More than 40 local professional women joined VVBW on February 8 at Vista at Arrowhead for a talk on “Navigating Your Friendships,” presented by Dr. Jill Squyres. Dr. Squyres discussed ways to be a great friend who attracts and keeps wonderful people in her life.
According to Dr. Squyres, friendship takes patience, effort and quite a bit of work. As we grow emotionally and our life circumstances change, our circles of friends are likely to change as well. We may outgrow old friendships or realize someone we thought was a good friend is really a “frenemy.” A frenemy is a combination of the terms “friend” and “enemy” and refers to a person with whom one is friendly, despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry. For example, a frenemy congratulations you on your recent marriage, while making snide comments about your spouse.
Dr. Squyres suggests imaging a “friendship house,” with friends relegated to certain rooms. Whenever you build a house you have to start off with a solid foundation. The foundation of your friendship house is constructed of those qualities that you decide must be present for someone to be your friend. For example, the building blocks may include common interests, integrity and respect. Now you determine what you expect from a friend. Is it someone who is supportive and encourages you, or pragmatist who can get your head out of the clouds when you need it? Acquaintances start out in the yard, and can eventually make it to the porch and through the front door. Your closest friends can be in your “kitchen,” the coziest, most popular room in the home. Business friends can be in your “office.”
Your friendship house should reflect your ever-changing needs, values and tastes. Friends who no longer fulfill the minimum expectations of your building blocks may need to leave. Think of the house as a work in progress, with occasional decluttering of toxic frenemies or rooms being added for healthy, fulfilling and supportive relationships.
Learn more about Dr. Squyres at her website – including her blog and link to her TEDx talk on friendships.