We need Friends... So why are they so tough to develop and maintain?
Join our Conversation with Friendship Expert Shasta Nelson
Shasta Nelson is an award winning speaker and author of books
"Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and
Happiness", "Friendships Don't just happen!" and her business book
"The Business of Friendship". She has developed robust
strategies for connecting, developing and maintaining friendships
and even how to end a friendship well.
I have to admit that I am not the best friendship maintainer, even
though I have a wide friendship circle of connections I have held
for many years. I think part of my success is choosing
amazing, kind hearted people who tolerate my "busyness", lack of
consistency and obsessions with eclectic interests. In other
words, I think I might have already failed at Shasta's
recommendations, but I think we all have something to learn about
the work required to develop engaged friendships for a
This is a great opportunity for us to consider Shasta's key
teachings and ask questions about our friendship struggles and
frustrations as well as our hopes, longing and
desire for meaningful connection.
Just yesterday, I had a conversation with a client ... who
disclosed feelings of loneliness. When we discussed the
people that this person was closest to, he admitted that he had not
been making the effort to reach out to others but was struggling
that they were not reaching out to him. This sounds familiar
to so many of us... We can feel lonely but then hold ourselves back
for a variety of reasons. I am excited to hear how Shasta can
guide us, especially when we may have trauma that is linked
specifically to being betrayed or neglected in a traumatic
relationship with others.
Let's consider the following ideas that Shasta
Nelson offers on friendship:
Why do so many people feel lonely even though they know so many
Why is it that a person can go out to a social event (i.e.,
family dinner, bar, zoom visit) only to feel lonelier during and
after then we did prior to the event?
Why are Consistency, Vulnerability and Positivity considered to
be crucial to developing and maintaining friendships? Can you
discuss each of these.
What are your key methods for establishing early connection,
developing a friendship foundation, maintaining a friendship for
the long run?
You wrote a good titled "Friendships don't just happen" – I see
that many people (wonderful, kind people) feel lonely and don't
seem to have the skills for making friendships later in life (after
finishing school). Why is this? And what should they do?
What about when relationships go badly? You are in a
relationship with someone who is overly demanding, negative, or
even mean? How do we free ourselves from troubling
relationships so we can move onto something better without feeling
guilty or lonely?
I know you focus primarily on female friendships but men
also need this guidance. I wonder if you will expand your
Friendship work to men.
Obviously there is much more which we will cover during the show.
You have been discovered by a partner as acting out in a sexual
way (outside of the relationship) that then leads to shameful
feelings and consequences (i.e., divorce). Or you have found
evidence of your partner acting out in a sexual manner that once
confronted has led to shame or remorse.
Beyond being discovered this will lead to Impairments or
interfering with day to day life, as a result of obsession or
compulsions towards sexual addiction.
Experiencing a cycle of recovery and repeat. Engaging in the
behavior, disengaging from the behavior and then cycling back into
the sexual addiction and once again feeling shame, remorse, and
So what can you do? Ten great
suggestions ... from Psychology Today
Make it a health issue
Embrace Quality and ditch quantity
Ride out transitions
Expect — and even embrace – false starts
Commit to community
Focus on follow-up
Avoid technology traps
End poisonous friendships
Remember the little things
Friendship is a topic for everyone. I notice that when people
start connecting with others in a way that
is nourishing , consistent and
meaningful it is the number one indicator of recovery
in my clinical practice. It is an essential piece of growth
that helps us cope with life challenges and a sense of
warmth and peace on a very personal level. So
let's all start to grow this skill for a better and deeper life.
Yes, even in this COVID19 time. There are many ways to
connect safely online or in a way that allows for distance that are