Sunday, June 13, 2010

Book Club: Make Time for Friends

Gretchen Rubin writes about friendship in the sixth chapter of The Happiness Project. Her goals around this include:

  • Remember birthdays
  • Be Generous
  • Show up
  • Don't gossip
  • Make three new friends

I know that since my divorce, I have learned much more about the intimacy, love and happiness that we can get from deep and meaningful friendships. Those of us that don't have a "partner," often depend on our friends for that emotional intimacy that we all crave. If we're lucky, we find friends that will love and accept us completely, regardless of our quirks. It's much easier for me to find a friend to love deeply than it is to find a "romantic partner." With a romantic partner, I want sexual chemistry. I also want exclusivity and can feel jealous or hurt if I'm not a priority to a partner. I'm always wondering if marriage is a possibility and when red flags surface I feel we need to break up, even though it can be so hard.

I don't have to worry about most of that with friendships! With friends, I have a much easier time accepting them and not worrying about chemistry or compatibility and I certainly don't think about marriage! I've tried to see potential romantic partners as friends first, but that sexual chemistry just gets in the way!

Gretchen writes:

One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people

One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.

This is so true! People love to see other people happy. When you do something nice for a friend, they're happy. Then you're happy. Then they're happy that you're happy. You're happy they're happy you're happy... You get the picture. Happiness is contagious among friends.

One of the best blogs about friendship I've come across is MWF Seeking BFF (Married White Female Seeking Best Friend Forever) by Rachel Bertsche. It looks like Rachel has her own book coming out in 2012! I'm seeing a theme here... Gretchen Rubin explores happiness, Rachel is exploring friendship, and I'm exploring love. They're all related, but not entirely the same. Perhaps the common thread is the "connectedness" that we all want to feel. As we read in The Happiness Project, there are many things that make us happy, but several of the chapters talk about the happiness we get from people... our spouse, our children, and in this chapter, our friends.

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