• Keeping Friends

Eat, Pray, Love, and Befriend

Published: January 12, 2008 | Last Updated: April 2, 2016 By | 4 Replies Continue Reading

I just read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert—finally.

In the book, Gilbert translates an Italian phrase un’amica stretta, which means a close friend

With her wonderful way with words and analogies, she goes on to say, "…stretta literally means tight, as in clothing, like a tight skirt. So a close friend, in Italian, is one that you can wear tightly, snug against your skin.."

I would say that having such friendships is right up there with eating, praying and loving!






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Comments (4)

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  1. Irene says:

    What you say goes for ALL relationships!

    Thanks for posting~

  2. Anonymous says:

    You know sometimes it can be difficult to express to your “best friend” some of their unhealthy behaviors without offending them. Which will most likely happen, but really shouldn’t if you are true friends. Over time people should be growing and developing for the better, but some people can become content with things remaining the same, which can be crazy because life is changing second by second. But when we become so adapted to things, we can’t see the signs of change taking place in people lives that we call friends.

    And you can feel as though whats understood don’t need to be explained but when you are growing and maturing in life and your “best friend” is at a standstill, she can take your growth out of content. I believe its important to express yourself with your friends as much as possible but sometimes you just plain out grow people and its nothing personal.

    When you start having children and become married or even in a very serious relaitonship your “best friend” should be more understanding than anyone. Thats why in any relationship each party should also be working on oneself. Finding things to do to better their own life.

  3. Not a mind reader says:

    Gotta agree with “Concerned Longtime Friend” a little bit — I’m so tired of people looking for a way out before they even try to fix what’s there. If your friend is doing something you don’t like, tell them! Have people forgotten that fights do occur in real relationships, and that friends –no matter how close– are not mind readers?

    It hurts when you have nothing but good intentions towards someone and are never given any indication that your actions were bothering them. All of a sudden one day, they tell you that the friendship is over because it’s too toxic, then proceed to air years’ worth of grievances that they’ve never mentioned before. It’s worst when many of those are things that you would have tried to change had they only brought it up. What are you supposed to do in response to that?

  4. Concerned Longtime Friend says:

    In this fast pace society where blackberry’s and cigarettes become better friends than humans…i ask what happened to friendship. It seems like everywhere I look there are comments about “toxic” friends or “dumping” manuals. I would say I am from the old school where friends were there through thick and “THIN”….friends were the extension of the family unit that would listen and respond to those things that are important to the friendship, life and other events in life’s cycle. They often listened to the things that the family or better half might not. It seems as if we are looking for every excuse to “dump” the friend that always gets into messed up relationships or the friend that always has money problems. But I think we fail to realize that life is a bunch of “up and down” events and it seems that all of us are looking for “fair-weathered” friendships rather than character building ones. I come from a time when friendships were difficult but at the end of the day that is what made a friendship a “real” friendship…when the times got rough your friends were there. I have friends that every year make stupid mistakes and some of them over and over again. I too am not perfect …. i have had my share of ups and downs loaded with stupid decisions….yet i believe this is what friendship is …. the person that is there not only when you are doing good but is even more present when we are doing bad…even if it is our 3rd or 4th trip down bad memory lane.

    I guess for me I think we are all turning into temper-tantrum friends….deal with me to give me pleasure and when that pleasure ends and life gets tough … dump that one and get a new one like friends are comparable to a pair of shoes or a silk dress that gets tainted so we throw it away…..Please write some advise for those of us that desire to “stay the course” and please talk about maintaining friendships even when they are difficult to understand. Friendship is about caring, the ups and the downs and sometimes during the course of the relationship we can get annoyed …like that baby brother or sister that by blood will always be there and somehow you love them anyway. I do agree if there is abuse then there should be a proper disconnection that occurs to seperate oneself from a destructive relationship but have we become the overwhelemed spoiled brat of friendship where every bump causes us to jump ship.

    We all need comfort and there are those that are friends with us that need support and comfort too. Friendships like family can be hard even life changing but just because we get a new friend or husband should we be encouraging people to just dump it because the road gets rough? Lonely, needy, or injury prone friends need role models and friends for the long road…simply telling a person to seek therapy does not seem like friendship…taking your friend to see a therapist and being there for them during and after seems more like a supportive friend. Like I said I have alot of friends who do stupid even annoying things…but that doesnt mean I am going to abandon them even if their hardships last over time…people are people with alll different shapes, sizes and attitudes. Maybe we should be encouraging people to find out more about their friends and what makes them who they are … you never know you may find out something about your friend that makes sense in your life.

    I have a friend that is manipulative but whenever you need him he is there. I have another friend that is a DIVA by all accounts of the word…and I have several other friends that have “special characteristics” that makes them special in their own way. For those things I do not share or agree with I seperate myself from that action ….. and when their behavior intersects with my life I contemplate and properly evaluate what is the proper remedy to approach with them….nevertheless I find a way to remain there and most of all we talk it out and even fight (verbal only) usually in the end we grow from it and move on. We all are different people with different hangups….we need to not just tolerate friends but connect and understand why you were friends in the first place. There is a child like wonder that emerges in friendship…the kind that ponders what life will be like without this person…that same childlike wonder that dismisses that thought and says nothing will seperate us. In this “stalker obsessed” world we all look like the victim when a friend trys to hard to impress us or talks over our sentences….but maybe instead of saying that damn needy friend of myne maybe we can say…i know what is like to want to show off our success becuase we want others to approve of us and say we are one of the gang….One of my friends talks immensely…even over you if they have a strong point of view…but I dont compare him to what I would do in the same situation….quite often I accept him and his flawed talking style and laugh everytime he does it which inturns makes him laugh to. Over the years he has gotten better (becuase of us..i would think) but he is till his same self…which we love cuase that;s who he is and most of all he is our friend…yes the firend that talks to much but we love him none the less. I am a worry wort at times about work and school but my other calm friends teach me about calming down and I love them for it…we have been friends for 11 years and counting. I remember we made a vow to stand by each other until we were 90…not sure what’s supposed to happen after 90 but i guess it would have worked itself out by then. Its so much easier…no thoughts of dumping friends not thoguhts of how a friend is ruining my life (cause ultimately another person can not do what you dont let them do)…im the worry wart, kay is the diva and well the others have their names too but they will be left unnamed.

    I guess this world is not perfect and neither are our friends….and again abuse is never tolerable. Yet I feel compelled to say something about the materialistic, fast pace world we live in were family is disappearing, friends are just pastimes and life is a drag unless someone is making us happy…..what happended to love, kindness and forgiveness….attributes a real friend possesses and most of all commitment for the long haul…..long hauls are not always happy roads to travel but they build character and I love when a good friend helps me build my character and I to help them and part of that is taking the good with the bad and in somecases everything in between….when did needy become a bad word…when did friends disappear cause a friend got diagnosed with bipolar or suffered a devestating loss…where are these people supposed to go or think if the very people they need to survive say sorry that is just too much for me to deal with and dumps more loss on their plate? Prelonged sadness is never good but have we become to fical?

    Your thoughts on this would be excellent….im lost in my understanding of what may be happening in our world were friendship and family are a “nice-to-have” not a must.

    Thanks for reading this long dissertation but thought it needed to be said….You are a wonderful woman for dedicating part of your life for helping people like us …that need support with fear of being called needy….thanks for being there…..

    Peace Concerned Longtime Friend

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