Nurturing Friendships 101

Captain’s Log  4,407

Friends.  It’s all about friends.  I am really blessed to have so many.  I learned from a very early age what it takes to build a friendship that means something.  Here’s a list.  I am sticking to a list format today because it seems the best way to say what I want to say without too many flowers or platitudes.  So here we go with some handy-dandy friendship tips.

1.  Keep your word.  Keep your promises.

2.  Don’t toss a friend over the side because something or someone better has come along.

3.  Do not tell your friend what to do.  There are times when advice comes from a place of deep caring, but it is not always received that way.  Unless your friend asks for that advice, keep your mouth shut until you know you have been invited to share your thoughts and ideas.  Unsolicited advice unlevels the playing field.  You come across as superior because you apparently know what’s best.  Don’t do it.  I detest having that done to me.  Most people do.

4. Treat your friend the way you would want to be treated.

5.  Don’t assume.   Don’t do it.

6.  Learn to love the quiet times that aren’t filled with high conversation or activity.  Learn to love the space between those moments.

7.  Support their efforts.  If they wrote a play, go see it.  If they painted a picture, visit the gallery.  If they write a regular column for the newspaper or online, read it. 

8.  Bear witness to their struggles and pain.

9.  Listen.  Do not wait to speak.  Listen.

10.  Release your friends with love if the obstacles outweigh the merits.

There are so many more things to say, but I am back in the work saddle again and time is once again limited.  Woe.  I wish I could have a vacation do-over and get on the plane for Chicago and road trip to Iowa right now.  But alas, life has stepped in and asked for this dance.  Emails and photos have been exchanged, and I was on Skype with Anneke this morning — but it’s not the same.  We aren’t all sitting around enjoying morning coffee in the dew-time of a summer morning.  We are thousands of miles away from each other again, creating snippets of experience that move us along the road.

We hiked down a wooded road in Illinois our last afternoon together.  Each of us was lost in thought as we thought about how far we had come.  More importantly, we pondered how far we can still go.  Cherished friends to walk in step with your dreams and ideas, your struggles and your shortcomings.  I consider myself very blessed.

Off to face the challenges of my life now.  Spending time with my friends brought a lot of things into perspective for me.   

32 Comments

Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

32 responses to “Nurturing Friendships 101

  1. I’ve been away from my computer for 5 days. I truly value your list. It’s hard to say which is most important.

  2. susanna

    Great list Poolie and it is a joy to share the good times you have with your friends through the pictures on your blog.

  3. PS: This black and white template is much easier to read and navigate through. I give it an A+ for drama and readability. YeeeeeeaAAAA…..

  4. One and nine. One holds for all relationships. I so miss my old friends who are scattered to the four corners of the world, but I cherish the ones I have at hand too. So glad you are home too. Have loved your postive comments, and appreciated your presence in our lives.

    G has his costume together. I have not. Shame.

    We went to the Loving Hut last night and found a whole new crew running the place. One waitress said many were students here and went home to make money during the holidays. Let me know what you think.

  5. I love love love love love this. May I place it on my blog?

  6. I just love this list!

  7. joaniebenson

    You’re right, true friendship cannot be bought. And I think you have definitely adhered to all the points you’ve made about friendship and I thank you for that. However, when you bought me that root beer float at Wendy’s, I have to admit, I was bought and paid for. hee hee

  8. I looked at the rules again, and I thought they look like rules for a marriage. I always taught my kids that, before you look for romance, you should seek friendship.

    (I don’t know if they listened.) 8)

  9. Pingback: Poolie’s Sage Words «

  10. Poolie – this is a wonderful list. I’m going to print it out and put it in a prominent place where I can get a refresher course from time to time. I love them all but I particularly, this morning, love #7 – Support their efforts. If someone’s having something – I’m there. Sure wish it were visa versa but what can you do?

    • poolagirl

      As I commented on your journal today….thank you from the bottom of my heart. You know what it means to go the distance. Thank you for that!

  11. Friendship is one of the best things in life, and one of few that grows richer and sweeter with time. Well said, Poolie

  12. There is a lot of good advice in your list. I have been guilty of some of those things and have learned that it doesn’t always work to try to help when the friend isn’t ready to hear the words. Listening is good and “hearing” is even better.

  13. Perhaps it’s the time apart that makes the time together that much more precious.

  14. Family is always family – ones we are given. Friends are those we choose and who choose us – how special!

  15. Penny Tushingham

    Friends are the most valulable asset you have and they can’t be bought with money!
    Pen Pen

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