if you’re a wronged third wheel or worrying needlessly.      — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Do you two consider coffee and emailing an ex- cheating on a current? My partner says I have nothing to worry about, but an ex- found him at a social and they’ve been chatting ever since, and I seriously think they met for the coffee they kept talking about. I’m trying not to be jealous but he complained about me to this guy! WTF? Third Wheel

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Dear Third Wheel,

If both of you are under the impression you’re in a committed exclusive relationship at the same time, I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to know, and if your partner treats you as an equal, then you shouldn’t be left out of (the understanding about) this supposedly innocent coffee. I think your instincts are right about the complaining, unless he’s a total gossip (and maybe he is) — why is he seeing this person he’s supposedly done with and whom he still has complaints? Something sounds cheesy in Danish land. Danger, Will Robinson!

Ask and don’t worry about sounding jealous. Being reasonable is being responsible to yourself, Wheelie.

No lumps,

BadWitch

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Dear Third Wheel,

Don’t put yourself in the outsider looking in position. You are the current and the ex is the ex. First and foremost keep your positioning straight in your head. This is not the time to come off like the jealous mate who’s ready to assume the position of second fiddle. First and foremost believe in you and that no one has the ability to take away what is yours. Remember, if it flies away of its own accord, you can do better.

Now, it could be that the ex is just moving into the realm of friend. I currently have two exes on my Facebook. Of course, there are other exes who did not get friended—despite the messages—because, well, the vibe was not right. Before you hit freak-out that there is an ex on the screen, make sure the vibe has actually crossed into something beyond friendship. Coffee does not necessarily mean the line has been crossed.

Now, how do you know you’ve been complained about? I mean, was this some kind of public wall post (which would have its own comments regarding propriety)? Or have you been peeking in message folders and email? Be sure before you defend reasonable boundaries of your relationship, you are respecting reasonable boundaries of privacy. That being said, I guess I wonder at what was said. Is it a light jab at your cooking or actual complaints about deal breaking issues that are better left out of convos with exes? Either way, if you are uncomfortable with your relationship particulars being on the table for conversation, tell your partner. Honest communication will do best. Of course, if there is some illegal search and seizure involved in the acquisition of this information, be prepared to deal with the backlash.

All I can suggest is honest communication. Speak up where you feel uncomfortable. Ask for what you want. But remember, if you are doing some jealous shrew act rather than the trusting and trustworthy (to not invade privacy) partner, you have more issues to discuss.

If you feel uncomfortable, ask. Ask about the relationship. Ask about the new found friendship, what broke them up and what feels good about friending this person now. Don’t ask like a jealous partner. Ask like an interested partner. “I noticed you friended…” Let your partner know that you are interested by who is let into the Facebook inner circle and why.

I know why my exes are there. One is funny as hell and his day-to-day is more interesting then most peoples super happy incredible moments. The other is brilliant, seriously. He rarely posts but each one makes you think. My guess, is your partner knows why this person is back on the wallposts. Don’t fret in silence. Ask for the whys.

Fret less, know more,

GoodWitch

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Image: Third Wheel

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.


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Social Networking Today Without Yesterday’s Baggage

Whether you’re hoping to bump into old acquaintances on a pleasure or business trip on the good new Social Network, pack lightly. Avoiding dragging baggage from old Planet Paartay! forward when reaching out to now-successful classmates.  — BadWitch

P.S. We’ll be gone all August. Please RSS or EM subscribe now (options, look >>) so you don’t miss our homecoming!

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I’ve changed drastically since college. I really feel together and hitting my stride now as an adult. Recently I saw an ex-classmate’s book published (she already had one on the New York Times best sellers list) and tried to reach out to her at LinkedIn and then later at Facebook. She hasn’t responded to me, and I know it’s crazy but am actually worried she still thinks of me as the old college party girl I used to be when nothing could be farther from the truth. I’m not broken up and taking it personally, I just want to reach out to a successful colleague. Any suggestions?  — Upgraded

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Dear Upgraded,

Facebook and LinkedIn are very different animals that require different tones for success as tools. It’s Monday, so I’m addressing the professional network, LinkedIn. Above the ones you’ve already taken, the next logical steps are obvious to me, try further reaching out to her via her publisher or PR agent’s contacts. If you do so, state your reach-out business clearly and succinctly (e.g., “In updating my profiles, I saw your name (congratulations on your recent publishing success) and realized how mutually beneficial reconnecting could be for us…”), just as efficiently, sum up why/what makes you of interest to her today. Why should she care about you? Stand behind it, send it, then stop. No need to look like you’re stalking her. Girl, have you realized maybe she’s just busy?

Because of this, sounds to me like you’d benefit from truly examining why you are personally so keen to reconnect with her. Is it simple success-by-association, maybe you want to kiss her butt or even have this successful woman see and recognize your triumphant evolution to kiss yours. Be truthful with yourself.

Giving closure to unfinished business only helps us move forward more robustly. When we reach back to connect with people, it’s helpful (more for some of us than others) to acknowledge and appreciate developmentally where we left off with them (and get real — this is the only point of reference they have to identify us with — unless we were famously or infamously more recently publicized in some way they would be privy to) and the Maybe reasons this particular person’s opinion of our successes are important to us today. What did she symbolize for you — have you fulfilled or given that quality to yourself yet? Can you give closure (through full acceptance) to your old party ways and that you needed them to become more fully who you are today?

Link yourself in first, classmate,

BadWitch

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Dear Upgraded,

Well, your ex-classmate is clearly an idiot. Social media is an excellent way to build fan base and buzz about your books. I would think the smart thing to do would be to accept all friend requests. Also, if this person cannot think that perhaps you have changed since college, as most of us do, she is either very good at carrying a grudge or stuck in the past.

For you, I would not stay stuck in the idea of whether or not she approves of you. I understand wanting to reach out to a successful friend, but if that friend does not offer a hand in return—is it truly a friend? Or a ghost of associations past.

Leave your friend request out there. She may yet respond and friend you. In the mean time, go on. Continue toward your own success. Friend requests can linger for a year before someone responds.

I would suggest some energetic work to try and bring your picture and her’s up to present time. Imagine a sphere about 20 inches away from you (think outside your personal space). This sphere represents your relationship with this woman. See the two of you as adults in the space talking across a table. Drop a grounding chord from this sphere to the center of the earth. This will bring the energetic space between how the two of you see each other. Fill the space with a pink light with gold flecks. This is the energy of compassion. It will help you both with understanding.

For you, let go of any unforgiveness or shame you are holding against yourself. Being a party girl in college is to be expected. You learned and walked your path of life. The experiences you have experienced have made you the person you are. I get that whatever self-disrespect is minor in your case, but the fact that this non-friending gets under your skin, says some shame remains. You are perfect and you always were. Any appearances of your being anything other than the person you were suppose to be to learn the lessons you were meant to learn at each and every stage of your life, is a lie. You have always been and will always be perfectly you.

Chose new lessons to learn. Clear old the old shame. Bring yourself and your relationships into present time and watch your life and relationships settle, balance and bloom.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.


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Payback. Late Personal Loan Embarrassing

Times are…weird. It’s hard enough if you have challenge paying your bills, but for the proud to ask for money is just about a killer. Late payback could be the last shovelful.     — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Money’s tight so I borrowed some from an old buddy. I HATE to have to ask anyone for anything. I told him I’d pay him by the end of this month but now that’s just not going to happen. What’s the best way to tell him? — Skinny Wallet

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Dear Skinny Wallet,

The opposite of how you asked him for the money in the first place, “with love.” Gather your thoughts, tell the guy straight up and immediately if you value your friendship. Manage his expectations and keep the mutual respect by working out with him and committing to your realistic new payment schedule. If he isn’t hurting too badly for money himself, he sounds like a good friend you could (and did ) rely on. If he can afford your loan but you still feel bad about the late payback, add interest if you haven’t already. Getting things in writing will keep things clearest and cleanest of all. If handled right, this sort of shared experience could possibly bring you closer.

On the other side of the same coin is the old adage, neither a lender or borrower be, and loans between friends have a lot of friendship demolition potential. Make sure you both handle your business (individually and together) professionally and responsibly as possible.

Payback doesn’t have to be a b*tch,

BadWitch

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Dear Skinny Wallet,

Here’s another, I been there moment. Remember, the truth will set you free. But before you start crying about your money problems, take a moment, sit down and make an honest to God, true budget. Know how much money you are really working with after the money comes in, then ebbs out in the I-have-to-pay-this-or-they’re-going-to-cut-me-off bills.

Now, figure out how much you can pay your friend. Don’t expect a big check to come in, just expect that much like the credit card company and the electric bill, you’re going to have to pay monthly installments for a while. The truth is, your friend will be glad to see a consistent effort to pay what your owe, rather than the grand gesture of the big check all at once.

Now, once you know what you can pay and when, this friend pay-back bill must be treated like a they’re-going-to-cut-me-off-if-I-don’t-pay bill, because the truth is, your friend just might. So, figure out your installment plan. List the schedule of payments on your refrigerator, bulletin board—whatever—just make those payments on time.

Now call your friend. No need for a whole lotta sob story. Their feeling sorry for you makes you weak in their eyes (on some level). Be strong. Clearly state, “I overextended myself and thought I’d be able to pay you back at the end of this month, but I’m seeing that I’m just getting caught up from being behind. I have worked out a budget and payment schedule that I think will work.”

From there you two can have a real conversation about your friend’s needs on getting repaid and you ability to repay within a certain timeframe. You’ll feel better about approaching the situation head on and not needing to send you or your friend into some downward spiral of guilt and depression to get the job done.

I know the skinny wallet syndrome. Hold tight. Manage your budget and be sure to budget in a little $$ for savings. Even $10 or $20 a week will make a huge difference in your feelings of self-esteem. Once you have a cushion behind you and you know how to work with what you’ve really got (budget), you can start to make headway to a place where you don’t find yourself up against the wall and borrowing from friends.

A better day is coming. For real.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.

Girlfriends Midlife Network

Friends. Can’t live with them, don’t want to live without them. When your life charges ahead and you leave some behind, how do you find new ones that fit today? One size rarely fits all.     — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — How do you make friends in your 40’s? I am finding that sometimes old friends aren’t the best friends anymore (interests change, people move, get broken down by life, get absorbed in something else). I haven’t been great at continually adding to my network. How can I do this at my age and as a busy mom (I have mom friends, but I’d like my own too). — Midway Girlfriend

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Dear Midway Girlfriend,

I totally getcha, Midway Girlfriend! Friendships are important to our happiness and health. If we’re lucky enough to see another cycle/stage of life, finding and making new friends can be a new challenge for some of us. Determine what sort of girlfriend you are. The best thing about making an effort to expand your social circle at this point in your life is that you have already tried a lot of relationships that didn’t work for you. Check! So no need to waste reaching out and hanging out with people you, eh, just sort of care about. That sounds quite clinical but as I can’t see how I’m wrong on this point, follow me…

I believe there is nothing more complex and nuanced than being a woman, but here I’m going to distill us down to the 2 Basic Girlfriend Types.

Group Huggers: Markers – These sisterly women enjoy the sorority of bonding and activities and the stress in effort in order to be social, of planning. And at bottom, the most identifying character of this species is the desire to belong to groups (often by interest type). Temperament – Some Group Huggers say they are comfortable alone, but really, most of them enjoy the feeling of belonging to something, and prefer the company of others — even if on the cellie while performing other functions (e.g., grocery shopping, driving, waiting for their order at Starbuck’s). There are so many opportunities for this Girlfriend Type to gather with likeminded girlfriends, and our society sanctions such gal pal bonding through its movie messages and propagation of Girl’s Night Out, girls days, etc. Ideas – Find new girlfriends if you are a Group Hugger by simply finding the group(s) that appeal to your interests, hobbies, and lifestyle. Try the gym, learn to knit, start a reading group or money/investment club, yoga or other physical activity, and if you are a competitive GH, try joining a team sport/league.

Solo Sammies: Markers – These often single-minded go-getters, or shy and interior women enjoy sisterhood best when sharing and exchanging ideas and activities that support this (e.g., coffee, cocktails), and the less planning the better and goes a long way with this Type towards feeling more legitimate and sincere (although impromptu get togethers often fall through, too). The SS very often is in a rush and if only to get to a home base to read or other activity…alone. What many SS focus on can be considered goal-oriented, i.e., children or work projects of improvements. Temperament – This BG Type’s bottom line characteristic is their sliding scale and avoidance of too much intimacy, aka to them as “clinginess.” The flip side of this coin is that it makes making the effort to bond more challenging. Ideas – Find and develop new girlfriends in many of the same ways/places as I suggest for the GH, but focus on the one-on-one chats, relationship building for more social satisfaction. Try this trick from my 5th grade days: choose and commit to a joint project with a new (or deepening) friend, and make sure it has elements that are to be passed back and forth to completion. Whether cooking, writing, or a community improvement project, you can satisfy your efficiency need to kill two birds with one stone.

Above all, as in “learning” anything new, practice makes perfect.

Go, girl(friend),

BadWitch

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Dear Midway Girlfriend,

Making friends in your 40’s is about getting back out in the world—but in a way that really suits you NOW.

I just started making new friends after 3 years of self-imposed hibernation. After my last romantic failure, which was quickly followed by full friendship critical arrest (why do people take sides when they really have no clue what’s going on in someone else’s relationship?), I decided that PERHAPS, I needed to sort myself out before I jumped into more dysfunctional relationships. Good thing too!

Here’s what I learned:

1. I no longer want or expect to meet best friends in a bar or nightclub scene. In fact, the lack of discussion in these environments means the only time to go is with folks you REALLY want to hang with. There will be no long lasting relationships formed from meetings here, most likely.  Not the place to go looking for friends or relationships.

2. Follow my interests. I really dig archery. Always have. Now, I’m beginning to meet other people who are into archery and you know what—we have something in common. We enjoy talking o each other and telling stories about places to shoot, clubs and worst shots on target ever taken. I genuinely enjoy and get excited when I get to hang with these people…and you know what, I think the feeling is mutual.

3. Do not expect to make deep, bonded, I’ll tell you everything friendships without some serious track record of time. Why? We’re in our 40’s. We don’t trust these folks who just walk into our lives saying, “I wanna be your friend.” We need time to develop a friendship. In other words, be open and available but too much information too soon can break a good friendship before it’s built a solid foundation. Go slow. No need for desperation.

4. Join groups and clubs that are doing fun activities that will get you out of the house. Whether it’s through meetup.com or evenetsandadventures, whatever, get out of the house and out of your rut and see what life has to offer. Maybe there’s a cruise on the Bay or a hiking trip. Doesn’t matter. If the activity sounds fun to you, go check it out. It opens up the possibilities of the world (and friendships) for you. Not to mention, harkens back to #2.

I wish you luck. Personally, I’m in the same boat. But I am nurturing some lovely new relationships and helping the healthy older relationships to grow. You have a lot to offer a friendship and the world has a lot to offer you.

Decide to take a bite out of life.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.

High School Reunion: The Potentially Non-Musical

After stepping off the graduation stage, whether goth, jock or class clown, one thing’s for sure: most of us get to live a lot more life. Comparing ambition, failure, success…or cutting this class, too.    — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — My 20th high school reunion is coming up and I’m worrying about going. I haven’t done anything, nothing’s changed for me, and I know all these people will be far along and successful. I guess my only problem is I was very popular back in the day, and really want to go party and just see some old friends just for the hell of it. Do you think it’s worth it? — Ex-King of the Hill

==

Dear Ex-King of the Hill,

Darlin’, the only concern I have for you and yours are that each of the reunions tend to reflect where we are as a group in broad, general developmental ways — and the 20 is all about showboating. You seem like a pretty confident guy back in the day, and now for simply stating that you “really want to go and just see some old friends for the hell of it.” So beyond having answered your own question, here are the two cents you asked for.

High school elicits such a range of emotion and associations for us all, but brush aside that fairy dust (or old dusty crap, in others’ cases) and just go and add another today chapter to the tome that is the Book of Your Life. Hell, whether shunned outsider or Prom King, if anyone is remotely interested in going and seeing what some of their old friends have gotten up to over the years, has enough cash-ola to put their money where their inquiring mind is, they should go to at least one high school reunion. This ritual is like a social Rorschach test that shines some light on how far — or whether, if — we’ve become comfortable in our own skin. That self-knowledge: priceless.

So I say stretch and warm up, go and rediscover your friends as they are today, reintroduce them to the new old you, and make yourself sore the next day from dancing or belly laughing way too much.

Graduating,

BadWitch

==

Dear Ex-King of the Hill,

Wow, are you still comparing yourself to the high school hero? When you say you haven’t done anything, I wonder at how much you are either undervaluing the life you have created for yourself or measuring success by standards that really don’t compute for the average human being. The high school hero can be a crippling archetype for post-high school life. Time to take stock of your life—now—as it really is.

Have you been employed, have a job, family or significant partner? Have you made friends? Have you had times over the last years that have made you smile to remember? Then you have lived since high school. Stands of people may not be chanting your name or doing everything you say or do like nice little toadies. People may not dress like you or name you the guy to date, but in the real world, you are making a living and making a life—even if no one but you chants your name.

Reuniting with friends isn’t about some Romy & Michele “I invented post-it-notes” moment. It is about reconnecting with the people you cared about. It’s about remembering the good times of the past. It may be just the thing to get you revved up again. After all, if you think your life thus far amounts to “nothing,” you may very well need a pep rally with a cocktail.

Remember, the sum of your life is what you think it is worth. If some other humans love you, realize that is an accomplishment worth noting. If you have learned a trade, you have grown as a person. Start a gratitude list that reviews the last few years of your life. Then remember every day is a new opportunity to make things happen. Investigate going back to school or a better job if that’s what you want. Start exercising because the endorphins released will start you on the road to feeling like a new man.

Remember that you are the only person in the world who does it like you do. You are special. You are one of a kind. Then write yourself notes that you can see on the refrigerator, the bathroom mirror, the car dash board that remind you of the things you like about you. “I have a great smile.” “I’m a good driver.” Whatever. The more you can remind yourself that you are worthy, the more you are living.

So, keep telling yourself what you like about you and your life. Get a good walk or jog in a few times a week and get ready to see some old friends. No one is better than you because they are doctors, lawyers or business owners. Doctors go bankrupt under heavy tuition debt. Lawyers are underemployed and unemployed. Business owners lose their businesses. Life doesn’t start because you have a title. It’s the life part that matters. Take stock of yours and be glad. You are alive.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.


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