A while back, I wrote a post about how hard it is to make friends as an adult. I still stand by that, but I’m glad to have gained more friends as I’ve met other moms at events and even through blogging – whether they’re readers who I’ve met in person, other local bloggers, or local business owners who I’ve worked with. Lately, though, I’ve been thinking more about all of the friendships I already have and I feel determined to nurture them.
This post was actually prompted when I was reading another local blogger’s post on a topic related to motherhood and it totally resonated with me. I wanted to send her a message to tell her that I love how supportive she is of other moms and how she makes me feel normal when I’m doubting myself but I didn’t. Why? Because I was afraid she would think I was weird.
How to nurture the friendships I already have was not something that I had to think very hard about before coming to an easy solution: just tell them. Let these women know how much I admire them, believe in them, rely on them, enjoy their company. It’s such a simple thing, so why don’t I do it more often? I think it’s because I (along with so many other women) am bad at receiving compliments – hearing people tell us they like something we did or think we’re funny or appreciate our help with something is a little uncomfortable because we don’t feel like we’ve done anything special. We’re quick to give compliments about physical appearance when we like a friend’s top or lipstick, but we hold back when it comes to telling them we like something that really matters.
It’s often when we’ve known someone for super long (I’ve got a 20 year anniversary with one of my friends coming up soon) or for not very long at all that we feel most uncomfortable telling them what we like about them – as if they’ll judge us for a compliment (huh?). So I’m writing this post to encourage myself – and anyone who’s reading – to nurture your friendships by telling people how much they mean to you. Not in the “they could be gone tomorrow” doomsday sort of way, but in a way that lets them know you notice the little things and you appreciate what makes them who they are. I’m going to try to do this more (so friends, get ready for some awkward moments where I gush about how fantastic you are) because we really do need more of this in the world today.