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ten ways to have more friends


Friendship is a word that is laden with so much angst. It is one part of our life that be completely BRUTIFUL. Many parts beautiful and so much brutal. Conflict, unmet expectations, loneliness, and cliques.

Lately, I have been reflecting on what friendship means as I step into my forties and changes are afoot.


Fewer expectations, More spontaneity

As a Mum and a wife, I have realised in this season that friendship for my season needs to carry less expectation and more spontaneity. Friendships that carry expectations, like…”Why haven’t you called?”, “Why wasn’t I invited?”, “Why are you not spending time with me?” are being reprioritised for friendships that are full of encouragement, life and “I know we haven’t spoken for ages, but how are you?”

Less Criticism, More Accountability

Honestly, it is easy to sit in a conversation with someone you know well and become the critic. Comparing one another is rife in conversations between women and when we sit in the space of judgment and thinking we know better, the friendship becomes toxic and decays. These days I am searching and keeping friends who want to criticise less and be honest a whole lot more. I want and need friendships that are accountable. Ones that have the courage to say, “Amanda you can do this.” and also ones that are honest enough to say this conversation is not healthy for either of us.

Less Intensity, More Fun

Back in the day, I was a clown. Funny jokes, dance parties, cookie bake-offs were my jam. Lately, in the pursuit of meaning and inspiration, I have become a little intense. Bring back the movie going, coffee planning, the hang-out loving friend of my twenties. Dance a little, smile a whole lot and bring back the playful you.

Less Waiting, More Contacting

I have realised if I play the victim and hold a list of who has contacted me when, I would have fewer friends. If I think of someone, I message them. If I have an idea or encouragement, I contact the friend. Do you hold account of how many times you made the first move in friendship? Are you always wondering whether you are being used? When we sit in the seat of the accountant in the friend contacting game, we will always loose. Contact, text, call and extend. With no expectation of return.

Less Talking, More Listening

Friendships can easily be ruined by too much conversation. Can you sit in silence with a friend? Do you fill the voids with so much information that the listener is overwhelmed? Do you have an answer for everything? What if our goal in friendship was to listen more and venting less? What if we became such amazing listeners, that people desperately wanted to be around us?

Less Whining, More Encouraging

The most enjoyable people to be around are those who sit in the seat of the cheerleader. Competition can be cancer to friendships and when we spend time competing with our friends rather than championing their best, we both loose. The thought “I’ll have what she is having” is one of the worst phrases on friendship that could have ever been invented.

Less Assuming, More Letting Go

Social Media is a scourge on our friendship cultures. We see a post, we read into the messages communicated and bam we have landed in assumption. Many times lately, I have had people speak about assumptions they have concocted from social media rather than the truth. After a quick conversation, it is funny to realign what people have assumed about my life and what is the reality. This year I am committing to assume less and let go more. Believing the best is the most amazing way to sit in the place of friendship. If a friend says she is unavailable “She’s busy”. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to hang out with you, let that thought go.

Less Insecurity, More Passion

When we find our own passions and we place ourselves in a space of acceptance, we become much easier friends to be around. When we access every conversation and interaction from a place of self-acceptance, self-compassion and future focused opportunity, we become great friends. When we are secure about our voice, our purpose and our passions, when we spend time with other like-minded women, we don’t spend the whole time we are together reframing the sense of worth in the conversation. The more we come from a foundation of love and acceptance about ourselves, the more people will gather alongside.

Less Copying, More Individuality

Do you allow your friends the autonomy of being different? Do you love them fiercely, but let them have the space to explore their own wisdom for each season? This is the tension of great culture in friendships. When we expect our friends to react the same way, to think the same as us or to feel the same way, we will constantly be disappointed. How do you release friends into their new? Do you try to hold them back out of fear of the unknown? Less co-dependence, more release. We need to hold our friends lightly and allow them to explore new friends, new opportunities and new experiences. With a flavour and individuality that is completely their own. We need to release those closest to us to explore with freedom. When we demand loyalty to the point of stifling friendships out of fear of rejection, we crush the very essence of friendship, which is trust.

Less Fake Moments, More Authenticity

Authenticity is the catch cry of the last few years and may fill your heart with dread but when we commit to less fakeness and more honesty, the true colour of friendship is revealed. Can you listen to a friend who is revealing their heart, without taking on their feedback as an offense? I have often told myself this phrase “Amanda, offense is a choice” I have realised that I have a choice in the way I respond to others behaviour. Sometimes in friendship we can care way too much and hold onto the expectations that can keep us captive. If we want more true, long lasting, honest friendships we need to be honest and we need to keep short accounts in our offense banks. Each and every time we forgive and we let go, not allowing bitterness to become the paint that we colour friendships with, we all win.

These are some random musings on friendship, this February afternoon.

What would be your less or more statements around friendship?

Happy Days

Amanda Marie



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Finding the bigger picture: how to fight fair.

Fighting Fair

One of the hardest things to do in the midst of intense conflict is to find the bigger picture.

Albeit difficult, those who have the capacity to find perspective in the midst of confusion, misunderstanding and difficulty are the ones who end up with satisfying relationships. Those who can’t find the bigger picture, go around the fighting ferris wheel over and over, never finding what they are desperately looking for.

Every conflict has the capacity to create deeper and long lasting relationships or wound every person in the story.

None of us want conflict in our lives. Even those who are confrontational in their style of communication, will walk away wishing that that conversation went down differently.

What if we were empowered with some tools that helped us find perspective quickly in the midst of conflict?

Lately, I have found three simple ways to help find the bigger picture in the midst of conflict and these have been helping me so much in the midst of my difficult conversations.

Finding my voice

Imagine your life right now was a movie and every movie story line is soaked in conflict. Without conflict the story has no movement and shape. The difference between a movie though and real life, the emotions we feel in the midst of conflict are very, very real.

Most conflict happens in a movie when the protagonist (the lead character) looses their voice in some way. When they feel they are not being heard, when they are being silenced, when they are being misunderstood, when they are facing injustice or when they are hurt.

These are the same reasons why conflict occurs in our everyday lives. Most fights in our everyday, are actually about what is happening inside of us, not the circumstance that is causing the difficult conversation.

When I became a first time Mum, one of the greatest difficulties and also greatest opportunities was when I gave up full time work. I realised this season silenced me. It was like when I lost my job, that I also lost my voice. I was defined so much by my work, that when I no longer had a position any more, I realised that I had built my confidence around what I did, rather than who I was.

In this year, I made a decision to write on my blog every single day. It was through writing that I started to find my voice again. I dug deep, I delved into the greater story. I found perspective. I realised that writing was an important tool in helping me find internally the parts of my story, that I felt had been taken away.

My first thought is this…In the midst of the conflict, one of the reasons the fight gets dirty, when we feel like we are not being heard and not able to express properly what we are truly feeling.

“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” Malala Yousafzai

You will constantly be fighting with people and you will not be satisfied by any of your relationships, if you are not finding a way to express yourself healthily. Learning deeply what you are trying to say and finding peace internally before the conflict even starts. Most conflicts have nothing to do with the actual circumstance but everything to do with our internal peace.

Step back and think “What am I actually trying to say?”

Find the pause button

Our greatest regrets are the things we have said in the heat of the moment that we wish we had never said. There are moments in the midst of destructive conversations, that we need to press pause.

Im not saying stop the conversation, because when we stop communicating, when we become passive aggressive, we loose our voice and we all know what happens when people stop communicating, something small happens and they erupt.

The thing about pausing a movie, is we come back and press play again.

We need to find the bigger picture in the midst of the conflict, press pause, find the grace, find the bigger picture and then find a way to process the first point of what we are really trying to say.

“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”Brené Brown

We all get it wrong, we are designed to struggle, but when we press pause and when we gain perspective we remember we are worthy of love and belonging. In that place of strength we communicate with so much more clarity and peace.

Step back and find perspective in the pause.

Find the best possible reason

Lately I have been doing this little thing which is honestly changing the conflict in the midst of my life. Conflict with my toddler, conflict with my husband, conflict with my family.

I ask myself this question.

What is the best possible reason I can find for this behaviour?

Instead of going crazy in my head before the conflict starts, or in response to something really nasty that has happened, I get creative and I ask myself to come up with the best possible reason for the behaviour.

Honestly us humans are not great at this. Often we think things about what other people are thinking and we so often get it totally wrong. The depth of emotion that flies out mid conflict is all in direct association to the way we think about the person and the circumstance in the days post or pre conflict.

We are our worst enemies in this battle zone.

What if when something annoying happens, we find the best possible answer rather than the worst.

Step back and ask what is the very best possible explanation for this behaviour?

It actually starts to become fun. Try it sometime.

I hope these three thoughts on conflict resolution help you find some more peace in your relational worlds and help you to fight and communicate a little fairer.

Speak again soon,


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How to disagree with friends well.



I really struggle to disagree with people. I have differences of opinions often and I am not shy to speak my mind but I always walk away shaking.

I really don’t like having hard conversations with people. At the same time though, I am also completely convinced that authenticity and honesty go hand in hand, so hard conversations follow this philosophy I live by.

Does this make it easy though?

Absolutely not.

If I tell someone I disagree with them, if I have to tell someone “no”, if I have to have a hard conversation, my heart quakes for days. I may look hard on the outside, but I am honestly soft real close by. It’s like I was created like Creme Caramel. I look like Im tough to break, but a quick tap and the custard flows fast and thick.

Maybe it is because I care deeply for people and struggle with the uneasy place in our relationship. I don’t know, but lately I have been feeling the weight of hard conversations more than ever before.

I wish I could just keep my mouth shut.

I wish I could stop the conversation before it gets awkward.

But I really don’t want to spend time in shallow relationships, keeping things nice and clean, just so it doesn’t ever get awkward.

I want to keep things real. Super real and that is not an easy path.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.

Finding peace and serenity in the area of relationships is not about brushing over wrongs quickly, it is having courage to live reasonably happy in the midst of difference.

Ghandi was well known to be a person who often spoke his mind but was a constant advocate for peace. He wrote this about friendship;

friends quote

Honest difference.

What a fabulous thought. We do not need to be the same to be deep spirited friends. It is okay to have differences between friendships and hold onto that which created the union in the first place.

Just like the beginning of this poetic prayer states, in friendship to find a way to let go that which we cannot change and have courage to change which we can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Imagine if we applied this wisdom to our realm of friendships.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about who I call my friends and I am more determined than ever to engage my heart and life with those who are on the journey with me but also to hold people lighter than ever before.

In the past I was known to be someone who cared deeply for my friends.

In fact a lot of them with a heart that was so in the right place, would try to change my friends for the better.

These days I am learning that this is not my place or right. I want to be someone who is honest. I want to be a friend that accepts difference. Someone who speaks life and truth, but doesn’t own the result of those changes.

It is not our place to change people.

It is not our place to change friends.

However honest difference means that we speak the truth with care and love, holding people lightly, allowing them to transition seasons with grace and know that sometimes, some friends don’t shift into the season you are now in.

It doesn’t change the beauty of what you experienced together though.

It doesn’t change the past.

What if we engaged healthily in the movement and changing tides of people’s lives and helped them to be released into light and love?

What if we loved deeply, but held on lightly?

I totally believe it is possible.

In the area of friendships and relationships I am learning to not insist that friends think the same as me, I am learning to accept difference, but at the same time speak the truth in love.

What a crazy, audacious plan in the area of our friends and family. Can we love people enough to allow them to make their own decisions and live differently to us but create opportunities where we can be so honest that it doesn’t break the fragile place between us.

Some big thoughts this Sunday Eve,

Sleep well truth seekers,

Talk tomorrow


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she is a great friend

Maximus on the Three Island Cruise, with Rockingham Wild Encounters today

There is nothing like a good friend.

She is like a warm coat on a windy day, an easy pair of jeans when you have eaten a little too much or a big pair of gumboots when the weather has turned grey.

She is warm.

She is comfy.

She protects.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about friendship. Actually I think about friendship all the time, it is really important value that my husband and I hold dear, but lately I have been thinking about it more often than normal. The reason I have been thinking about it, is despite the shifts and changes in my season, I am determined to carry on being a good friend.

It takes effort to be a friend. To ring, to visit, to forgive, to hold lightly, to speak, to listen.

Charl and I were talking just yesterday in fact about something we want to do in the coming years and who we would want to do it with. It was a great conversation. We talked about who our closest friends were, we talked about who impacted us the most, who we respected.

We walked and talked for a good hour about friendship and how important it is to us.

How easy is it to lose sight of good friends?

It’s like our ship sails into a new season and our friends are kind of waiting on the shore doing their thing and we lose sight of them.

Some friendships and seasons change. In fact a lot do, but sometimes we need to make effort and priority to spend time with those people who are our comfy pair of jeans.

The ones that we could be at our very worst and they see us at our best. The ones whose voice we hear over the loud internal noise in our days. Wisdom is gained in company.

Proverbs 25: 11 says it this way;

Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket.

or this one from proverb 24: 26

An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship

Friends are the greatest gift in seasons of change and transition and we are never too old to make another friend.

The best way to make a friend is to start a conversation and to ask them out for coffee. The best way to keep a friend is to forgive an offence and be generous with your words and life. The best way to have many friends is to keep growing and moving, holding your words and their time preciously.

The wisest of women spend their life in company of many different women, of all different ages, opinions, experiences and religions.

Proverbs 13: 20 also says this;

He who walks with the wise grows wise.

Friendship is the greatest proving ground for wisdom.

In this age of online, quick, nasty, debating, quick to unfriend culture, let’s make sure that we hold our friends closely and listen to their hearts for the future.

Friendship is the greatest of gifts.

It enriches our days, sharpening our acceptance of difference and makes us much deeper humans.

Make friends with someone who is very different to you.

It will usher wisdom into your days.

Tomorrows post: She faces her pain



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Make her laugh…



Today I wrote a new piece on “Make her laugh…it might just change everything”.

“Our hearts were not designed to be overwhelmed by a tide of words that pull down and tear apart.

Our souls were not created with a tenacity to overcome the bitterness and severity of opinions that are so freely shared.

We need to be determined in the nurture of the gentle parts of our inner world. We need to be intentional in the ways that we recover from seasons of intense sadness and conversations that tear us apart.

Words have power.

The power of life and death.”

Click here: Kinwomen to keep reading.

Happy May, lovelies…