Top Ten Friendship Articles of 2011

In the spirit of celebrating another year lived and shared, I'm doing my first-ever Top Ten list. Here are the most read, popular blog posts from the last year: 1.   The Mistake that Cost me a New Friendship

This post re-proves that we all learn to love from the mistakes of others, mine included. It's a lesson I still hold in my memory bank--how easy it is to not initiate from a place of personal insecurity.

2.  To the Oprah-Haters and Other Women Who Devalue

This posting inspired lots of comments as we all wrestled with our temptation to devalue others, hoping it makes us feel better about ourselves.  I come back to this theme often-- trying to encourage us all to cheer for other women, that we might feel it for ourselves, too!

3.  Today is National Best Friend Day: How to Make a BFF

I share my Frientimacy Triangle with hopes of reminding everyone that Frientimacy (friendship intimacy) has to be developed, not discovered.

4.  5 Stages of a Friendship

We have a lot of language and understanding when it comes to the various stages of dating someone (i.e. the difference between "going on a date" vs. "we're dating"), but we forget that a friendship has stages too!  Here I describe the five--from curiosity to frientimacy-- I think are most helpful.

5.  Admitting We Need Friends

It's easy to be in denial about our need for friends-- too much pain and stigma in whispering the truth sometimes.  But hard to really do anything about it if you don't start with the first step: admitting the need!

6.  Nothing Kills a Potential Friendship Faster

A romantic relationship would never get off the ground if the two of you went out for a date, then ended the evening saying “That was fun… we should do it again next month.” And yet we do that with potential friends all the time!  Give the gift of momentum to your friendships!

7.  Used-to-be-Friends or Still Friends?

This one struck a raw nerve with many of you.  Just because we have had good friends over the years that we could call if we needed to, doesn't mean we have the good friends around us that we really need and want.

8.  Friendship Challenges that Come With Age

This post validates that indeed every decade brings its own challenges to our friend-making career. When I started GirlFriendCircles.com (my women's friendship matching site) three years ago I assumed it would be most popular with those in their 20's and 30's.  Who knew that the women who would love it the most would be our mothers and grandmothers? No matter our age-- we need to keep replenishing our circle of friends!

9.  The Flywheel of Friendship

The toughest part of friendship is that we all crave the BFF who just knows us and makes it easy to connect, but we hate that there is a long road to that comfortableness!  This post will inspire and motivate you to keep putting in the work now.  It does pay-off and get easier!

10.  It's Hard to Maintain Friendships Through Stress & Change

It's so easy to withdraw from people when we're tired and stressed.  These are some of the reasons it's hard for me to engage, and some of the ways I do it because I know it's good for me.

* And a bonus one!  This one was my personal favorite: My Prayer: Who I Want To Be

A huge thanks to all my GirlFriendCircles.com members, readers of my blog, and comment-ers who have shared the journey!

May we continue in 2012 to honor all that is right with friendship, committing ourselves regularly to the practices of healthy personal development and relationship joy.

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Top 10 posts of 2011 from Shasta's Friendship Blog re: personal growth & relationship health by @girlfrndcircles.  http://wp.me/p1n4Bw-7l