By Kristen Manieri

Increasing Our Frientimacy

This week I had the absolute pleasure of connecting with Shasta Nelson, the author of Friendships Don’t Just Happen and Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness.

I bought Frientimacy earlier this year but it took me a few months to crack the cover. Why? Because I honestly thought I already knew everything there was to know about having deep friendships. 

Boy was I wrong. 

Turns out there’s not only an art and a science to how we create really good friendships, but there’s a formula and a process to them as well. 

Shasta has truly become one of the world’s leading voices for friendship and she speaks for corporations, churches, and conferences all over the country; writes books, blogs, and articles; and gathers people for retreats and events — all for the purpose of creating healthier friendships in this world.

I got so much from conversation with Shasta and here are a few of my favorite takeaways:


  1. When it comes to intimacy, we need more than romance. There’s a whole spectrum of closeness we can experience in our relationships, and friendship is a really key place to be seen and known. We need our friendships, and the more fulfilling they are, the better. Expand your social portfolios beyond your significant other and also your BFF.
  2. When you look at the healthiest communities across the planet, researchers have found that the number one determining factor of wellbeing and longevity is social ties. How supported and loved we feel can make or break our health. 
  3. The friendship triangle needs three things: positivity, consistency and vulnerability. Our goal is to have these in balance and steadily increasing in those relationships that we’re shooting for frientimacy. 
  4. We need to allow ourselves to feel our feels. It’s okay to acknowledge our loneliness or lack of fulfillment in a relationship. Feelings are data that move us to act and make better choices, but only when we take the time to acknowledge them and feel them. 
  5. Our relationships are the place where we can practice being human. It’s where we learn things like humility, forgiveness and compassion. 
  6. There’s so much value in learning to let relationships ebb and flow. You’re not always going to be at the top of the frientimacy triangle and that’s okay. 
  7. It’s not “best friend or bust.” We can be satisfied with all sorts of relationships that sit on various levels of the frientimacy spectrum. Adjusting our expectations and having a realistic understanding of our different relationships can help us to carry a broad range of relationships, all of which serve us in different, meaningful ways. 


I’m so grateful for this conversation. A big, huge thanks to Shasta Nelson for being my guest on the 60 Mindful Minutes podcast. You can connect with her at https://www.shastanelson.com/ where you’ll find details about her books, programs and resources. Check out her Girlfriend Circles community here

Until next time, 

Subscribe to the newsletter