In this episode I have a very special guest. I’m having a conversation with my daughter about developing friendships. The reason I wanted to bring my daughter on is because she is 13 years old. For so many of us we have forgotten just how easy it was for us to develop friendships when we were at that young age. Maybe we can remember or learn something from Cecelia today as we see friendship through the eyes of a 13 year old.
I have a very special guest for you today. This guest is the most awesome person I know and we are going to be discussing the elements of developing a friendship, early in life. This guest takes my heart every single day. Why? because this is my daughter. I’m going to have a conversation with her about developing friendships and the reason why I wanted to bring her on, her name is Cecelia and because she is 13 years old and for so many of us we have forgotten just how easy it was for us to develop friendships when we were at that young age and maybe we can learn something from Cecelia today as we see friendship through the eyes of a 13 year old.
Cecelia is very fortunate to have a lot of friends, some of them she met at school, some of them she met at gymnastics. She has had a lot of friends from different stages in life but these friends don’t know each other. She has two sets of friends – one from school and another from gymnastics.
At school, they can talk at lunch and sometimes if they finish something in class or they get time to talk then they can talk. Sometimes, they talk about the assignment they had just finished or questions they did not get or something like that.
Last year, she had a lot more of her friends in her class in lunch but this year she doesn’t have as much friends in lunch but she still has friends in lunch. She has two different set of friends in school. It is not hard to decide who is going to be her friend but sometimes it is like when people ask you to go to their house or something, It is hard to decide whose house you are going to because you do not want to hurt their feelings by saying you cannot go even though you want to go to their house. You want to go to both their houses but you just don’t want any of them to be sad because you could not come and you also want to be with both of them. Her friends know that they are important to her so much so, that they take her feelings into consideration. They care about Cecelia’s feelings too.
Just this year alone, she has been to 3 or 4 bar mitzvahs which makes her very happy. Her friends always seem to be very happy whenever Cecelia shows up to their celebrations and parties.
When I ask her what she understands from hearing the word, clique, she shares that in movies it is a group of people who act the same. It is like stereotypical and it is just people who act the same and they are all friends. She adds that in movies, cliques are not portrayed positively because they can exclude people because they are all the same, they act the same which is something she never sees herself being a part of because she doesn’t act the same the whole time. She doesn’t act like how the groups are. It is like the music people, the goth people, the popular people in movies. She is not just one thing and she has a lot of friends that are different.
She sees herself as one who can make friends with people who have different interests. Being flexible and friendly comes easy for her. It is simply just being nice to people in order to make friends. She has never met a girl at school that after she got to know her, she decided she doesn’t want to become friends with that girl. She pretty much wanted to be friends with everybody she met. She adds that pretty much everyone she meets is really nice so it is easier for her to be friends with them. Having a ton of friends, she expects for it to be the same when she gets to high school and college.
She has a very positive outlook on life. If she were to try to help someone to understand how easy it is to make friends, she would tell them to just talk to someone and just be nice and then you just might become friends, you might talk more and you might like each other and you might become really good friends.
She sees herself as the kind of person who tries to be friends to someone who does not have any friends. She remembers this one time when she saw someone in science class the previous year who did not have a partner for an activity so she and her partner decided to approach her to let her join because they both felt sad that she did not have anyone to work with. They were confident that when they approached that classmate, that she would not turn down their offer. They just figured that if they went and offered friendship, it would be received.
Oppositely, she doesn’t think that it is easy for adults to have friends because she thinks that it depends on the person. Some people may be nicer and people just don’t really want to talk to people and they are not as nice. The expectation with friendship is that talking communicates niceness at the same time, if a person does not talk much it also does not mean that that person is not nice, they just might be shy and some people, they don’t really talk to other people and they talk to their friends and they are super fun. Just a person does not talk much does not mean that they are not as nice.
Cecelia has given us a look into friendship for a 13 year old and what it looks like to me is that it is very easy to get new friends. I think about when she is in her gymnastics class and the other girls on her team with her and one of the things I notice is that every single time all of them compete at an event, they all give each other high-fives, they congratulate each other, they’re not really told to do that but when you first see people, when you first get on a team and you see a bunch of people and everyone is supportive when you go to a meet, you are cheering for everyone and at practice you are cheering for everyone because you are teammates and you want them to do really good.
As a team, they are still able to be friends because they want to cheer each other on but even if they find themselves competing with one another, with somebody from the same team, they still cheer them on.
She has a friend that she met in kindergarten who later went to another school. Her name is Hannah. They have been friends for years and she does not even go to the same school. They have been able to maintain their friendship by constant communication. It feels like every single time they see each other since they cannot see each other that often because of school and stuff then it is like more memorable and it is really fun and they talk a lot. Hannah also comes over almost every other weekend and that helps because they decided to be intentional about maintaining their friendship.
That was my conversation with my daughter as she shared what it is like developing friendships at 13. Do you remember what it was like being 13 years old and developing friendships, how easy it was for you? One of the things that Cecelia shared is just that there was no fear, no hesitation in her mind or in her other friends’ mind about approaching someone to be friendly and kind. Maybe we should learn something from that as adult women in terms of developing friendships, somewhere along the way so many sisters have lost their sense of innocence in terms of just being the first one to act and be supportive of another female. Be a friend to go over and say hi and just develop that friendship. I think that is something that is a treasure we might want to go back and cultivate as we have moved from childhood into adulthood and it seems that so few opportunities are available to us and that the competition maybe it is a false competition, maybe it is a real one but that just seems like the competition with women makes difficult to develop new friendships but I think that if we take the sincere approach of what we used to have as young girls and just reach out. We can develop new relationships or at the very least enhance the ones we have with our sister-friends. Here is your call to action. If you have young people in your life, maybe it is your niece, nephew, your daughter. Not nephew, what am I thinking, your niece, your daughter, your cousin or maybe a young person in your social group. Try sitting down with them and asking them about their friendships. Ask them how easy it is for them to develop friendships at school and various places where they spend their time with their sporting activities and see if they have any good friends because too many times even young girls don’t have friends so we actually have to work at helping them to facilitate that process. Thank you so much for taking that call to action. Make a difference in a young girl’s life and help her develop a better friendship with her sister friends so that as she grows older she will have those skills in the years to come.
Yes, you can quote our “Pearls of Wisdom”
Just talk to someone and just be nice and then you might become friends – Cecelia II
Talking can communicates niceness – Cecelia GreeneBarr
Just because a person does not talk a lot does not mean that they are not nice. – Cecelia GreeneBarr
There should be no fear, no hesitation in our minds about approaching someone when seeking to be friendly and kind. – Cecelia GreeneBarr
Be the first one to act and be supportive of another female. – Cecelia GreeneBarr
If we take the sincere approach of what we used to have as young girls and just reach out, we can develop new relationships or at the very least enhance the ones we have. – Cecelia GreeneBarr
Call To Action:
If you have young people in your life, maybe it is your niece, nephew, your daughter. Not nephew, what am I thinking, your niece, your daughter, your cousin or maybe a young person in your social group. Try sitting down with them and asking them about their friendships. Ask them how easy it is for them to develop friendships at school and various places where they spend their time with their sporting activities and see if they have any good friends because too many times even young girls don’t have friends so we actually have to work at helping them to facilitate that process.
Cecelia GreeneBarr Official Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/drgreenebarr