Friday, September 22, 2017

Friendship Friday - on being the initiator (part 543, or so it feels)

I feel like we've spoken a lot on the blog about being the initiator.

I have gone through so many iterations of initiating and before listening to the podcast I spoke about here, I think I'd finally settled on being the initiator in my mind like this:
  1. Yes, it is true that I do take action quickly so to get the item ticked off my list, I'm happy to initiate so that it's done. The whole dance of "yes, we must get together" over and over gets old for me real quick.
  2. If I initiate, I can first check my calendar and make sure the time and date suit the rest of my life before proposing a date.
  3. My one introvert friend told me that the introverts don't like reaching out, so I give extra grace for the introverts ;)
  4. I have completely stopped initiating with friends where there is zero reciprocity. That's not to mean we're not friends, but I am free from using my energy to reach out. And I do feel free.

All of that sounds good, right?

It is good. Mostly...

Since I stopped initiating so much, I’m obviously much less busy with socials. I've also found that my world is getting smaller; I realised the other day that I'm never out at night anymore, because I no longer see the two friends I used to meet for supper. I only drive 5 minutes to Spanish while it's dusk and back again in the dark.

I don't think this is good because I don't want to become one of those people who lives in a tiny bubble and never ventures further than 5 minutes away, as convenient as that is.

That's the one thing.

As I mentioned above, I'm not completely cutting people off because (1) that's not my style and (2) in the podcasts I listened to on the Never Unfriended book, she said that we can pull back but we shouldn't shut the door, which I love.

I recently felt that God was therefore saying to hold all this stuff loosely and really only do things from a good heart. God loves a cheerful giver, right? So if I’m feeling resentful about reaching out, maybe that’s not the best time to do it. But when I do think about someone, to use that impetus and contact them there and then.

This seems to be working for me.

What do you think?

I know most of you reading this post do not enjoy initiating.

My questions are: 1) do you still see your friends enough? or are you happy to only see your friends rarely? or 2) are your containers so well set up that that is the reason you don't need to initiate? 3) how do you make it all work for you?


  1. Interesting how my friendships with the coffee club members has grown - but not in the same amount, if one can call it. With some more than others but I do think the regularity of it makes it work.

    1. Your coffee club is definitely a container. And my client in Pta is another container for us 😉 Because it's convenient and gives me an opportunity to reach out to you. And let's face it, I endure the meeting because I'm looking forward to seeing you afterwards!

  2. It's so phases for me. There are parts I like about initiating, and a lot I don't. For now though, I'm just ignoring all of it.

    1. That may be wise! You have a big priority to get sorted and then you can pick up again on the friendship front... or not 😉

  3. I totally get this! And I have to say your posts have made me think more and more! I am
    Happy to initiate but it also feels good to have others initiate. And now I do a lot of reciprocity! It all can't be one sided! I don't expect 50/50 that would be naive but there must be some
    Give and take. I have the one friend where we set up dates and 90% of the time she conveniently forgets and then posts about the things she got to in the day. So now I don't even ask again and I've had to decline a few dates because it just wasn't convenient, in the pst I would have bent over to accommodate!

    1. Im glad my posts make you think! If you listened to podcasts I could point you to a few great ones on friendship 😉

      Your flakey friend makes me cross - I would call her out especially since you prioritise time with friends!

  4. Marcia, I am probably the worst when it comes to initiating, so I really appreciate and admire your skills in iy! :-)

    I'd like to partially blame lack of throwing around money for this and then secondly I prefer small gatherings (like one on ones)and preferably only one a week or so...I definitely need to schedule downtime too, otherwise I just end up exhausted. Add to the mix all Nicola's activities and it's a perfect recipe for becoming a hermit.

    It's not that I don't need and love seeing my friends, cause I do! I guess it's more a case of me letting the business my life kind of run right over me at times.

    1. I loved your low spend idea! And I also prefer 1:1 time. Of course I do like my birthday lunch because it's a good opportunity to catch up with a lot of people at once ☺️

      I agree with the kid new thing is leave work early and make just after work tea. It's cheaper and I'm only a little bit late home if the tea's about an hour!

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