If you want something in your life—significant friendships, so close you feel like the sisters (the one you’re still talking to)—you have to say it, aloud, then make it happen. As promised once upon a friendship ago, here’s my Grab Friendship By The Man Apples Plan:
1. You’ve Already Mastered Frisky. Now, Try On Risky.
Take the chance, call her for plans, even though the two of you haven’t ever hung out alone. “But I don’t want to come off as too needy,” is a phrase you use while dating, not friending. If you were really “that annoying one who won’t let up,” you’d have a relationship with her voicemail, not her, so as long as she picks up now and then, stop stop stop worrying about coming on too strong. *Unless you’re calling me because I never answer my phone (it’s always on vibrate in a big bag, or left at home in a totally random place, like a makeup drawer or in the bar).
2. Use It Or Lose It.
Program more numbers into your cell phone, then call. Forget that you even added the number? Move new contacts into the *favorites* category. Easy access.
3. Three Strikes + Out With You
Live by the 3-strike rule. Invite someone to join you three times. If it’s “no” each and every time, then onto the next. Too often people give up, stop reaching out and doing the asking after two “failed” attempts, where the person is simply busy. On the whole, spend less energy worrying that you’re coming on too strong, and instead worry that you haven’t left yourself open to meet more people to change your life and feed your soul.
4. Of Mice, Men, and Friendship: Best Laid Plans
“Let’s get together” is the air kiss of plans. “Let’s get together sometime next week” is a limp handshake. “What are you doing Tuesday night?” is an untoothy head-bob. So to speak. Be that specific.
5. Things Can’t Go According To Plan Unless You Make Some… Again & Again
Establish a routine. Having a standing Tuesday night happy hour with a specific friend or group is entirely underrated. Because when we do all manage to get our shit together and slurp oysters, we always remark how great it is, how we must do it more often… then nothing comes of it because you don’t commit.
6. If You’re Gonna Be A Lazy Dung, Plop Down Beside Me
TV Night. Oh, how I miss this. Why, if so many of us are obsessed with The Bachelorette (sorry, but it’s true, even if Ashley was annoying as fook), don’t we watch it together, frizzy bun and stained clothes essential?
7. Get Off The Wrong Bus
Some people aren’t worth your precious time and keep you from the direction your life really wants to take. So get off the wrong bus and wait for the next one. Or, better yet, hunt down a taxicab.
8. Use, Don’t Abuse, Your Best Judgment
As I was saying, don’t let time with a friend be a time-suck. But do wait to make that decision until AFTER you’ve gotten to know someone. Pay attention to your body, how do you feel when you leave this person? Do you feel better, less alone (someone else deals with this shilila too!), energized, or do you feel like a championship round of whack-a-mole?
9. Smell The Creed Roses
As I’ve said before, friendship is like perfume. There are different scents for different moods. Light and casual, the sea-swept breezy friend who’s great about telling you which clothes suit your figure, the deep dark troubled friend all patchouli and sandalwood, flirty going out friends, comforting stay-in friends, your hippy granola grass friend, introspective verbena friends, and then you have your classic Coco friends, perfect for any occasion. Sometimes there’s a lot of crossover, but beware of the scents that are too sweet or heady because they’re nauseating after awhile—aka Drama Friends. You know who they are, might be entertaining, but with life being so short and all, why not aim for and, quite frankly, expect more?
10. Know Thyself
Ask yourself what need they’re fulfilling in you. If it’s the clingy friend, intense, ask yourself if it’s her you like or just the feeling of feeling needed? What do you get out of the friendship? You feel wiser, you feel like a good person when you help her out. But dig deeper. Who are your friends with wisdom, the ones who enrich your life and make you better?
11. Tell Emily To Go Pluck Herself
No, this isn’t a reminder that you can make friends anywhere, even on the waxing salon table. It’s a gentle nudge to go ahead and send that thank you note, that baby gift, the wedding gift you never gave, to make good on your inner Emily. Make amends. It’s also a “friend”ly reminder that you need to let it go (This is for me in a big way). To go ahead and invite friends over last minute. To concoct an impromptu dinner with tomato paste, garlic, oil, spaghetti and backyard basil. Unshowered, no makeup, sure, come on over. Why not? No one cares what your dining room—or lack thereof—looks like.
12. A Friend In Need
Make more friends with people who grow basil.
GIVE & GET FRIENDS
I believe we all have give friends and get friends. Give friends are the friends to whom we give. We give them advice, recipes, our opinions and insight. We feel good about ourselves, helpful, caring, compassionate, even parental. We’re looked up to, important, valued by them, in a way, because of what we give of ourselves.
Get friends are the friends to whom we turn for advice, in times of pain, seeking insight and wisdom. We get the hard truths from them. Or the ridiculously funny friends who get us to laugh, the friends we feel lighter around because of what they give.
Ideally, you find individual friends who each, on her own, become your give and your get friend. Forget Yin Yang. With friendship it’s all about the emotional Give Get.
Now, get on with the endship and make meaningful friendships.