Sunday, 10 May 2009

Things I've Learnt From My Friends


Photo: kids hanging out on a Cuban street. Some things are the same across the world!

It's amazing how much you can learn from watching your friends, whether it's the things they get right or the things they get... well, less right. So I thought I'd share a few lessons which I've learnt by watching other people:
  • The things you feel self-conscious about are unlikely noticed by anyone else. Friends notice whether you look happy today or in need of cheering up - not whether you've got a spot or are having a bad hair day.

  • Bringing presents (even tiny ones) when you go to stay with someone is a great way to make your hosts feel special. This is a great lesson and one I have to put into practise myself when I visit people!

  • There is really no relationship between happiness and money, once you get above the basic question of "do I have enough food & shelter to survive?"

  • It's better to say 'no' than to say 'yes' just because you feel obliged - you won't do a very good job if you're feeling pressured into doing something as a favour.

  • It's okay to ask visitors to bring sleeping bags so long as (a) they're driving, and (b) it's only for a couple of nights (we would probably offer anyway). On the other hand, a comfy bed with bedding & towels does mean there's one less thing to worry about, and make things more relaxing for your guests.

  • You look better if you wear clothes of the right size: trying to squeeze into something a size smaller will make you look overweight even if you're a stick insect. And no-one is reading those labels anyway!

  • With a really solid friendship, you can drift apart for months or years and then pick up where you left off. The intervening time can probably be summed up in about three sentences.
What have you learnt from watching your friends?


Holler said...

That is a good list to live your life by Rachel!

MarjnHomer said...

the same with being a mom, we all want our kids to grow up and make us proud...

Chef E said...

Great list, and a good example was the woman walking the street fair yesterday with half her top half hanging out of a blouse and skirt waaayyy to small for her, and it was 'Hey look at me bright pink' :) I always take gifts, and leave thank you notes. I was brought up that way, or maybe I figured it out...

Patty said...

I've learned that real friends understand if you are too busy to join in in whatever it is they are doing.

Real friends also forgive and never judge.

At least that is the kind of friend I am.

Great post. Thanks!

Patty said...

BTW: Love the photo.

Kazzy said...

great lessons. love the clothes one!

jenny2write said...

I like these rules. I'd add another one, which is to watch other people and copy those you admire. We all do this naturally as kids but it works as a grown up too.

I thought this when I was looking at the blogs of you and other bloggers that I admire. They'e so friendly and approachable and give the feeling that you're always interested to hear what everyone says.

I'd been all set to give up my own travel blog because I was so busy it was getting hard to write it.

Then I thought that hey a few people do read it regularly, and I do value them. I wouldn't walk away from people in the pub saying I was too busy to talk, would I?

So I've taken down my "goodbye for now" notice. And even though my blog may be a bit sketchier for a while, I've decided to carry on.

So Rachel I learned this from looking at you, and a couple of other bloggers too - all of you create such a welcoming and friendly blog environment. Thanks!

Jeanne said...

The only one I'd add is: reading someone's blog is a pretty good substitute for watching them.

Great list!

anudivya said...

This is a beautiful post... I have never stopped to think twice about it.
The more we have we end up wanting more anyway, so where is happiness anyway with more money?

Butler and Bagman said...

I like Patty's answer...about friends not judging. Unconditional love and acceptance always works better than picking out faults and holding them up.

Lorraine said...

Well said! And can you believe there is a huge industry of self-help books on concepts that you've just articulated so well here? And they don't have the great photos to go along with it.

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

So true about the hostess gift. I always practice it myself and one of my sons friends brought me a small box of chocolates once as a hostess gift which has endeared me to her forever. Such a little thing but makes a huge impact. You're absolutely right also, about the fitting into clothing which is too small. I usually have the opposite problem though, and try to wear comfy clothing which is ultimately too big so I look like I'm wearing a sack. I'll have to work on that one. Wishing you a great weekend!

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