When I first started writing this post I knew I wanted to focus on depth in friendships, however as I continued to write, it turned out a bit differently. What I want to convey is the importance of meaningful conversations, especially for moms. As a mom, it is easy to make surface friendships. What we’re in need of is depth, someone we can reflect inward with. As I wrote (actually typed), it dawned on me that in-depth conversations can be a form of self-care. Here’s why.
Remembering What’s Important
Nowadays people rarely talk on the phone, let alone in person. Communication is down while the use of internet, social media and other sorts of distractions are up. This not only makes me sad, but also curious what will occur in future generations. Even in the workforce people lack communication skills. This makes business very hard to complete when people are spoken to in a belittling voice, and there is lack of regard for one another.
Sometimes all we need is an ear allowing us to vent. Recently, I’ve put an emphasis on my kids not interrupting one another. When interrupted we not only lose our train of thought, but also start to doubt the importance of what we were going to say. They’re still a little young for the self-control part of not interrupting, but I think it’s an important manner to instill. This even relates to when adults are having a conversation, such as mom and dad.
With people constantly on the go, it is hard to cut out time to catch up with others. At least it is when you’re a mom. Carving out time for phone conversations are few and far between. Picture this: toddler in the background screaming, while another toddler is pulling at your leg asking for a snack. The lack of meaningful friendships among mothers contributes to the stigma that is present in our society. Mothers used to have a tribe to help with their families. Nowadays mothers feel uncomfortable asking for help.
Meaningful Conversations with Kind Souls
In the future, will in-person interaction and socialization become extinct? I hope not. The lack of in-person interactions has not only become apparent to me, but others I talk to as well. What we truly need more of are meaningful conversations with the kind souls that inspire us.
After a recent phone conversation with a mom friend, I felt revived, inspired and dare I say, motivated?! Now I’m almost positive that this friend didn’t know she had this effect on me. It reminded me how influential people can be, even without intent. This one phone call reminded me that meaningful talks can and should be part of your self-care.
So, why do I bring this up?
Because in that one conversation where we caught up on one another’s lives, and discussed the situations (good and bad) that life puts us in, she reminded me of this…
Treasure those who want to keep improving. I choose to surround myself with parents, and non-parents, who are continually working to improve themselves overall. Improving their patience as a parent, embracing their interests and hobbies, and sharing uniqueness with others. We should be lifting one another up to be their best. Encouraging the people close to us will not only leave them feeling inspired, but they will want to return the act.
How do you improve yourself? For me, self-development is key. I want to share what I have to offer, whether from experience or knowledge, with grace and gratitude.
The honest conversations keep us grounded. Conversations with depth and honesty hold more value. One of the best feelings in the world is knowing that you can be yourself around someone. Someone who will not only accept you for who you are, someone who will be honest with you. This someone is a true [mom] friend. For example, you share the recent argument you and and your spouse had. Then, as you share your spouse’s response to the situation, your friend tells you (hopefully with tact) that you’re overreacting. It may not be what you want to hear, though it may be the truth. Maybe it’s time to look at things from a different perspective.
People are afraid to be honest in fear that they may hurt someone’s feelings. Proceed with grace and good intentions. What you don’t want to do is avoid honesty because you are afraid of how the person will react. Your mom friend will appreciate openness and honesty much more than having his or her ego stroked.
The last thing I want to do is hurt feelings, but if you can’t handle honesty when you’re venting about a topic or seeking an opinion, then we’re not a match. There are ways to share your honesty with others, mainly with a smile on your face. Tread lightly if you need to and have tact, but always, and I do mean ALWAYS be honest. Your authenticity will be received by your friends with gratitude.
No need to keep up with the Joneses. There is no need for exaggeration or over emphasis. In fact, when you do exaggerate or over emphasize people will pick up on it. If you leave a situation feeling down about yourself because of someone else’s rewarding life, are you surrounding yourself with the right people? After you answer this question, it’s time to become truly honest with yourself. Is the way you feel due to your own insecurities or the emphasis your “friend” shares about how great her life is?
If you feel like you have to constantly compliment others, are they really your people? Of course, if you have something nice to say, or if you notice something different about a mom friend that you think she or he would appreciate, then it is definitely worth mentioning. But if you are constantly bringing up how delighted you are to see someone, yet you don’t make an effort to see this person more often then ask yourself, am I exaggerating my feelings for this person? If so, WHY?
Be real. Don’t pretend that you have never left your house wearing yesterday’s makeup, or that some days you can’t remember the last time you showered. Life is full of ups and downs, good days and bad. No one is judging you. Rather, no one should be judging you. If they are, then they are probably hiding insecurities of their own.
With the bad days, come the good. Like the event you attended last month, and no one could stop talking about the dress you wore. Don’t worry that made up for the 4 days you think you went without showering. Be accepting of both, because some days we’re just trying to survive.
Be a mom and know your value. A friendship that has depth brings value to the lives of those involved. Friends know the flaws of one another. You may not openly discuss and acknowledge them but choose to accept them. If you don’t believe that you bring value, then others aren’t going to see your value either.
We all come from different backgrounds. Some of us have full or part time careers, volunteer or stay at home for the kids. No matter what, we all have something to bring to the table. Allow differences into your life, as you never know what you may learn.
Those that are proud of you see where you’ve come from. Even those who haven’t, will recognize that you’re constantly developing and improving.
As you can see I gained a lot of valuable reminders from this one conversation. The funny thing is the conversation didn’t even center around this topic. As I mentioned at the beginning meaningful conversations [with kind souls] can unintentionally impact your day, week, even month.
I realize that not everyone can take so much time out of their day to talk on the phone, and trust me I typically don’t. This is why I refer to it as self-care. This was an unusual, but obviously much needed occurrence. One conversation confirmed the kind of friendships that are most important. We all need some grounding and insight once in a while. With this I say, thank you friend.
Want to know another way that I try to stay grounded? I keep my purpose and why in mind at all times. If you are looking for guidance on how to do this too, you can reference my post – Stating Your Intent. Leave your comments below about ways you try to stay grounded and any self-care tips you may have!