Much To My Delight

Much To My Delight

I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends…

I have an 18-year-old client who has no friends. By choice. Says she truly doesn’t want any. We talked about it the other day in session, and she explained that she was very committed to her studies and has no time for distractions. Plus, she added, what’s a friend really good for anyway?

We circled round and round, but still she insisted that she really didn’t need or want any friends. We explored how disappointment with past relationships is contributing to social avoidance. I assisted her in identifying ways having more support might be of some benefit. I listened and validated while cautiously challenging some of her thoughts.

What I really wanted to do was say was “Nope. You’re wrong. Sorry kid, but I’m older than you, and I know better.”

I wanted to be more direct and tell her that friends are important. They are really, really important. And whether she has two or 200 of them, developing friendships would likely be far more therapeutic than sitting in a tiny room across from me every Friday.

Friends will bring out the best parts of you. The fun, silly, sassy parts that remind you of being a kid.
They will compliment you when you’re looking good, and pick you up when you’re feeling bad.
They will be there to celebrate life’s biggest transitions.
And give you a hug when you need it more than air.
And whether they’ve been in your life for two years or 20, just knowing they’re a phone call away can make you feel so safe.
On Saturday, Vin and I bounced from borough to borough from 2 pm to 2 am visiting with different groups of friends.
We left a pile of dishes in the sink and clothes strewn all over the floor. We postponed several errands and stopped thinking about work demands.
When I think about it, my 18-year-old client had a point. Friends really are a distraction.
And that’s exactly why we all need them.

Jenn P.

30-something psychotherapist. Loves cooking, hosting parties, exploring new places. Texan by birth. New Yorker by choice. Likes to tell little stories. Pull up a chair; I'll tell you one.

  • Mandanya Rafa
    here is a quote from one of my friend’s facebook profile: “Friends are like a good bra, supportive, hard to find, and always close to your heart!” :D and did someone ever mentioned that you look so much like Diane Kruger in the Wicker Park?
  • Shug in Boots
    Bless her heart! I hope you get through to her. I can’t imagine life without friends. :(
  • Kathy
    Jenn – this was really beautiful. She’s lucky to have you to hopefully inspire her to open up her world to friends.
  • Shannon
    I’m going to go ahead and agree with you because 1) you’re a professional and 2) you clearly have awesome friends. And well yeah 3)I’ve got some too so I know it’s true. I kinda wanna smack that girl upside the head and knock some sense into her but then again, what I didn’t know at 18 could fill a book. She’ll get it someday…hopefully not too late to stockpile some awesome memories though. Meanwhile, there’s nothing I love more than sitting on the floor of a hotel in front of the mirror to do makeup with my friends. It somehow transports you back to being 13.
  • victoria | vmac+cheese
    It’s really a shame you can’t just send that client this post! Pretty sure that your point would be made. I LOVE the photo of all you kids on the staircase.
    I LOVE all these photos Jenn, how awesome & just how much fun did you have with your mates growing up? Once again there are NO bad pictures of you to be seen, only gorgeous ones of your friends and you! I read this thinking what?! How can they not understand how much love, fun, hugs, help, laughter, kindness, time friends can give you, especially in times of trouble… Being back in London, all i’ve done is be with my family and friends, I have missed them so much, they are the people who make my life so very special and fill it with fantastic memories!
  • Sinful Sundays
    Great photos!I love the one where everyone is kissing on the staircase, LOL I’m one of those people who would DIE without friends! Whether it’s suddenly calling one up on a Sunday night to go see a movie before having to trudge into work the next day, or coming over to do nothing and watch bad tv while eating junk food—I think everyone needs friends. You need that support…
  • Nada (One Arab Vegan)
    Such a heartwarming post! I can’t imagine life without my friends. I love that quote that goes “friends are the family you choose yourself”, so true. Also Jenn, you are gorgeous!