The five categories of friendship

September 17, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
We love our girlfriends, but not all of them are alike. In fact, there are different kinds of girlfriends who can make you life more complete. Life coach and the founder of GirlfriendCircles.com, Shasta Nelson, explains.

Shasta's Circles of Connectedness
Identifying, Evaluating and Fostering our Friendships: The Five Categories of Friendship

Shasta's Circles of Connectedness provides a framework to evaluate what type of friends we have & develop strategies for increasing our relationship fulfillment in all five categories of friendship.

The Circles begin on the left with the most casual of friends and move to the right as the bond and commitment deepens with the regularity with which we spend time together and the broadening of what we share together.

In-Contact Friends: We are connected by a shared commonality with these friends. From among all our acquaintances in our network, these are the individuals we gravitate toward and consider to be our friends when we see them at networking events, socials, church, association meetings or at the office.

In-Common Friends: We are connected by a bond of time and sharing within our area of commonality. We know these friends well as we've spent bonding time together, but the relationship is limited to the one area we have in common whether it be our mom's group, work colleagues or we are frequently in the same social circle.

In-Context Friends: We are connected by a shared history that is now deep, but not regular. This middle circle is reserved for the friendships that go much deeper than the circles on the left side, but currently lack the consistent contact and creation of new memories together that is needed for the circles on the right side. This category is for the women that we know we can pick up where we left off because of our shared history.

In-Community Friends: We are connected by regular time spent together beyond the area we have in common. When we expand the lines of our original shared commonality, we are no longer labeled as work-out partners, classmates, colleagues, or girls-night-out friends. We are now sharing life beyond one subject or context, we're connecting consistently and we're meeting the people important to each other.

In-Commitment Friends: We are connected by a commitment that extends beyond any shared experience. The far right category is reserved for the friends we regularly share our feelings with and have a commitment to be present for each other, no matter what. The bond as "In-Common" friends was because of our kids, we worked at the same place or we were both single, but these are now the friends that if those original common categories were to change it would not risk our relationship-we will still be in each other's lives. These are our best friends.

About "Speed-Friending" Event:
GirlFriendCircles first-ever "speed-friending" event will be Thursday, Sept. 17 at Roe in San Francisco (on Howard @ Hawthorne), from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. ($25, but will include 1-2 drinks). Speed-friending will guide women into small groups of 3-4 women where each woman will have 2 minutes to share her answer to a fun and easy sharing question before switching to another small group, ensuring that in the course of the evening each woman will be introduced to a much larger number of potential friends in a meaningful and intentional way!

Roe
651 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94105-3915

For tickets:
www.girlfriendcircles.com
Mention "The View from the Bay" at the door and get in FREE! (drinks not included)

About Shasta Nelson, Founder of GirlfriendCircles.com
When it comes to mental health and happiness, Shasta Nelson knows firsthand the importance of lasting, local friendships in women's lives. Her passion for helping women foster meaningful friendships has turned into a career as a friendship expert and life coach, all of which began through each encounter with a new element in her life - new clients, new home, new city. Shasta's natural affinity for connecting in a genuine and authentic way, and with a penchant for transitioning a somewhat awkward first introduction into meaningful connection has led to the founding of GirlFriendCircles.

With a Masters Degree in Spiritual Growth, and a Bachelors in Communications, Shasta is poised to communicate the lasting impact that friendship has on women's lives. Sourcing her nearly decade long experience in short-term counseling, coaching leaders and teams, she has identified a gift in women's lives, each other, and the need for women to connect. With the organizational skills of launching & leading two non-profits and managing a multi-million dollar company, GirlFriendCircles is apt to be at the forefront of discussion among women today.

In a new city, San Francisco, Shasta brought together an impromptu group of women who had never met - women who became a tight-knit, supportive clan simply by sharing their lives with regularity and authenticity. As she watched her own social circle blossom and coached her clients in leading healthy and fulfilled lives, Shasta began to notice a common thread among her contemporaries. In an age where women's lives had become more independent, more flexible, and more transient than ever before, they had also become something more pervasive: lonely. And with too little free time and few local connections, women had come to see having friends as a luxury, rather than a necessity.

Knowing the crucial value of a close, local circle of friends, and realizing that no effective resource existed to bring women together for the purpose of forming those vital relationships, Shasta created GirlFriendCircles.com - an online community designed to help women make new friends off-line by broadening their social circles, and creating connections in their local cities.

Shasta speaks internationally at events and academic institutions as a trainer, teacher and key-note speaker. She also writes and blogs regularly on the subjects of personal growth and relational health for women:
www.girlfriendcircles.com/Blog.aspx

About GirlfriendCircles.com
Today's women are bolder, busier, and more independent than ever - staying single longer, traveling solo, and independently driving the success of their careers. But when friendship expert and GirlFriendCircles.com founder Shasta Nelson examined the thousands of online resources that have cropped up to help women navigate the ins and outs of their lives - from getting a date, to finding an apartment, to networking for a great job - she found that the suite of available services were missing something vital: Friendship.

For women with busy personal and professional lives, making and keeping a circle of great friends can mean the difference between fulfillment and loneliness. Recognizing the important of those connections to women of all ages, Nelson combined her expertise as a life coach and trained community facilitator with her own personal experience to create GirlFriendCircles.com: a one-of-a-kind online service that fosters offline friendships by matching members to other compatible women in their area who are also looking to expand their circle of friends.

GirlFriendCircles is founded on the scientifically proven importance of meaningful, local friendships - one of the most oft-cited factors in our day-to-day happiness and health as human beings. Using a unique model developed through social research, the service differentiates itself by connecting its members with small circles of women that meet in local cafes and then provides features to help foster relationships that transcend the superficial. Unlike other friend-finding sites that require time-consuming profiles, self-directed searches and an emphasis for online community, GirlFriendCircles ensures that women get offline by initiating the invitations into groups which creates a more organic experience that eliminates the awkwardness of large-scale networking.

GirlFriendCircles fills a major void in the world of online services aimed at women, where sites like Facebook offer a host of ways to preserve old friendships, but fail to provide a way to forge new ones. With its matching system and emphasis on interaction via small groups, GirlFriendCircles is poised to revolutionize the way that women grow their circle of friends.


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