Asking your friends what they need

This was too long for a tweet but maybe too short for a blog! I wanted to share it though.

Friendship is the most important thing to me. I cherish my friends and take the practice of friendship very much to heart. The pandemic changed what’s been possible and whilst keeping in touch with people in new and different ways, being able to pick up on how people are and what they might need has felt harder. So at the beginning of this year I sent out 3 questions on a Google form to a group of my friends. I wondered if that was a really weird thing to do — could an interaction like that be any less relational or intimate? I knew it wouldn’t be replacing the intuitive or spontaneous ways of supporting or being with my friends.

However, I felt like there was something important about just being direct. Sometimes even in our closest relationships, making things explicit can be helpful.

The questions I asked are below and I’m sharing it here because people have been really positive about being asked. I’ve loved hearing from people and feel I now have some really clear ways I can support my friends and a list of activities to look forward to doing with them.

Of course not everyone took part. I made it really clear that never replying to it was absolutely okay — recognising that at the moment the level of overwhelm many are experiencing could make something like this another task on a to-do list.

You’ll have your own ways of doing it but reaching out and making yourself available to friends might be just the thing that’s needed at the moment.

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Cassie Robinson.

Cassie Robinson.

Working with Joseph Rowntree Foundation, EarthPercent, P4NE, Policy Fellow IIPP, Co-founder Point People, Founder Stewarding Loss, International Futures Forum.