Friendships: Do You Have Boundaries?
Happy April Fool’s Day!
Because I’m not writing this post on April Fool’s Day, I’m going to bypass the nonsense and write a serious post. I know, what a shock coming from me.
My bible study is currently doing a study on boundaries called Boundaries: When to Say YES, When to Say NO, To Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. THIS IS NOT A RELIGIOUS POST, I’m simply providing context. I thought it might be helpful for you all to understand why this particular topic is on my mind.
Boundaries is a thought provoking study and one I wish I’d read about twenty years ago. For those of you who are Christians and have young adults in your life, I’d highly recommend this book and the accompanying study. But I digress…
We recently discussed the section on friendship and in a group of approximately twenty women it was a lively debate. When I looked back over the years and analyzed my friendships, I realize I’ve become much more selective in choosing and maintaining friendships. When I brought this up to the group, we all (a group of women ranging in age from mid-30’s to mid 50’s) realized the same.
I had a college roommate who was a very close friend. We don’t live near one another and we used to talk on the phone every few months. I used to wonder why I felt so dissatisfied after every conversation, but never gave it much thought until she called my son by the wrong name. I have two children—one boy and one girl—and she couldn’t remember their names? After this lightening bolt moment, I realized the only time she called me was when she had something to brag about—new job, new car, new home, whatever. Other than those times, I was calling her out of a sense of obligation.
I suspect this is when I first began weighing my friendships and cutting off the dead weight. Now that I’m writing, I have to judiciously organize my time so I’m not frittering away the day on people who add nothing to my life when I could be adding words to the page.
Which leads me to a question for our WU readers: How have your friendships changed in the last 20 +/- years? If you’re too young to answer this question, do yourself a favor and read the boundaries book!