“I saw on Facebook that you went to Florida – was that fun?”
“I can’t believe your daughter is already 5 – she’s so cute!”
“Happy anniversary! So glad to hear you and Rob are happily married after all of these years.”
These are the kinds of conversations I have been having lately with friends – GOOD friends, friends I’ve seen often in real life, even friends I’ve gone on trips with or held their babies in the hospital when they were born or stood at the altar with, holding bouquets and holding back tears that she’d finally found Mr. Right.
Um, what the heck? This is not the kind of conversation that is going to keep those relationships going. But it’s the kind of conversation I’ve been settling for. And what’s really sad is that this habit of superficial discussion – Facebook-ready commentary – has a hangover effect in the real world, or at least it does in mine. It’s almost surreal to see friends in person whom I’ve kept up with on Facebook, but haven’t otherwise seen in a long time – because it seems like I have. Instead of giving us the opportunity to explore what each other has been up to, we already think we know! And then where do you go from there? If everything looks on the surface like all is hunky-dory (and when on Facebook is it not?), then, in my experience at least, it makes it even harder to find out if there are real, true, topics that a friend would like to talk about.
Crystal named this company HeartStories because she believes all women should listen to the true story in their hearts, the one that tells them how amazing they truly are, not the one that tells them they need to do more or be more to be loved. I would add to that: it’s not just our own heart stories we need to listen to, but those of our friends as well. What do they want to tell us, what do they need to say, to get off their chest, to gain support on? How can we be there for them? Authentically giving ourselves to our friends helps us in the end too. After all, there is going to be a day when I need someone to dig deeper than the “most adorable picture” I just posted and hear me out on the terror I’m really feeling inside.
Until that day comes – until the HeartStories app is ready, think about how you can get real with your friends. I will too.