The category is: Friendship
What does it mean to be a friend?
According to Webster's dictionary, a friend is as follows:
1: a person who you like and enjoy being with
2: a person who helps or supports someone or something (such as a cause or charity)
1a : one attached to another by affection or esteem
2a : one that is not hostile
These definitions make it seem simple enough to be a friend, right? Think again. Friendship is one of the most important relationships a woman can have. In some cases, friends know more, mean more, and matter more than one's siblings, spouse or children. Before you turn that face up and make a judgment about those who emotionally prefer their friends over their family, remember that friends are the family that we get to choose, so it is acutally 'normal' to have a bond with those we chose, over those we had no choice in choosing. Are you still with me? Good!
Let's talk categories. I believe that many friendships fail due to wrong category placement, and the expectations that serve said category. "Everyone is not your friend!" Harsh truths my mother often barked at my sister and me. Little did I know how right she was. I had to learn along the way just what she meant. Looking back know, I would have liked, better yet, needed more detail. Luckily for you, BLCNY is your go to "How to" source; and we're all about the details. Here are BLCNY's categories for friendship.
- Acquaintance: a person one knows slightly, but who is not a close friend.
- Associate: a person or colleague in business, at work, that you only see through a mutual party.
- Deep Associate: a person or colleague in business, at work, that you only see through a mutual party, but don't mind being Facebook friends with; and don't mind if she's added to the dinner party reservation.
- Friend: a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection and trust. Typically EXCLUSIVE of SEXUAL or family relations.
- Best Friend: a person's closest friend(s), who shares openly, honestly, uplifts, motivates, celebrates you, fights fair, is open to your likes, need and wants; executes, delivers, is trustworthy and shows up in your life how you need them to.
- That's my family: All of the above and so much more. Her mama is my mama!
Whew! That was A LOT to take in, but the truth is, cultivating conscious, meaningful friendships are a lot and need to be identified as such. Friendship is more than the length of time you've known someone, more than common enemy intimacy that bonded you, it is a partnership, that requires communication on roles, boundaries, respect, and expectations. With many of us putting others in the wrong categories, hostile, hurtful, confusing, heartbreaking situations often occur, leaving women bitter, hard, angry, envious, revengeful and ugly on the inside. As I coach, I find that for woman, there is a negative air attached with being identified as an acquaintance and or an associate; which lead many to force themselves or others into a false sense of belonging and self.
We will tackle the consequences of miscategorizing friends; and many other issues and situations regarding friendship in future blogs, but for now, I'd love to know what you're thinking?
- Have you ever been in a situation where you thought you were a friend, but through actions realized you were an associate instead; or vice versa?
- Do you have someone in your life that you constantly have this conversation with?
- Do you know what category you fall into with those you call your friends?
Coach Stefanie, Life Architect
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