17 Feb 2017

First Look & FREE Chapters from My New Book!

I have spent thousands of hours of my life held hostage by worry about friendships with women.

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I have over-analyzed, ranted, and kept my husband awake as I rehashed interactions with women I care about—mining our conversations for minute details and trying to make sense of who was wrong and whether or not I needed to apologize or if I was justified in feeling so upset.

I have worried just as much about misunderstandings with women I didn’t even know on a first name basis.

I have cried in hidden corners of hotel lobbies over throwaway sentences that still managed to cut deep, and panic-checked my phone in the middle of the night for text messages. I have woken up first thing in the morning to squint at my emails in order to determine if an argument has escalated or finally been resolved. And I’ve walked through long days under the weight of dread that comes with unresolved conflict. I have hit refresh hundreds of times on Facebook to see who has included me, criticized me, or misunderstood me.

No matter what else has been going on around me, I’ve paused my life, my kids, my focus in church, my pot of boiling pasta, my work, my errands, my car, and at times even my anniversary celebrations in order to obsessively track what other people are saying about me. And I have wished I could control what they’re thinking about me too.

I have been afraid and resentful. I have wanted to hide. I have felt sorry for myself. I have been so full of jealousy I could almost feel it—like black, thick, greasy tar clogging up my soul. And I have wanted to blame the women around me for how terrible I’ve felt on my secret insides.

Friendship is not for the faint of heart.

Because nothing hurts as much as the unkind words of a friend.

And nothing heals as much as the acceptance and encouragement of a friend.

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And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

I’ve heard too many stories, cried with too many women, and apologized too many times to think I’m the only one with these bruises on my heart and holes in my story where friends fell through.

I’m guessing you can relate?

I’m guessing that, like me, while on the outside you might look like a grownup —maybe even with kids of her own—there’s a teenage girl that lives inside you just like the one that lives inside me. Mine has long, stringy hair and ears that embarrass her because once upon a time a hairdresser told her they stick out too far from her head.

The teenager inside our grown-up bodies still worries about fitting in, being included and what her friends think of her. She worries what people will think of her ears or maybe the tiny apartment she grew up in, her old acne scars or her struggle to make sense of math. Not to mention her fashion sense and whether or not she’s comfortable in the body she’s grown up into. And while she might look put together on the outside, she’s wondering if the “cool kids” notice her. Because she notices them noticing everyone else and she’s not sure how to make herself worthy of being included, invited, and loved.

No one can make us quite as unsure about ourselves as another woman.

And no one can make us quite as brave as another woman.

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In a world where women can unfriend each other with the swipe of a finger, how do we find friendships that we can trust to last?

Over the last almost decade serving you all here as the community manager at (in)courage I’ve had the chance to engage thousands of conversations with women about friendship. I’ve learned that no one can make us quite as unsure about ourselves as another woman. And nothing can wound as deeply as unkind words from a friend. While we are all hungry for friendship, it’s the fear of feeling awkward and being rejected, left out, or hurt (again) that often keep us from connecting.

But what if we knew we could never be unfriended? Would we risk friendship then?

I wrote a whole book about it.

It’s called: NEVER UNFRIENDED.

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Yup.

Because that’s what we all long for. The safety of friends who won’t unfriend us. We want to know what the secret is.

As honestly as I could I wrote them down for you. All the secrets I’ve learned the hard way.

Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships.

And because YOU ALL ARE MY PEOPLE I wanted to put her in your hands RIGHT NOW THIS SECOND.

So our publisher created a beautiful sampler just for you all. It has the introduction and 2 of my favorite chapters in it. For FREE. Because OBVIOUSLY.

Just fill in the form below to get the free sampler of Never Unfriended

Sign up to receive two FREE chapters of Never Unfriended…

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The whole book releases April 4. We can’t wait to share it with you all!

In the meantime, grab your copy of the sampler and then answer this question in the comments: When I think about friendship I feel……

Comments

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  1. 1

    When I think about friendship I feel grateful to have a few that I trust with all of me, because they also trust me with all of them. I do, at times, feel overwhelmed at the prospect of letting others in and how to be a “better friend” to everyone who would call me that. I can’t wait to read your book on this topic and glean from your experiences! Love you and so proud of you!!

  2. 2

    When I think about friendship I feel empty and lacking. Having moved every 2-3 years since getting married has taken its toll on even having friends. Its hard for me to mske friends to begin wih and my guard always seems to be up in case we move again, never wanting to get too close or build a friendship too deep for us to only travel 10 hrs away.

  3. 3

    When I think about friendship I feel conflicted. I love my BFF and sister, They’ve been with me for such a long time. I got married and moved cross country. The friends I made initially were all just friend’s of my husband’s family. When we attended a new church and I started making friends of my own, he seemed jealous and irritable. When my boys became school age and I started making friends with the moms at the school, same thing, my husband was jealous and irritable. We never have anyone over. I recently learned that my sons are Autistic. They are high functioning but making and maintaining friends will be difficult for them. So now I see that in my husband. Meeting mom’s for a ladies night out or just for coffee can become a sticky messy thing on the home front. So I do it less and less. So when I do see a friend, I feel like I suck all the energy out of them. I am so happy and excited to see and talk to another adult, talk to a mom friend that I might actually be a little scary.

    • 4

      Ohh hugs! I have a 7yo son on the autism spectrum (Aspergers) so I can relate to some of the trickiness you describe. Don’t give up. And you may find other mums in similar situations understand how ‘little’ things can be a huge drain and battle. In my town (in New Zealand) there is a monthly ASD coffee group, that while I don’t know them well it’s a relief to be understood and have a ‘safe’ zone. Best wishes.

  4. 5

    When I think about friendship I feel blessed but wonder if I’ve been a blessing

  5. 6

    When I think about friendship I feel sad and heavy-hearted, misunderstood, and a bit like a misfit. I’m 41 and have always had many friends in my lifetime. Friendship has been wonderful. However, in my adult years I have come to know that authentic friendship is rare, people disappoint, judge, and let you down and the fairweather friends are more abundant than the genuine “through thick and thin” friends. I’ve discovered this the hard way. But still thankful for the couple true friendships I have and the wonderful friend I have in Jesus. He never fails!

  6. 7

    To sum it up best, I often feel as if I’m either “too much” for some, or “not enough” for others.

  7. 8

    When I think about friendship, I feel discouraged and frustrated. I have always had really close, great, deep friendships in my life that have been the biggest gift ever, especially since I’m now 45 and have never married. However, now this group of friends has married and scattered all over the country while I have developed health issues and am now disabled. Therefore, it’s difficult to see my “old friends” very often, but it’s also difficult to make new friends all due to my limitations. Plus, I’m pretty high-maintenance now (wheelchair, can’t drive, etc.), so making new friends can be awkward. I tend to have my guard up wanting desperately not to get hurt, yet I know that’s the wrong approach. Thanks for writing about this!

  8. 9

    LisaJo, I just read your chapter in The Heart of Marriage book by Dawn Camp,
    “Give me an ordinary love.”
    Thank you for for writing from your heart. Thank you for writing these words.
    My intention was to randomly write a thank you note, on your blog, and just tell you that I appreciate your courage and transparency. I wanted to tell you that I consider you a Friend.
    And then I get here and read this post and relate to you even more.

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