Tag Archives: Friendship

How to tell your friends (and deal with their reactions) when you’re moving away

moving

I’ve been talking a lot about emigration. I’ve talked about how we came to the decision to do it, how we got through doing it, and all the flurry of activity. But there’s one thing I haven’t talked about yet, and it’s probably one of the more difficult things people can go through. Whether you’re moving to another city, or another part of the world, you will be leaving people behind. Friends and family will need to be informed, and it isn’t always easy, especially when they have complicated reactions. I’ve done this so many times in my life now, I have a bit of advice for those of you who are moving and wondering how to break the news to those you care about – or deal with it when they don’t respond as you’d like.

It’s important to remember that no one wants to be left behind. Even your most enthusiastic supporters will feel sad. Not because they don’t want you to be happy, but because they will feel your loss more than you will feel theirs. No, I’m not saying that people who move away don’t miss their friends; when you move, everything and everyone is new, it’s a completely fresh experience while those who are left behind still live their normal life, but without you in it. It’s hard and sad for them, and it’s almost like they need to grieve the “normal” friendship you once had. And their reactions may be very similar to the stages of grief as we know them, but first – how do you tell those you care about that you are leaving? Continue Reading

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How to grow real friendships, naturally

How to grow real friendships

I know this blog topic might seem strange to a lot of you. What is this “How to make friends and influence people”? But it feels increasingly relevant and I thought it might be worth sharing. I keep seeing articles and videos about how despite us living in a more interconnected world, people increasingly feel isolated and alone. Many struggle with how to grow real friendships, and social media can create the illusion that everyone else is happier and doing better than you. So, what is the secret to forging deep and meaningful bonds with other people?

This might seem silly, but The Sims wasn’t totally wrong. Okay, it was wrong in many ways – friendship isn’t best cultivated by locking two people in a room together, forcing them to make jokes and exchange gifts until they finally get to a green level of friendship. What, don’t tell me you haven’t done that! But the game was right about all of us needing friends. We need them to feel happy and social, connected and understood, as well as to possibly meet our partners or find the dream job. But how do you grow real friendships, the kind that goes beyond superficial smiles?  Continue Reading

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The ends of the earth

ends of the earth

As I’ve gotten older, I’m even more amused and intrigued by the difference between what people say and what they do. I truly value the people who have those two things align, but I know it’s so very rare. Sometimes it’s a good thing, like when any of us get upset and talk about what we feel like doing. But sometimes, it shows a real disconnect in terms of what we imagine we would do for someone and where our boundaries actually lie. Nothing says it for me more than the phrase “but I would go to the ends of the earth for you/him/her”.  Continue Reading

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New friends, old friends, fake friends

friends

It’s a strange aspect of having lived an international life. My oldest friends aren’t based in Joburg, which means that I don’t get to see them all that much. It’s mostly okay, though, because we stay in touch with all the usual digital means of our modern age, plus Dean and I have made some new friends. We’ve lived here long enough to have gone through the usual cycle of friendship in a new city – it always takes about three years to become settled in a new place, to build your network and made real friendships. Having lived in South Africa for eight years now, I’ve not only managed that, but there are even some awesome people in my life locally who are our old and wonderful friends.

This past weekend, though, we were visited by an old friend and it was hard for me to not feel nostalgic. Back in university, Dean and I belonged to a fraternity. I always hated the idea of sororities or fraternities, until I realized just how wonderful it was. Loki was the name of our grouping, and it was filled with a quirky and international mix of men and women. We would go out once a week for official drinks, but more often than not a bunch of us would go out several more times in the week. Considering that Dean and I were going out six nights a week at that stage, it’s no wonder we had a big group of friends. What is surprising is how those same people still fit who we are. Continue Reading

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Support networks and other necessary things

support network

Being a mom is hard. Actually, let me correct that, being a human is hard. Even before becoming a mom, I had plenty of ups and down in life. Life is hard no matter where you are, who you are and what your background is. Sure, there are some ways that things can be made easier, but no one lives a charmed life. However, being a mom feels even more trying because you often feel alone.

I don’t know what it is that’s so lonely about motherhood – maybe it the sleep deprivation, or the weird things your baby or partner does that you think can’t be normal and you must the only one experiencing. Maybe it’s all the weird comments or visuals we see on TV or online – those picture perfect moments where moms and babies just coo at each other and everyone looks happy and well rested, with perfect hair and clean clothes. Instead, so many women struggle with feelings of inadequacy, inferiority and painful loneliness. This is why we all need support networks. Continue Reading

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