“I have changed my view on friendships. What I found while researching Unicorn Space, is that the history you have with somebody is different than a spiritual friendship. And understanding that those are two different things is really important. Just because you have history with somebody doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the person to share your delicate dream with.” said Eve Rodsky, NY Times Best Selling Author, Attorney & Entrepreneur.
The great pandemic priority shift has led to everything from new jobs and careers, to cities and spouses. We’re in a time of massive transition. And whether it’s pursuing a dream, better health or presence, the people we surround ourselves with matters. Healthy adult relationships are essential to our wellbeing. But that glue that keeps friendships alive, like communication and contact, can dissolve. Once kids, career and other demands, vie for our time.
But what if you’re going through a growth spurt? Whether it’s emotional or professional, as our lives change so, does what we need from friends. So, how can we evolve our definition of friendship to build support for what’s next?
Most of Us Are Spending Less Time With Other Adults
In our pandemic study, over 2,700 parents, mostly Moms (97%) are overwhelmingly spending less time on their adult relationships (71%.) Yep, that includes friends. The intense time-squeeze, that predated Covid, became a vortex after.
A surveyed Mom said, “…Getting to the gym is much rarer, as is seeing friends.” The majority are managing careers (86%) with disrupted childcare or schooling (75%.) So, all-things-self-care, not only healthy adult relationships, have been edged out. Often, to address increased work and parenting responsibilities. When asked, how she wants to spend time. One surveyed Mom said wistfully, “…I want to focus on the important things in life family, friendships and growth.”
Which Can Put Pressure On Long Term Friendships
So, who has the time to meet new friends? Although relationships make life more vibrant, cultivating new ones takes energy. And friendships can become complicated. Because they’re conditional. We expect something in return for the years of service. Whether it’s love, support or just someone who sees us. And that can put pressure, on existing friendships that may not sync with your new reality. Or support your goals for personal transformation.
So, Find Your Spiritual Friends
In the book, Find Your Unicorn Space, Eve details what a spiritual friend is and how it might differ from a traditional one. “These are the friends who put you into an empowered, ‘I can face my fears’ state. …They’re not necessarily people you’ve known for a long time, and the relationships can be fleeting. What’s crucial is that they come into your life at the right time.” It’s an important distinction. In the book she adds, “My interviews revealed that spiritual friends of all forms, childhood besties, college roommates, our neighbors and children, often act as a strong antidote to fear. By giving us permission to begin again.”
To Cheer you On
The Unicorn Space is where you reclaim creative self-expression. So, feeling psychologically safe, is required as you branch out. What does that look like?
She outlines it in the book this way. “People who provide you with uplifting support and power you to find and use your voice and encourage you to share your special talents gifts and knowledge with the world. When you think about the people in your life today, the ones you’re surrounded by and routinely interact with, do they fall into this category?” You may have people in your life now, who fit that criterion. But if you don’t, there are many ways to find kindred souls.
Or Engage in Your New Interests
Eve explained, “That person who supports you and validates your work is important. And then there’s the type of spiritual friend that does ‘it’ with you. So, they run the marathon, hike the mountain, or take the circus class with you. Often, it’s not the person you have the most history with.”
In the book, she interviewed people who discovered everything from vegan baking, to advances in medical research. So, what “it” is matters less than having the support when you decide to pursue it.
Because New Paths Feel Vulnerable
Eve said, “One story that resonates with me around friendship was a woman named Sandy Zimmerman, who was the oldest woman to ring the red buzzer on American Ninja Warrior. And I was really interested in her because she was able to become a star on American Ninja Warrior while maintaining a career as a Phys Ed teacher. And she was a single mom for a long time and has three children.” Amazing!
But Support Combats Fear
Eve added, “So, she seems like the ultimate person to say she would have no time to specialize in parkour at the level and the rigor she needed to compete. But when she saw the casting call for the show, she said that it was really important she shared it with the right person.” Yes!
Eve added, “And she feels so lucky, that her delicate dream was in the hands of the right friend. Because she said, if she had shared it with the wrong person who had said, ‘Are you crazy? Now is not the time to apply for reality show’ she probably would have just not done it.”
So, Build Those Relationships
Awareness leads to new actions and support networks. And Eve explained her own shift, from lawyer to writer, focused on gender justice. She said, “So, this idea of a delicate dream and being really intentional about who you share it with was something that resonated with me a lot.” And in the book, she describes how she has friends in her life, that she relies on for different things. Like a friend to go on travel adventures with versus one she’ll take dance lessons with.
And Evolve Existing Ones
If you’re grieving changes in your friendships, it’s okay to reassess what you need. New boundaries sometimes mean endings. Part of becoming who you are meant to become, means letting go. Of certain habits, what other people think and sometimes even, what they want from you.
History is powerful. But it’s not the only way to determine the relationships that serve you. Or that you continue to nurture. So, assess what you need and take gradual steps. Even with limited time, online groups, forums and events are flourishing. So, you can meet people from the other side of town or the world, with relative ease.
Many thanks to my talented spiritual friend, Eve Rodsky!
Check out her amazing new book Find Your Unicorn Space. And if you haven’t read it yet, her game changing way to operationalize your home, Fair Play and its companion card game. Follow Eve’s great adventure on Instagram, Facebook and her website.
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About Eve Rodsky:
Eve Rodsky transformed a “blueberries breakdown” into a catalyst for social change when she applied her Harvard trained background in organizational management to ask the simple yet profound question: What would happen if we treated our homes as our most important organizations? Her New York Times bestselling book and Reese’s Book Club Pick, Fair Play, a gamified life-management system that helps partners rebalance their domestic workload and reimagine their relationship, has elevated the cultural conversation about the value of unpaid labor and care. In her highly anticipated follow-up, Find Your Unicorn Space: Reclaim Your Creative Life in a Too-Busy World, Rodsky explores the cross-section between the science of creativity, productivity, and resilience. Described as the ‘antidote to physical, mental and emotional burnout,’ Rodsky aims to inspire a new narrative around the equality of time and the individual right to personal time choice that influences sustainable and lasting change on a policy level.
Rodsky’s work is backed by Hello Sunshine—Reese Witherspoon’s media company whose mission is to change the narrative for women through storytelling. Rodsky was born and raised by a single mom in New York City and now lives in Los Angeles with her husband Seth and their three children.Tags: Achieving Goals, female friendships, finding friends who support your dreams, healthy adult relationships, learning, navigating changes in friendships