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November 24, 2015

Who do you define as your friends?  The people  who are most like you?  The people you spend the most time with?  The people with whom you’ve had long talks?  The people you have known the longest?  The people who think of you and offer you words or practical actions of support on a daily basis?

At work, we have an activity where people are asked to put people’s names in concentric circles, with the people they are closest to in the inner most circle, friends in the next circle out, people with whom you share activities (e.g., people from your church who you see regularly but perhaps speak with infrequent, people from your gym you say hi to, etc.) and finally people you pay to be in your life (e.g., hair dresser, chiropractor, etc.).  This is one way I have defined friends and others in my life over the years.

I also have a friend who has made it goal to have friends in each decade of their life.  Rather than focusing on having friends of similar age and stage of life, she works to ensure she is friends with people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and so on.  Her approach has helped me to broaden my definition of friends and include people I enjoy being with whether they are 8 or in their 80s.

What does it take to make it on your “friend list”?  What does it take to be for someone to be considered your friend?  And perhaps more importantly who has put you on their friend list?  What could you do to be a better friend to others?  (No pressure, but sometimes we all need to be challenged to be better.)


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