I have set upon an embarkment of something you might find childish or maybe you have almost given up on. I got tired of being frustrated about these two areas of my life, so I did what I always do when I get tired of something, I decided to do something about it! So, what is the topic?Friendships and hobbies, my lovelies!
How are you in these areas? Are you enjoying friends and hobbies, or getting almost the feeling of shame that you spend most of your days either working or watching Netflix?
Beliefs and distractions
What we are taught is to find someone who is similar to us. So what does that mean? Similar how? It is easy to think similar personalities, but the point of any relationship, as well as in friendship, is to build and explore on something you find joyful together. Like books, football, movies, singing and so on.
I have heard, and distracted myself with just about any excuse:
- I don’t have the time
- I am more of a family person
- I am an introvert
- I don’t know how to connect with people
- I don’t like my friends that much, but they are the ones that I have
- I don’t need friends
Some of these points are valid point of a person who just don’t know how to gain new friendships. The others are just excuses, people, and if you truly would like friendships in your life, you really need to let them go. So how do you do let go of all the excuses?
Better than you had
To find what you would like in life, wether it is a job, that special someone, a home or a friend, it will be so much easier if you get clear on what your goal really means to you. Like what friendships mean to you. The golden rule is not to list your goals based on a reaction from the relationship you have had before.
Yes, you are looking for something more in your life, but you are not looking for something better than you had. Why? By focusing on what you did not like in your friendships or observed in other friendships, as a baseline for what you would like to gain in your life you are basing your “house of friendship” on the rotten and unstable experiences you’ve had. Would like more of what you have had or more of what you yet have not experienced but is in alignment with who you are when you focus on what gives you joy. So, how do you create a foundation?
Lists, my friend, lists galore! Start listing things, not with the intention for friendships, but for you to have awareness of what you love to do. You, most importantly you, are your first and foremost friend. Getting clear on what you would like to do and who you would like to spend time on will give you the sense of what kind of friends you would like to have.
If you are anything like me you love seeing an example of how others do the things they suggest, if that is not your cup of tea you can just ignore the following list and read on to the next part.
Creating a foundation
When I first started writing down what I love to do, I thought it would be a short list of four-five items, but as I listed the first eight items, I found myself coming back to it and adding more and more items.
One of my challenges for writing my list was the temptation to be a bit general on my topics. As though being general would give more room for my ideal friends to appear. That lasted for about two seconds. I have come to an age (in my case 46 years old) that I have started to claim the “I am too old for this shit” card. So I slammed it on the table and gave myself full permission to be everything I am – warts and all.
I know very well what I love doing and here is my list of what gives me joy:
- I love reading books. Fantasy, novels with as much description of the scenes as possible. You know those thick books in the fantasy section that are over 900 pages? Yup! My husband often hears this statement as I read in bed: I am halfway through this book. Soon I get to read another book!
- Movies. I love movies and I am an adamant movie goer. Weekly if possible and I spend an hour beforehand at the movietheatre to get into the feeling, and looking forward to, tonight’s movie. My favourite theatre of them all is the Colosseum movietheatre in Oslo, Norway. It is quite the experience with the added dome entertainment beforehand.
- Superheroes and other hero fantasy characters. Speaking of movies I am as often as I can on the premier of these types of movies. It has been proven that people tend to be more hopeful about life and what they can create when exposed to these types of heros. The quite ones find a voice.
- Plants. I love plants and learning about how they work and growing them from babies to big plants needing space on my floor. Mainly flowerless plants. I just love the greens.
- The environment. How we can contribute everyday by living our daily lives.
- Dance. I love 1940 swing, it is so playful and it is a dance for both parties, not just the one being a support system for another. I also love contemporary streetdance. I have danced it since I was a teenager and it still gives me joy. Nope, I am not playing my age card here, dance is play to music through your body. If you don’t know this you haven’t danced 12 plus hours a week as I have in my teen years. I also tend to do some ballet in my living room whilst enjoying some classical music.
- Yoga. I love the presence I get whilst doing regular yoga. It is a state of mind and not only a workout. For me it is a way to check in with my body and feel if I have any aches and pains from my everyday life. You will be amazed how stiff you get in your back and neck from just living.
- Upcyling midcentury furniture. Giving something old a new lease on life. To me this style is the peak of interior design.
- Languages. I am norwegian, and a hardcore anglophile. British English dialects are my favourites and I am fascinated by many of the others around the world. French, Italian, Spanish and snippets of other languages such as Arabic, Portuguese, Russian and many other fascinate me. A lot of the culture in each country lies in the language and the dialects.
- Architecture from the 1930s and 1940s. So, no, not architecture in general, but specifically to these times in house design.
- Food. I love food so much and especially contemporary food with the fusions of cuisine. Whenever I pass a pastryshop I haven’t visited before I just have to see what goodies they have.
- Coffee. I am a huge fan of coffee. We grind the coffee ourselves at home so they are fresh. In Oslo, Norway there is a coffeshop named Kaffebrenneriet who make the best cappuccino with a silky froth.
- Fairytales and fantasy. I have a avid imagination and can easily create a story at any given moment. Just give me a subject and my imagination overflows.
- Music. This is my balance, my breathe and my ease in my everyday life. It can be rock, folksy, pop, opera, classical or anything. It is not about the genre it has more to do with the song and the musicians. And of course, I go to concerts.
- I would love to learn playing the piano as I do love to sing.
So, fourteen points of interest, one pending realisation, and counting! Of course, being that I work as a communications coach I use my tools all day every day. Therefore I have the clarity to list such a long list. Yours might be so long as this, but if you find three, specific loves that you have, you will have your foundation.
What do you choose?
Lets use number one on my list as an example. By declaring yourself as a lover of books and finding friends based on being exactly that, you might end up with someone who loves reading books such as “the Girl with the dragon tattoo” which in my mind is a more a exploration of revenge after abuse, when you might be a bit more like me, often described as a Pollyanna, always looking for the possibilities of good in all.
People always have the choice, in my opinion, and they can wallow in misery and fear however much they would like to, but I think that is a overly explored area. Happiness and hope seems to be the the thing to avoid these days and the only way to be happy is to be either: overly religious, a bit crazy or in denial of a depression or something like that.
How crazy is that?! Alright, that is a subject for another article, so lets move on with the topic of books, because I haven’t told you why you shouldn’t be open for all types of book-lovers.
By being clear on what specifically gives you joy in books, you are not excluding someone, you are just focusing on what you would like to include in your life and by doing so, not wasting yours, or anybody else’s time. You will with first contact get a hunch who would be contribution to you or not, so you both could be spending more time on people you actually have something in common with.
This is valuable information which is not to be handled lightly. Meaning, that if you tend to fall into the pits of misery from time to time and maybe the temptation of using this information as an excuse to not take action to create such a list, to numb yourself and give up, because you have no belief in your ability of making this list, I must urge you to remember who you were creating this list for: you.
You are making this list for you, first and foremost. Every time you play with a language, or listen to music or explore other interests you will always be there.
The effect of shared interest
In addition to you, from time to time, a friend will be there. Friends are a bonus to your life. Not someone required for you to spend time with for you to be with your hobbies, because they are exactly that. Your hobbies, that you share with someone else who has them as their hobbies. The whole point of friendship. two or more people who share interests.
There are so many upsides to sharing interests with a friend. The premier result of sharing interests which each individual find a contribution to their lives, that nourishes them, is a deepening of the understanding of the hobby and in effect a even deeper love for the hobby.
You learn languages better. You understand music better. You enjoy a book even more. The celebration of something you like, with someone else, is double the celebration and even better when it is with someone who loves as much you love.
If you have people in your life you have a difficult relationship with, maybe a friendship which has been back and forth and up and down. Not all people are in your life to be a friend. Some people have similar interests and goals in life.
These are a not to be mistaken as friends, it will only confuse you. However if you consider them a colleague or an ally who are in your life to work together towards a common goal. Maybe to develop a certain quality together, being stronger together.
More on this in in a later article.