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WISDOM WITHIN - February 2016 - Kansas City
Keys to Creating Magical Life-Long Friendships
By Suzette Scholtes
When I walked into my freshman dorm, there she was in a mini skirt with her long blonde hair, smoking a cigarette by the window. “Well,” she said, “Look at you!” I was in church clothes with my hair in a tight bun. We were as different as night and day.
I came to college from a boarding school. I spent my days working, studying and praying. I went to bed early. She would be out drinking beer, having a good time, and when she came into our room said “Good God you are in bed all ready!”
We decided to find new roommates and began to hunt. Nada. The second semester we began to talk and visit and get to know one another. We spent four years together as roommates. Now 40 years later we are the best of friends.
I think we balanced one another during our vulnerable youth. We studied together, shared boyfriend gossip and teacher complaints. We both graduated with honors: she a wise mathematician who ended up as director at one of Wichita’s huge aircraft companies. I moved to Kansas City with a focus in journalism.
We got together often over the years. She was my maid-of-honor. She drove to KC for my mom’s funeral and when her mom passed, I flew to Chicago to be with her.
Recently, our friendship feels more tender, more intimate, more caring than before. It is magic! Are there keys to creating magical friendships?
Say YES a lot. Be open to connect. Be honest and open and keep up boundaries as needed.
Give with Generosity. If you are “giving” to “get” it will not work. True love fosters trust, trustworthiness, honesty, and vulnerability, respect, sharing and caring.
Be silly and fun. Send funny texts or good quote or link to share. It gives you more to talk about as we all share common and different interests.
Listen. It is the hallmark of a good friend: a partnership of mutual support. Try not to fix one another’s problems. Maybe “suggest” a solution or when I ask for an opinion I want to hear it full and clear.
Be vulnerable. If you are afraid of sharing how you truly feel with a friend it will not mature to the next level. We must share true thoughts and feelings. But not to dump on them. My friend and I say “permission to whine?” That makes us laugh as we clear our worries and fears.
Show gratitude. She always asks me if I have time to talk and I will always find a time. We say how much we appreciate one another for making time for one another.
Ask for support. We are vulnerable in asking for support but if you wish to deepen intimacy allow your friends to help you out. Consider how good you feel when you have helped a friend with something?
We shared the holiday month talking, eating, laughing, and making plans for something fun to do together. We laughed about our trip to Sanibel Island where we rented our first electric car. We could never tell if the car was on or off it was so quiet. And then she said, “Remember we took that car back and top it off with gas was $1.85?”
We no longer wear miniskirts and my hair is long and hers is short. Who knew being “so different” would turn into a life-long friendship to treasure with all our hearts?
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Suzette Scholtes’ non-fiction writing won the prestigious “Writers Digest” award. Her passions are writing and yoga and she feels one needs a sense of humor for both. She founded The Yoga School of Therapeutics where she manages one of the regions prestige teacher training programs. 10400 W. 103rd Street,