How to tell a nourishing friendship from a draining one

Note: Jen is a real person. Gretchen is not.

Pace and Kyeli, driving home after an evening with Gretchen

“Did you have a good time?” asked Pace.

Talk to the Hand by Andy Wilkes

Kyeli replied, “I did, for the most part. But there was one thing I wanted to ask you about: What do you think Gretchen meant by that vague comment about money?”

Pace said, “I have no idea. Maybe she was unhappy about sharing the cost of food? Maybe it was something totally unrelated? Whatever it was, it seemed to be bothering her a lot. I noticed you tried to draw her out to see if you could help, but she really didn’t want to talk about it.”

Kyeli said, “Yeah, I know. I don’t like to complain, but I can’t help it; Gretchen’s passive-aggressive comments were really getting on my nerves tonight! Like, if she’s cold, why can’t she just say, ‘Do you mind if I close the window?’ instead of ‘It sure is chilly in here…’ and then get pissed when nobody picks up the hint! Oh, turn right at the next light.”

Pace nodded and said, “Yeah, I find myself constantly trying to read her mind and deduce if she needs anything, because I don’t trust her to speak up. I get tense on her behalf unless I catch myself and remind myself to treat her like a big girl.”

Kyeli’s phone yipped like a baby fox. “Huh. It’s a text from Gretchen. She says that she really enjoyed hanging out with me tonight.”

Pace raised an eyebrow and said, “That’s nice… but kinda weird that she texted you and not me. What do you make of that?”

…and they talked about Gretchen all the way home.

Pace and Kyeli, driving home after an evening with Jen

“Did you have a good time?” asked Pace.

Friends=Hands to Hold by jennymcb

Kyeli replied, “Yes. I love Jen. She’s so great.”

Pace nodded. “Agreed,” she said.

Kyeli cranked up the chiptune dubstep, and they rocked out all the way home.

Are your friends Jens or Gretchens?

Notice how much time you spend processing or talking about your friends after you spend time with them. How does it make you feel? If you feel bad, what could you do to feel less bad, or to feel bad less often?

When you find a friend whom you feel great around and you have nothing to process afterward, that is a true treasure. Nourish the crap out of that friendship!

Feel clear and confident about your direction in life!


Do you wish you could follow your heart, but it seems impossible? I can help you find the clarity and courage you need.

In other words, I can help you find your path.