Develop Deeper Friendships: Any Reason Works
By Donna Doyon
I don't know about you, but every so often I feel the need to hang out with friends so that I can just laugh, relax, and catch up on events that don't impact me directly. I had such a night last night... and it was great! But until a little over a year ago, I didn't have friends to call on for a "ladies night out."
That changed over a year ago when I invited 6 or 7 women from various Toastmasters clubs to start a 'mastermind' group.
Our original goal was to explore our creativity and entrepreneural goals. We had our first meetings and quickly learned that we were more interested and attuned to the social aspects of gathering rather than the strategic. At first that bothered me... You see I am extremely goal oriented. I don't really know how to have fun unless fun is a means to an end. And, well, at the risk of sounding like a fuddy-duddy... fun for fun's sake just usually isn't that fun for me.
But I digress...
Anyway... after the initial disappointment, I celebrated that I had found this amazing group of friends...
We're all busy so we typically would schedule outings three or four weeks in advance. But circumstances in my life have changed recently. My 17-year-old daughter is now driving and has a job, but she doesn't have her own car. So we have to share two vehicles between three drivers. Her work schedule is posted only a week in advance so that puts any long term planning in the trash.
I hesitated to extend an invitation asking these busy women to join me for dinner and a movie on such short notice, but I thought, "Hey, these are friends. They can say "no" if they are busy. But maybe they are just as anxious for some "girl time" as I am."
So I made calls and sent e-mail notes. Amazingly three of them had no plans for the evening and were as excited as I was to get away from life for a few hours.
It would have been easy to just assume that they were too busy to spend a few hours with me. It would have been easy to just while away the hours playing Freecell solitaire. But I gained so much more (including about 5 pounds from eating fried chicken strips, french fries, and an ice cream sundae) by taking a chance to call them.
For some of you my hesitation to call on friends will seem absurd. But I never had friends outside of work, church, or community groups before. I would see friends in those settings and that was the only time I saw them. I didn't know how to develop friendships that went beyond a purpose.
So whether your friendships are purpose-driven or fun-ship driven... find a reason to call your friends today. Find a reason to spend some time together. Find a reason... any reason will work.