Who are your friends?
Your friends know. You have just gone through the worst experience of your life. Your mind is reeling. Your emotions are numb. Life as you once knew it will never be the same. You. Can’t. Even.
Which friend stepped up? Who made you feel worse? Tried to help but didn’t quite have the words? Who brought you meals? Or took you away from it all? Who surprised you?
Different Seasons, Different Types of Friends
In Friendships Don’t Just Happen: The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of Girlfriends by Shasta Nelson, she discusses different types of friends. We have to have all of them, and we have to be all of them.
Contact Friends: These are the moms we see at the pick up line at school. With most of them, we share limited intimacy, and limited consistency.
Common Friends: At times in the pick up line, we make an effort to see a certain mom and chat daily, so we then become Common Friends by increasing our consistency. Or we could become Common Friends by escaping after drop-off for coffee, which increases our intimacy level.
Confirmed Friends: We all have this friend. She is the one who we may not see for months or years; yet, when we get together it’s like no time has passed. The conversation picks up right where it left off. We experience high intimacy and low consistency.
Community Friends: When you show up once a week at a small group, a play date, an art class, and the same people are there, you experience increased intimacy and consistency. This makes you Community Friends. We often have them at work, but not every co-worker is a Community Friend.
Committed Friends: These are the friends you wouldn’t do life without. We are lucky in a lifetime to have a handful of these friends. We experience the highest intimacy and the highest consistency with our Committed Friends.
In the good times, all of these friends rejoice with you.
What about the bad times?
In the bad times, we don’t expect the Contact Friends or Common Friends to be there for us. If we do, most likely, we will be disappointed. In fact, it should surprise us when they are.
When Contact and Common Friends move closer in consistency and/or intimacy, they move to the next circle.
Confirmed Friends would be there if they are geographically able. There is a reason you don’t see them often and geography is usually one of the reasons.
Community Friends will cover for you at work. They will be there to make sure you are okay. Some will pray and deliver meals.
Committed Friends are the ones we expect to be there when the going gets tough. To ugly cry with us, or at least hide their shock when we do. They will drop what they are doing to be with us. They are our “person.”
Let’s answer the questions at the beginning of the story:
Which friend stepped up? Your Community and Committed Friends.
Who made you feel worse? The Community or Committed Friends who ignored you and your situation.
Tried to help but didn’t quite have the words? Your Common Friend – she’s still getting to know you.
Who brought you meals? Your Community Friends. Food is the fastest, easiest way to help.
Or took you away from it all? Your Confirmed Friend. They show up at the best times!
Who surprised you? Your Common Friend, because she cared enough to show up at all–because she hardly knows you!
Friendship Contest for this week…
It’s pretty important to keep growing friendships so there will always be someone to share your joys and get you through bad seasons. This week’s contest is to build NEW friendships. Which of your friends is in the “Contact Circle?” or the “Common Circle?” Click here and simply TAG your new friend! Both of you will be entered into a drawing to win two $10 Starbucks cards – one for each of you – to go out for coffee on me!