On Tuesday I stopped for lunch at a friend’s house. Marion is someone I worked with for more than 10 years and someone who I occasionally socialized with outside work. After I left that company almost 3 years ago it became harder to see each other regularly, even though we shared many interests.
It wasn’t as if we didn’t make plans to see one another. We picked dates but something always got in the way and one of us cancelled out. Actually I was usually the one who opted out at the last minute.
I had many excuses but I looking back I know I needed to put some space between my old job and former colleagues. I was weary from answering questions about my new position, the commute and my level of satisfaction. I wanted a break!
The funny thing is now that I have had some open space I am ready to re-engage with some of these work friends. In summer camp we used to sing this little song:
Make new friends,
But keep the old
One is silver
But the other is gold.
I am grateful to have friends who have been with me throughout various stages of my life.
In a recent article “Friends at Work? Not So Much” (NY Times, Sept 14, 2015 - link to article provided at end of blog post) contributing op-ed writer Adam Grant quotes Jane E. Dutton, professor at the University of Michigan, who finds that a high-quality connection does not require a “deep or intimate relationship” but rather respect, trust and mutual engagement.
Three Reasons to BE GRATEFUL for your Old Friends:
- You have a shared history. They know your former self. Maybe you met in high school, but somehow, for some reason, 30 years later you can rekindle a conversation as though it was yesterday. These are true friends.
- You have common interests. Old friends are just that because you have a shared interest (or many) with them. You can talk to them about your life, kids, victories and defeats and they don’t judge you. They encourage you to be yourself.
- You trust and respect them. They will take you just the way you are. They don’t care if you have holes in your socks and you don’t care either when you are with them.
Why not reach out to a friend this weekend?
All the best,
Link to NY Times article “Friends at Work?Not So Much” by Adam Grant
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