I smell a “friendship” audit

I believe it was in October this year that I had an interesting conversation with a stranger. We were at a holiday club for our kids and we got talking. Somehow we stumbled onto the subject of friendship. This lady is some way older than me (up to 10 years) and I was engrossed by her insight to life, marriage and raising kids in general. She asked me how I was finding Aberdeen and I said, ‘Overall, it’s great for families but I’m not as friendly as I used to be….’. She asked me why and the only way I could explain my comment without appearing as if I didn’t want to be friendly to HER was to tell the truth:

‘I find that many women my age and older tend to stick to friends they’ve had all their life. It’s like, ‘I’m NOT recruiting new friends-sorry.’

She bellied over laughing and said she’s never heard it put quite that way but she understood. It was then she told me about the “friendship audit”. Apparently, just a few days ago she had taken out a piece of paper and audited her friendships. It is not as sinister as it sounds. It was actually really good. In the audit she considered the following:

  • What she needs in a friend e.g. loyalty, sense of humor, trustworthiness
  • What she gives in her friendships e.g. advice, good times, loyalty, money 🙂 (!)
  • What she makes her uncomfortable in people/situations e.g gossiping, prejudice

My list is not exhaustive but the main result of the audit was that it highlighted that she had different categories of friends. They just fell into groups. There were friends who she would run to if she had a problem in her marriage or with one of her kids. There were those she would ask to pray with her. There were those who she only had a good laugh with but wouldn’t confide in them at all and so on. There were also friends that made her uncomfortable, perhaps because they were judgemental and put her in positions where she felt that arguing and displaying her opinion would just cause a fight. She often left feeling as though she was party to something she would rather have nothing to do with.

Anyway, I  remember thinking that I owed myself a friendship audit. I desperately need to do one but I haven’t. I think it will be revealing and will probably prove right certain things I already know, to be honest. Personally, I think it’s okay to have different classes of friends. It’s like market segmentation. You can be different things to different people. I cherish my friends that give me a good laugh even if I can’t confide in them about my challenges. That’s okay. I pray for those who listen to my ramblings about my insecurities because they deserve life’s very best. Well, we’ll see what mysteries my friendship audit reveal. Watch this space.

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