One of my Honey Bees asked me to write a story about the type of questions I would like to ask my close friends. This gets somewhat complicated because if they are already close friends, shouldn’t we know what makes them tick? These women are ‘the cream in our coffee.’ They add delicious flavor to our lives. We share thoughts, we ask questions and we give one another advice, therefore what additional questions do we have left to ask? Plenty darlings, plenty…
I am sitting next to my best friend, my husband Shelly, on a Lufthansa flight to Moscow. Our relationship is near perfect because we allow ourselves to be an open book with no secrets from one another. Upon reflection, close friendships are not meant to match the intimacy of a husband and wife. We can peel back and share layers of deep thoughts with our closest friends, but there are private situations and thoughts every woman keeps close to her chest.
When a close friend helps you swim to a safety net, you know she cares. When a close friend showers you with joy for an opportune circumstance, you know she is genuine, When a close friend defends you in front of others, you understand her loyalty. When you are within the company of close friends and you do not notice the time slipping away, you know you have simpatico, shared attributes and interests. What else do you need to know?
My Honey Bee came up with an interesting idea for a story. It would be enlightening to hear my closest friends’ answers to my questions. Likewise, it would be equally challenging for me to come up with my own thought-provoking questions.
We know women over 50 need one another and want strong friendships. No woman should be an island unto herself. No woman should stand alone. The deeper we understand our closest girlfriends’ psyches and vice versa, the stronger our bond becomes.
A Surprising Realization
Although we think we know our closest friends, I came to the surprising realization that there is plenty we don’t actually know about each other. We spend our time talking about social gossip, family drama, shopping, travel, what we are going to do with the rest of our lives, retirement, diets, politics, health issues, the latest fashion and beauty products. However, rarely do we ask each other truly personal questions. Those are saved for the shrinks or as my ultimate concierge calls these professionals, stretches. While most women thirst to reveal their feelings, they stop short because they don’t want others, even their closest friends, to see their vulnerabilities.
Let’s Play A Game of 20 Questions
Most women thirst to talk. I know this because I have put together two groups of ten women that meet monthly. I am in the process of starting another group. I could pick up my phone today, call 100 women and have 9 groups in a day. Ten out of 100 might turn me down.
I have a private virtual network attached to my site honeygood.com that is still in beta form. It’s not up to snuff yet darlings but trust me, it will be. In the past few months, 19 groups covering varied topics have formed with no leadership. Women over 50 told other women over 50 and they joined my free private network, bemoxienow, because they want to be part of a group or several groups. Why? They want to talk; they want to share. They want to belong. Most importantly, they want to grow. They don’t want to feel lonely. More information will be coming once we’re ready to roll this out. For any of my darlings who are eager beavers and would like to join a little earlier than the rest, please reach out to Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discussions of deep issues within groups work. I think deep conversations between very close friends can also work. It helps to play the 20 Questions game to explore anything you’re experiencing. I think before long, you will be knee deep in contemplative conversation, feeling closer than ever and building even stronger relationships.
In All Seriousness, Let’s Play 20 Questions
- What scares you?
- When you are upset, do you want to talk or do you want your space?
- What are you most insecure about?
- Do you think you had a past life?
- What one thing would you like to change about yourself?
- Are you trusting?
- Is there a dream you wished you had fulfilled?
- Do you think it’s selfish to put yourself first?
- Do you feel invisible?
- Do you feel you are a powerful woman? Why or why not?
- Is there something you do not like about yourself?
- If you could re-do one day in your life, which would it be and why?
- Who understands you the best in your family?
- What pattern in your life bothers you daily?
- What do you value most in your friendships?
- What course of action do you take when friends disappoint you and let you down?
- Do you practice acceptance?
- Do you think taking the high road and keeping your silence is golden?
- Who or how many people in your life seriously disappointed you?
- Do you believe gratitude gives you latitude?
There is my list, darlings. Choose from it as you like. This exercise will open the door to a deeper understanding among all of us women over 50, which is positive psychology at its best.