Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Friends Are Like Shoes


A friend who watched my video on friendships ending wrote me an e-mail with the most beautiful analogy . She said:

As I was listening to you and watching the video, I thought about friends as being shoes in my closet. Sometimes we keep certain shoes around because they are comfortable and they are with us in sickness and when we get up in the morning and go to bed at night–these are our best friends–the ones who see us as we really are. Then there are shoes that you buy to go with certain outfits–to me, these are friends that fit you at certain times of your life’s journey, but the shoes go out of fashion or don’t serve you well or the heel falls off so you just don’t want to wear them any more and so you either relegate these shoes to the back of the shoe closet or you give them away. And then there are shoes that you have for particular occasions–like your running shoes or flip flops–these are friends who you do specific things with and who you enjoy being with. 


Tonight I am going to go home and look at all my shoes. I recently jettisoned some real shoes in an effort to declutter. I still have one pair of Mom’s shoes. 

I’ve also found that friends need to be life-giving. The friends I choose to be with are the ones that want to be friends with me as much as I want to be friends with them. Friendship is two-way. It’s not friendship if the “friend ship” is sailing one way! Years ago a few women that I thought were really, truly good friends just totally quit communicating with me even though I still communicated with them. I finally let go of them totally. Over a year ago, a younger woman whom I had mentored and worked with rekindled our friendship. We met monthly for breakfast. It was a few months into the rekindling that I realized she was using me to get new business contacts. When we made a date to meet at her home for dinner, with our men, she totally forgot the invitation to her home when I called to ask what I could bring to dinner. I have not spoken to her since. I realized that she didn’t really want to be friends. It hurt a lot and I lost respect for her.


What do you think? Are friends like shoes? Do you outgrow them?

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  • Wendy

    OH!!!! This has been on my mind lately. Recenly I realized people I had thought to be friends, were in fact not. Having recently moved to the area last year, I was invited to all the parties and BBQ’s, get togethers. How they all loved me. I have a very animated sense of humor and usually kept thins going conversationally and with humor. This year however….. I fell into the most severe depression I have ever known. This is when I became a little suspicious of the true intent of their friendships because when I needed THEM – they were nowhere to be found. I wasn’t funny anymore, I wasn’t useful to them anymore.
    I just ran into one of them yesterday in the store. It was the shortest conversation I had ever had with this woman. She ended it abruptly with “Well you look good, take care, it was good seeing you.” I was very careful not to bring up my recent troubles, but it was too late, I am tainted. I am damaged goods to these people now.

  • Annapurna Moffatt

    Wendy: That’s how you can tell your true friends from all the others. When my Granny died (just over three years ago), my closest friend stuck by me and comforted me, and I have never forgotten. Her support had such a deep impact on me that I am determined to do the same for her some day. It’s the only way I can think of to really repay her.
    Therese: I agree: friends are like shoes. The friend that I described above would be the kind that you wear and wear and wear for years, and though they do get worn, it takes a VERY long time for them to truly wear out–like my favourite Comfort Mocs from L.L. Bean (I have two pairs of those–I LOVE them!).
    Most of the people that I was friends with when I was little I’m not friends with anymore, though there are a few. But only a few.

  • Your Name

    I think that it’s important to understand that some friends are season and very few for a lifetime. we must be grateful for what they have brought to our lives. I try not to be disappointed when they fall short or have motives, howver, I’m happy that they shared what they had to give at the time. Sometimes we must lose friends to allow space for a new friend to come in. I miss my older friends and look forward to new friends to come. Embrace change and try not to be upset when others let you down.

  • Violet King

    It is really the best thing not to have expectations of other people. We cannot control anything about someone else either emotionally, materially or physically. I don’t expect anything, and I just rejoice over what I get!!!
    Life is to learn and I think friends are a great teaching method……do we ever stop learning???
    Being happoy with who we are inside is the best place to start, then other people can’t hurt us, and we become strong.
    Onwards and upwards!!!

  • Your Name

    I have friends that are heart close, we may not corrisponde really often but I still know they are my close friends. Then: one day I met a girl that I was reserved with at first. As time went on she became my really, truly, soul friend. I believe you only have one like this in a life time and I thank God I have found mine. She has shared things with me that even family could not.God sent her to be with me in a time when I probably wouldn’t have survived otherwise. We have shared joy, sadness, love, and heartbreak with each other. She is my lightening rod and my rainbow. She has never let me down or dissapointed me in 30 years.

  • elize

    With a recent divorce I had to truely see for myself the meaning of the word fairweatherfriends. I cottoned onto the fact some people just don’t want to know your trouble for in case they have to step in and help. Now that I am on my feet again in more ways than one, they seem to flow back into my life. The weird thing is I couldn’t care less if they are there or not because the wonder of life is where there is a vacuum, it will be filled. And I now have friends who know the new post-divorce me.It is a celebration of sorts to grow out of certain friendships into new ones.

  • cecile

    i have been thinking seriously about me being a friend to my friends, and i realize that i have been a seasonal friend to them. it was more of a one way relationship; they do for me and rarely do for them. One of my childhood friend who used to call me quit often, does not anymore but i am concious that my “lack of interest” attitude has a lot to do with that. now that i am trying to catch up with her, she does not seems to be into getting back at those lost “friends moments” but i don’t know if i should keep on trying until i get from herself the confirmation that she does not want to be my friend anymore.

  • Your Name

    I lost my best friend, because she has changed so much that she is a different person from the one I met. People change and she doesn´t fit with me anymore.I cried as if I had gone trough a divorce. It is nice to say we shouldn´t have expecations but it is easier said than done. I you don´t expect, then what makes guide line of what you want or look for in a friendship? Even though, I think I have to lower my expectations and put friendship in a less indialistic frame.

  • Your Name


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