We all have friends. This precious circle my include someone from work, your community, your volunteer groups, neighborhood and even a family member. You don’t need me to tell you about who makes up your friend group or why they are important. But true, blue friends are sometimes hard to find.
If you’re looking to broaden your circle, turn to books, book groups and bookstores for friendships. Let me explain:
Recently, I met with a woman who was writing a book and thinking about leaving her fulltime legal work to start a consulting business. When we’d first met, there was an instant connection around shared interests and her energy and enthusiasm mirrored mine. I was excited to see where this friendship would go. I accepted her invitation for coffee, but shortly thereafter discovered that after several hours of some free career coaching (or conversation centered around how she too could build a business) she no longer responded to further invites to connect.
Needless to say, this was a colossal disappointment. To be honest, this wasn’t the first time this has happened (hazard of the trade). But an interesting thing happened to me the last day we’d met. After she’d left our table, I was approached by someone who shared that they “couldn’t help but overhear our conversation” and wondered if it was a formal coaching session. “No,” I explained with a laugh. “I wouldn’t coach with a client in such a public place.” After we exchanged introductions, I learned that this woman was a financial manager at a bank and found herself in similar one-sided, short-lived friendships.
Okay, so here’s where it gets interesting. I asked her when she does meet with her friends, what does she like to talk about.
Guess what she said—”books.”
Ironically, we’d been sitting in a café of a local bookshop, where we both preferred the ambiance. So naturally, our conversation quickly turned to books. And that’s how a fictional friendship was exchanged for a fiction-based one. To clarify, I am still friends with my café connection, and we meet regularly to discuss our favorite fictional books amongst other authentic topics of interest.
In the words of Rick Blaine, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”