Be Gutsy with Your Friendships

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Read time: 1 minute 30 seconds

Lately, I’ve been fascinated by the idea of doing things that scare you. Apparently, doing things that scare you helps you gain confidence, strength, and courage to take on new changes and can give you a broader perspective on life. It essentially extends your “comfort zone”, which allows you to act in a more productive way, since you have a wider range of options to choose from. The more you challenge your identity, the closer you’ll get to discovering and building the life you want. Makes sense to me. Where do I sign up?

Naturally, as a friend matchmaker, I start thinking of things that scare me when it comes to friendships. I give my friendships an honest look and it’s easy to see that I’ve been holding back. Why am I not more open with them? Do they know they’re special to me? If not, what have I done to show them? Sheesh. Being a good friend is tough. (Don’t even get me started on making new friends!)

Being gutsier with our friendships is not something that we should do. It’s something that we need to do.

Friendships are so fundamental to our quality of life that we must push ourselves to the limit with them and not let fear hold us back from having the most enriching friendships we can have. With that, here are suggestions of things (some of which, I will be doing) to start scaring yourself with. Hooray!

Scary Friendship To-Do List:

1) Be as open about yourself as possible with friends. Don’t hold anything back!

2) Ask for honest advice – even if it’s scary to hear what the other person really thinks.

3) Tell a friend something that is difficult to talk about, but that you’ve always wanted to share with them.

4) Do something epic for your friends that will show your undeniable commitment to them. (Tattoos of their face somewhere on your body are not recommended.)

5) Conquer a mutual fear with your friends.

6) Genuinely reconnect with an old friend and make an effort to develop an active relationship with them.

7) Strike up conversation with people you wouldn’t normally talk to.

8) Make a new friend!

Good luck and happy friending! Share what you’ve done in the friend department that you are proud of!

gutsy

How to Make Friends with Anyone (okay, most people)

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Read time: 3 minutes

Making new friends as an adult is tough. Trust me, I feel your pain. No one teaches you how to do it and, unfortunately, the days when you could walk up to another kid on the playground and say, “Hi, I’m Jessica. Will you be my friend?” are long gone. Kids were way less judgy. Got caught eating sand during recess? Kids be like, “I admire your experiential curiosity. Let’s eat this sand together.”


Unfortunately, we don’t live in that sand-filled haven anymore. We live in a world where it’s harder to admit that you need friends than to admit you need, say, a significant other. We live in a world where there are hundreds of dating services, but almost none to help people make friends.

We live in a world where we have to rely on social networking events and 5 minutes worth of small talk and nervous laughter to find best buds outside of our existing social circles.

Follow-up, you say? What the hell is that? “Hey, yea, this is the girl you met for 10 minutes at the 3-hour Social Networking for Cool People event last Thursday. Want to have lunch?” Let me know how that ends.

If you live in San Francisco, like I do, we live in a world where tech runs our lives and getting someone to glance up from their smartphone to look us in the eye is deserving of a slice of Zanze’s cheesecake. Just remember, a San Francisco “maybe” means no. (Can’t blame San Franciscans for trying to be polite though!)

 


In the 5 months we have been around, FriendTailor has learned a thing or two about friendship. After all, we meet all of our users over a fantastic cup of San Francisco coffee to understand what our users are looking for in a friend and then match them with a potential friend. We also take out the awkwardness of following-up, since we attract awesome people who are actually looking for friends. They want to hang out with you as much as you want to hang out with them. (http://bit.ly/1l3k11S)

Okay, so you want to know how to make friends with anyone. Before we delve into actionable steps, I think it’s important to see the bigger picture. Once it is clear what most people want out of a friendship, it will be easy to come up with ways to meet those needs. Just remember, a friend worth keeping will also strive to meet your needs.

When someone decides to be friends with you, he, or she, needs to…

1. Feel welcome and comfortable around you.
2. Have a good time when they hang out with you.
3. Feel that you care about them and have your support.

That’s it.

Wait! Don’t smash your computer on the ground yet. Holy crap!

Yes, most of this is common knowledge. The problem, I think, is that people over-complicate what it means to be a friend. Human interactions are shrouded by emotions, making relationships seem more mysterious than they actually are. To my overly-logical friends reading this, there’s hope. Take a step back and realize that people want very simple things: respect, companionship, and love.

 


Action steps to make friends can all be derived from the 3 building blocks we identified to create a good friendship. This is where friendships get fun. Just because these are the requirements to have a good relationship doesn’t mean that the action steps are always the same. Why is this good, Jessica? It’s good because different requirements mean you’re going to be friends with different people, which means a richer life.

For example, when meeting someone for the first time, some people will feel welcome if you just smile and make eye contact. Others won’t feel welcome until you directly address them.

It’s all about finding the right formula. Overly-logical people, you get what I’m saying, right? Form a hypothesis, test it, analyze the results, and conclude. Trust me, reading people gets easier the more practice you get. You’ll soon find that there are certain things that work well no matter who you’re with. Smiling is a solid go-to for me.

With that said, here are some action steps you can try. Mix and match and create your own to find out what works for you.

1. Make someone feel welcome and comfortable around you: Smile, make eye contact, introduce yourself, nod when the other person is talking, pay attention to the other person, keep an open stance, ask questions, engage in conversation, be willing to show kindness first, act naturally, laugh when you think something’s funny, keep an open mind.

2. Having a good time while hanging out: Be yourself and create a judge-free environment so that the other person can be themselves too, do an activity that you both enjoy, crack a joke to lighten the mood, bring up different topics to talk about, listen to the other person’s opinions and chime in with your own, laugh, teach each other things, ask questions to learn about each other, have new experiences, give genuine compliments, have fun!

3. Show someone you care about them and have your support: Be willing to share things about yourself and your life (this opens up a dialogue and allows the other person to feel comfortable sharing deeper things with you), show your appreciation (telling them that you appreciate them is a good start!), be open to hearing about the other person’s problems and engage, don’t judge, tell the other person that they have your support, give some guidance by telling the other person about your own experiences, don’t be afraid to show you care, go out of your way to show you care, hug a friend.

 

LASTLY, remember to invite the people you enjoyed hanging out with to hang out again. Relationships take time to build and you should look forward to hanging out every time!

If you ever have any doubts, remember not to over-complicate it. Stick to the 3 needs. Are you making your friend feel welcome and comfortable around you? Are you both having a good time with each other? Are you making your friend feel cared for and supported? Yes? Then take a chill pill. You got this.

 

What the ‘HIMYM’ Finale Taught Me about Life

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HIMYM SPOILERS AHEAD! There, I warned you.

Read time: 2 minutes

I caught onto How I Met Your Mother at the beginning of a budding relationship, the same relationship that came to an end one week before this series finale, so I thought it would be fitting to blog about the finale and what it taught me about life.

1) Sometimes life doesn’t make sense and you just have to accept it.

Trust me, I was just as worked up as many of you were to see Tracy die and watch Ted attempt to start over with Robin for the umpteenth time. Ted and Tracy went through so much to be together! They’re perfect for each other! They deserve to be happy, right?! Did this really just happen?!

Taking a step back and realizing that this finale was trying pretty hard to reflect reality (i.e. Robin & Barney’s divorce, Marshall & Lily moving out of the apartment, the group not surviving the hardships of life), I think the finale did a good job of making the audience go through some very real things alongside the characters. The group had to accept that life was changing and so did we.

After the finale, fans were asking a lot of questions: Why did the group have to break up? Why couldn’t Ted’s happiness last? Why did the mother have to die? As human beings, we like to ask why certain things happen in hopes of starting a logical dialogue. Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t have the privilege of asking why. Can we really make sense of something as senseless as death? Life just happens and we have to accept that we won’t be able to fully understand it.

2) Just because it’s over doesn’t mean it was pointless or meaningless.

I definitely felt this when Tracy died. What was the point of all of this build up (essentially, the entire final season) if she and Ted were going to be separated by death so soon? How about Barney and Robin’s marriage? Again, the relationship took up the entire final season, plus a couple of prior seasons, just to end in a divorce. Will this madness ever stop?!

I think, as a society, we like to measure things in terms of results, since it is the most practical and the easiest to make sense of. If Ted wasn’t going to end up with the mother and Barney and Robin weren’t going to stay together, what was the point of it all? To answer that, we’ll have to remember that life is about the journey. The point wasn’t that Barney and Robin ended up divorced. The point was that Barney and Robin experienced a type of love neither of them was capable of having without the other and that they found out it wasn’t meant for them.

Having an experience or person in your life that was meaningful to you is abstract. You can feel that it meant something, but you don’t know exactly what it meant. If you’re lucky, that experience or person will change your life. If you’re luckier, you’ll realize how it did.

3) Keep trying.

While Ted was, in my opinion, one of the least appealing characters on the show, I still admired his character. He was an idealist living in a practical world. He never let his career, his very persuasive, materialistic best friend, or life get in the way of chasing what he thought was the ultimate truth, being in love.

Thanks for the great memories, HIMYM! It has been legendary!

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CBS HIMYM Finale

What do you think of my last HIMYM theory: Ted and Tracy ended up with their true soulmates, despite being perfect for each other. Ted ended up with Robin, who he loved from the beginning, and Tracy is now with her seemingly amazing first love, Max, who died on her 21st birthday.

6 Heartwarming Images of Friendship

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Read time: 45 seconds

Here are 6 of the cutest, funniest, and most heartwarming depictions of friendship. See the full list posted by Quora users. (http://b.qr.ae/1mjMV1d)

1) Joey and Chandler display some true friendship, teaching everyone to always hug like you mean it!

Friend Pic 1

2) Friends got your back, especially when your teacher’s back is turned.

Friend Pic 2

3) Proof that friendship endures the test of time. Also, a great lesson that five men taking a picture in this configuration is just plain cute.

Friend Pic 7

4) Friendship isn’t just for humans! Vali the chimp and Bam Bam the bear prove just that.

Friend Pic 4

5) Friendship with a dog is unlike any other.

Friend Pic 5

6) Lastly, make it your life goal to keep friendship that feels like this.

Friend Pic 3

Which picture was your favorite and why?

Do You Have the Top 3 Qualities Wanted in a Friend?

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Read time: 1 minute 15 seconds

In the 4 months we’ve been in existence, FriendTailor has learned a thing or two about friendship. After all, we meet all of our users over a fantastic cup of San Francisco coffee to understand what our users are looking for in a new friend. (http://www.friendtailor.com/)

Do you have the top 3 qualities our users have identified as the most important in a new friend? Find out!

(Don’t worry, the team likes to see how we stack up to what our users want. Apparently, we’re not as hot a commodity as we think we are.) The important thing is to keep being yourself! How else are you going to find that friend that loves you like no other?

#1 Friendly

Nothing breaks the ice like channeling your inner Ellen Degeneres and greeting others with a huge smile. Friendliness signals self-confidence and tolerance, which makes new friends feel more comfortable around you. You’ll get a better understanding of who they are and, if they reciprocate the friendliness, you’ve paved the way for good conversation.

#2 Funny

Crack a joke. People like that! It relieves the tension and creates a more welcoming atmosphere. Make someone lose their sh*t and you’ll see a more open and honest side to them. Humor is linked to lightheartedness and even intelligence! I never wanted to hear Einstein tell a joke so badly! (On second thought, not sure I’d be able to understand it.)

#3 Open-minded

Being judged and, subsequently, rejected is the biggest fear when it comes to meeting new people, which explains why people are so guarded. Put away that judgy persona that mysteriously comes out every time The Voice is on and really try to understand where people are coming from. Listen, ask questions, and smile, it’s part of the process to understand the world around you. You might learn something new!

Cute animal friends

What are the top 3 qualities you want in a friend? Let us know in the comments below! 

A Very Happy Birthday to Chef Gary

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Read time: 45 seconds

Chef Gary, one of my dearest friends, is turning 25 today, a day before I am destined to turn 25 as well. Upon discovering our almost twin-like birth dates 7 years ago, I knew we were meant to be friends. We’ve been equals, compadres, partners in crime. Actually, we might not be equals, since Chef Gary IS considerably older. (:

Chef Gary has been a relentless supporter of my endeavors, a kick-ass friend, and a stand-up human being.

Gary, I told you from the beginning that you were a rare breed and I stand by that. I admire your selflessness, strength, and perseverance. I have learned a lot. Thanks for all of the great memories:

  • Oreo chocolate pie
  • Sharing Jason in marriage
  • Crying over some tikka masala
  • Classified sharing sessions in the loft
  • Befriending showgirls
  • Scoping out neighborhood competition for lights
  • Life planning and action!

I’m one lucky girl to have you in my life! Happy Birthday!

Cary's BDAY

Disclaimer: Chef Gary is a nickname for Cary. Gary is not a gender neutral name! Don’t name your daughters Gary!

You Want These Girls to Be Your Friend

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Read time: 2 minutes

Last week, in the name of friendship, I decided to deliver Valentine’s Day balloons to people all over San Francisco. I wanted people to revisit those school days of buying Valentine grams for their friends, those days when friendship was the most important thing to you and life was good.

You remember those days. You’d spend $2.50 to make sure your friends got an annoyingly cute heart-shaped card attached to some candies or flowers on Valentine’s Day. You were excited for your friends to get to their 4th period class and worried about whether your gram would be delivered to the correct homeroom. While you sat in your 4th period class thinking about how surprised your friends would be, you forgot that good friends truly live up to their title and you, all of a sudden, also had some obnoxious heart-shaped Valentine grams to remind you.

Want to see how some awesome girls made sure their friends felt loved on Valentine’s Day? Meet Selena, Kimberly, and Cary.

Selena was one of the few people that thought about her best friend on Valentine’s Day and did something about it. After telling her that I was selling Valentine grams, Selena responded without hesitation and said that she wanted to buy some balloons for her friend. (FYI, I hadn’t even told her how much the balloons were when she responded! Gifting without looking at the price tag? That’s true friendship.) Take a look at her super thoughtful request and her message to her best friend:

Selena's VDay Gram

Kimberly wanted to surprise her friends at work on Valentine’s Day. She wanted to show some love to the people that make her job fun. Apparently, they eat lunch together every day! (It’s okay to be a little jealous.) After she ordered the balloons, Kimberly went to her workplace the night before Valentine’s Day and tied a balloon onto everyone’s chair – a total of 15 balloons! Wouldn’t you be happy if you came to work and saw this?

Kimberly's VDay Gram

Cary did this to make her friend feel special on Valentine’s Day. That super lucky friend, of course, is me! Thanks, Cary!!! (Yes, she calls me J-ASS-ica. Message me if you think of an equally embarrassing name for someone named Cary. The best I can come up with is Gary. Sigh.)

Cary's VDay Gram

Do you remember the Valentine grams you got in school?