Investing in Friendships for Authentic, Lifelong Friends

It can really be hard to find “your people” until you start investing in friendships. The ride-or-die kind of friendships that support you, aren’t afraid to have tough conversations and love you in the good and the bad.

Our guest today, Kena Sampson, has a group of female friends that empower one another and build each other up. Today we talked about investing in friendships, setting boundaries and reevaluating friendships – to ultimately create long-lasting friendships.

Kena is the Southern Oregon Director of Sparrow Clubs and an incredible encourager of people who pours love wherever she goes.

#129 How to Have Authentic, Lifelong Friends (Happiness in Progress podcast with Danielle Craig)

Finding Diverse Friends

In our conversation on the Happiness in Progress podcast, Kena describes her group of friends as ‘colorful,’ saying they have different backgrounds, perspectives and beliefs.

Kena shared how having friends with different experiences can add depth to your life and make it easy to invest in friendships.

“Our world is so complex. People are so complex. We can get very tunnel vision saying this is the right way. But who’s to say what’s the right way? Hearing from your friends and having really deep conversations about belief systems about experiences, about overcoming loss and trauma and hurt – it puts a depth into who you are. That’s so valuable.”

investing in friendships quote "if you can't love yourself well and forgive yourself well how would you ever expect to do it for other people?"

“Be The Party” Before Investing in Friendships

love the story Kena told about a little girl who would set up toys on her front lawn every day, waiting for someone to come play with her. Even thought the little girl was trying, no one stopped to play. No one stopped to be her friend.

Finally, this little girl told her mom that no one wanted to be her friend.

Her mom responded, “Well, did you say hi?”

Kena says people can find themselves in a similar situation when they are expecting friendships to appear from outside sources. That’s when she suggests be the party! 

Kena suggests showing up the way you need someone to show up – to be who you want someone to be in a friendship.

In this episode, we also talked about bravery and what it takes to take the first step toward friendship.

A group of several women investing in friendships with a beautiful photoshoot together waving streamers in the mountains.

“We teach people how to treat us”


We teach people how to treat us, and how to love us.

During the podcast, Kena spoke this truth, “If your friend is showing up in a way that’s hurting you – it’s not healthy for her either.”

I firmly believe in these words. We get so worried how someone is going to respond to our concerns or our boundaries – that we don’t set them at all. Speaking the truth is not only about me, but also about my friend who also needs the support in a teaching moment.

Kena says setting boundaries goes back to love.

And yes, you do have to try to walk through the anger you’re feeling about how you’ve been treated.

If you feel like you’re being mistreated, you feel small around a certain friend or it feels horrible when XYZ happens or is said – by addressing the issue, you are inviting your friend to step into a healthier place as well.

Along with leading with love, Kena’s advice is to make sure to have these conversations when you’re not angry.

investing in friendships

More on the Podcast

This episode is packed full of wonderful wisdom from Kena, including:

  • how to check your expectations of your friends
  • going deep in conversation
  • through time women have been taught they are catty and dangerous with each other, Kena talks about how to rise above it
  • trusting your intuition

Check out this podcast episode, by clicking the play button at the top of this page or on the YouTube video! You can also listen to Happiness in Progress online, in the Stitcher App, Apple Podcasts or at the Mail Tribune.

If you like this episode, check out this empowering conversation with Dr. Tahir.

This podcast is brought to you by the Mail Tribune.

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