Ever wish you had more friends who really had your back? In my interview with Lisa-Jo Baker you'll learn the secrets of being a great friend and developing friendships that stand the test of time and distance.
Lisa-Jo Baker has been the community manager for (in)courage.me, an online home for women all over the world for nearly a decade. She's the author of Never Unfriended and her writings have been syndicated from New Zealand to New York. She lives just outside Washington, DC with her husband and their three very loud kids, where she connects, encourages, and champions women in person and through her blog, lisajobaker.com.
Nuggets of Wisdom from Lisa-Jo:
“The shortest distance between strangers and friends is a shared awkward story.”
“Time is a gift from God…If we really want to connect with our friends, we have to be willing to be inconvenienced. To make time. Because time is the thing we do not always have enough of. I spent the last few years working on this book. So, I have spent a lot of time studying Jesus' model of friendship. And the thing that is so fascinating to me is He was never too busy, and he was constantly interrupted by people.”
“I think what we do not realize about friendship is if we want it to grow deeper, we have to be willing to be inconvenienced by the people around us. And sometimes that is just our own kids, but I think often on a day to day basis, what it looks like for me now is when a friend calls or messages or texts, the neighbor kids come over and knock at the door when I am making dinner, to open the door, to make time to stop what I think is really busy and important, for the people that are right in front of me. ”
“I think you have to feed them (friends). They are like plants. They require water and sun and food and all that good stuff. Anytime we are not sowing into our friendship, then it has the opportunity to just kind of wither away.”
“While it is good to remain intentional and that is what we do, I think it is also important to have an agreed upon breathing room. So what we say in our friendship is that we believe in guilt-free friendship, which means if you have not had time to respond to that email or that message or that group, or you have to miss the last gathering, nobody gets to call you out on it or be mad at you or make you feel guilty or be passive-aggressive towards you. Because friendship cannot live in that kind of atmosphere either. So, say I am looking for a friendship, that I am trying to be a friend, that's not your skinny-jeans version of friendship, but more like your sweat-pants version of friendship. That leaves room to breathe and to connect.”
“When our friends know us, they love us for who we are, not some version of ourselves we are trying to pretend to be. And so being honest with who we are is a gift that we give our friends. And being in a healthy place and being a friend to ourself first, I really do think is what enables us to be a good friend to others.”
“It should not be easy to unfriend people… The reality of friendship is that it happens on a slow daily basis between small groups of women who do life together, and that there is such a reward in that.”
Some of Lisa-Jo‘s Favorite Things:
Personal habit: “I am okay with there being a certain degree of chaos in each of my children's bedrooms, but I need the main living area to be cleared off every night. I cannot handle it if we go to bed with chaos there.”
Easy meal: “The Four Ingredient Cookbook. Crunchy Oven-Roasted Chicken. Chicken breast covered in smashed up cornflakes and baked in an oven for an hour. ”
Lisa-Jo's Favorite Books: “Trilogy: The Riddlemaster of Hed by Patricia A. McKillip”
Best advice received: “You think love is a feeling. Love is not a feeling. Love is a choice.”
Lisa-Jo's Happiness Formula:
“I am happiest when I am by myself watching Netflix alone. I am happiest though with a few very good friends who know me inside and out.”
A Challenge from Lisa-Jo:
“What is one thing you could do to be inconvenienced this week for someone else?”
Trilogy: The Riddlemaster of Hed by Patricia A. McKillip
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